Reading Time: 4 minutes
Many preventive measures for keeping heart disease at bay are age-old cliches and they always demand a scientific review from the medical point of view. Another important aspect worth mentioning here is that, most factors responsible for heart ailments actually work in connection, not just as singular and independent causes. Most importantly, the same healthy aspects that make your heart healthy are crucial for your brain, nervous system and metabolic system as well. There are wide array of natural preventive measures for your heart and we will discuss here a few of them.
Dietary way to a healthy heart
Finding your natural measures to a healthy heart starts from diet. The foodstuff that put your heart at risk is equally important consideration as the heart healthy nutrients that you should consume in greater quantities. Dietary measures are grossly understood in these two different aspects.
Myths about healthy and unhealthy fat:
Let us understand various contesting notions on fat contents of food. For many decades experts proclaimed the damaging effects of saturated fat on heart and healthier benefits of unsaturated fat. It is true that saturated fat content in food is responsible for increasing the LDL cholesterol, the responsible element in coronary heart disease. But recent scientific evidence following some clinical studies shown that traditional saturated fat content in natural foods like yoghurt, milk and dairy foods also protect heart oxidative damage. Oxidative damage being one of the prime causes of heart ailments, the verdict this time irrevocably goes in favor of this saturated fat present in these foodstuffs. On the other hand thy myth on the benefits of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) has also busted following some recent clinical observations. PUFA, according to experts, can promote more oxidative damage to heart than other types of fat. Considering all these findings, we would suggest consumption of natural saturated fat in dairy in moderation, decrease in consumption of PUFA (mostly found in all sorts of packaged vegetable oils).
Decrease carbohydrate intake:
Carbohydrate makes the greater portion of foods for most people and they break into sugar in the metabolic process. Blood glucose or sugar is the prime responsible factor for oxidative damage to heart. Faster carbohydrate gets broken into sugar potentially more threat it poses for the heart. So, even though you cannot avoid carbohydrate rich cereals entirely from diet, you can opt for the complex ones that take longer to break down into sugar. Avoid white cereals like rice, wheat flour, etc and replace them as much as possible with oats, brown rice, brown flour, etc. Avoid sugary beverages and candies at all cost. Instead of fruit juices devour raw fruits as the sugar content in raw fruit takes longer to break down thanks to fiber.
Replace red meat with fish and poultry:
Most animal meats are rich in saturated fat but unlike the natural ones they cause more inflammation inside and help increasing LDL level in heart. There are few healthy exceptions as well. Chicken is a healthy choice with lean fat and fishes are healthier with less saturated fat and with large concentration of heart healthy proteins. Particularly fish varieties like Solomon, Tuna and Sardines are recommended as they are rich with Omega 3 fatty acid, a well known heart healthy element. Stay clear of the egg yellow as it is known to hike LDL, but can safely consume egg whites.
Replace cereals with lentils and leafy veggies:
Lentils are rich with dietary fiber, proteins and other nutrients, but low in carbohydrate and fat content. Similarly green veggies are good source of fibers, minerals and other nutrients. These two groups of foods offer best nutrients for heart and promote better metabolism.
Super foods for a healthy heart:
In suggesting the super foods for a healthy heart olives and olive oil tops our list. The monounsaturated fatty acid or MUFA present in olive oil help to lower the bad cholesterol LDL, responsible for coronary heart disease and increase HDL, good cholesterol for heart arteries. Almond, pistachios and all other nuts are also rich in MUFA to offer healthy nutrients for heart. Antioxidants present in fresh fruits, green tea and fresh veggies protect heart from oxidative damage.
Ensure stress free lifestyle
Stress remains to be the biggest lifestyle affected cause for heart ailments. When we are affected by stress, a hormone called Cortisol (referred as stress hormone) gets into action and sends a ‘fight or flight’ signal to our organic processes. This war-like condition disrupts metabolism, nervous function, digestion and even thinking patterns. So in a stressed condition one experiences higher pulse rate, high blood pressure, nervous tension and other derogatory effects that cause heart suffer. Stress also disrupts metabolism and develops insulin resistance. Stress remains to be the biggest lifestyle challenge and without addressing it you cannot ensure a healthy heart. Get enough sleep, avoid tension in workplace and frequently indulge in fun and relaxing activities.
Stay fit, slim and active
Physical inactivity is directly related to your coronary heart disorder. Lack of exercise ensures accumulation of fat that promotes LDL cholesterol, the principal element responsible for heart ailments. If you do not ensure burning excess calorie it accumulates into body fat over the time and that exposes your heart to bigger risk. Regularly burning a bigger portion of your calorie intake through exercise not only ensures a slim, fir and active body but it paves the way to a healthy heart, in a natural way.
Stay clear of tobacco, alcohol and toxins
All environmental chemicals and pollutants expose our heart to oxidative damage. These include insecticides, cleaning agents, chemically treated personal care products and numerous air pollutants we regularly come into contact with. But when it comes to smoking, the carcinogenic toxin affects our health more directly. Carcinogens in tobacco cause tremendous inflammation and expose our heart to oxidative damage. According to experts smoking as minimum as 1 cigarette a day can increase chances of heart ailment by 40%. Alcoholic drinks also pose great risks for heart diseases. Alcohol not just increases inflammation and consequent risk of oxidative damage but it also helps raising LDL cholesterol, the most important factor for coronary heart blockage. Alcohol, tobacco and other abusive toxic substances also affects blood pressure paving the way to hypertension, another frequent cause of heart attack.
Instead of taking medicines and undergoing curative treatment simple natural attributes of lifestyle can pave the way to a healthy heart. Eating healthy diet, doing regular exercise, putting work stress at bay and avoiding toxins one can ensure optimum health for heart. Guest blogger Brendon Buthello at Ranzynn introduces a few lifestyle tips to prevent heart disease naturally.