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Tips to Protect Your Heart
1. Brush your teeth
The bacteria lurking in your mouth doesnt just cause tooth decay and bad breath. It also speeds up the rate at which plaque develop in your arteries, making you more susceptible to heart disease. The more you brush, the healthier your heart.
2. Get some sun
Exposure to sunlight can help lower blood pressure, according to one UK study. Researchers at the University of Edinburgh believe that sunshine reduces nitric oxide levels in the skin and blood. Just limit exposure to 30 minutes a day to reduce your risk of skin cancer.
3. Look on the bright side
Optimists are less likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke compared to pessimists, according to aHarvard School of Public Health review of more than 200 studies. If youre feeling down, try exercising. Just 15 minutes of exercise a day can be enough to improve your mood.
4. Stop smoking
Women who smoke more than double their risk of sudden cardiac death, according to an American Heart Association study. You dont have to be a heavy smoker to be affected even smoking an occasional cigarette can damage your heart, say experts.
5. Check your cholesterol
Get your cholesterol levels checked
The heart is a muscle, and like any muscle, it needs to be exercised to stay strong and healthy. Experts recommend doing at least 30 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise five days a week. Anything that gets you out of breath is fine like dancing, walking the dog or gardening.
7. Stop stressing
When were stressed the body produces the hormone cortisol, which is bad news forour heart consistently high levels of cortisol is associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease. Take time out of your day to relax or take up meditation, yoga or tai chi.
8. Cut back on salt
Its estimated that 75 percent of the salt we eat is already added to foods, like bread, cheese, sausages, cereals and biscuits. Experts recommend that we eat no more than 6g of salt a day
9. Take vitamin C
Some studies though not all suggest that vitamin C, acting as an antioxidant, can slow down the progression of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.
10. Eat cherries
People who ate two servings of cherries a day reduced their Creactive proteins which are linked with inflammation and heart disease by 16 percent according to a study published in the Journal of Nutrition.
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