World Heart day 2017: When it comes to caring for your heart and preventing chronic conditions like hypertension or stroke, the advice we usually get can sound somewhat pedestrian: exercise regularly, watch your diet, don’t smoke, and limit your drinking. The question: are there other things you should be doing to protect your ticker?
The answer is yes.
We’ve gone through a bunch of scientific studies to compile a list of important tips and techniques for protecting your heart. They’re quite simple too, so make them a part of your life and keep your most important organ beating heartily.
Rise and Dine
In a study of 3,900 people, researchers at Harvard found that people who ate breakfast daily were 44 percent less likely to be overweight and 41 percent less likely to develop insulin resistance – both risk factors for heart disease.
Getting some daily downtime may reduce your anxiety levels by more than 25 percent. A study found that mentally stressed patients with coronary artery disease were three times more likely to be hit with sudden death than those with the least stress. Now your quiet time will serve more than its spiritual purpose.
Fortify with Folic Acid
A study published in the British Medical Journal found that people who get the recommended amount of folic acid in their diets have a 16 percent lower risk of heart disease than those whose diets are lacking. Cereals are a good source of folic acid-fortified cereal is even better.
Can’t go wrong with Tea
An American Heart Association study found that people who drank 2 cups of tea a day were 25 percent less likely to die of heart disease than those who rarely touched tea. Flavonoids in tea, are not only capable of improving the blood vessels’ ability to relax but also thinning the blood, thus reducing clotting.
Replace Honey for Sugar
Researchers at the University of Illinois found that honey has powerful antioxidant qualities that help combat cardiovascular disease, while sugar consumption can reduce HDL (High-Density Lipoprotein) cholesterol levels, thus increasing the risk of heart-related disorders.
Get some early shuteye
A study of 70,000 people carried out over 10 years found that people who sleep a full 8 hours regularly have a better chance of avoiding heart disease, compared to those who get five or fewer hours of sleep. The latter have a nearly 40 percent greater risk of heart disease. The explanation was that people who get less sleep are exhausted and have higher levels of fibrinogen, a blood-clotting protein that can reduce blood flow to the heart and brain.
Make Friends at Work
Researchers at St. Johns University studied 70 New York City traffic officers and found that those with the more friends at work also had the lowest heart rates and healthiest blood-pressure levels, even during times of stress. Healthy work relationships matter!
Remember, your heart will benefit more from a few long-term health improvements than from a flurry of activity which may be followed by a return to the dangerous norm. These tips will are simple and practical enough to adopt and give your heart a beating chance.