7 Keys to a Healthy Heart: How to Prevent Heart Diseases
Mike came back from another stressful day at work. Suddenly, he felt a sharp pain in his chest. Within a minute, Mike collapsed. Luckily, his wife was nearby and called 911. They rushed to the hospital around the block. Thank goodness the heavens were on Mike’s side. He survived. But he had to pay for it. No more steaks.
Or stuffed-crust pizza. No salt, butter, and nuts. Virtually every sugary thing, HAD. TO. GO.
That’s right, folks. You don’t need to be subjected to fear before you eat healthily. Oh, and did I mention that it’s not going to be pleasant? But think about it like this. Eat well and live or…eat carelessly and visit old roger in a split second-like Mike almost did.
Yeah. I don’t think we want to appear in the hall of past glory yet. So, to avoid that, let’s actively work toward leading a healthier lifestyle. Jordan Rubin will agree with me when I say that your heart will take care of you only if you take care of it. Simple as ABC.
Now, How Do We Prevent Heart Diseases?
There are simple things that when done habitually can not just increase your lifespan but also help you prevent heart diseases. Here are 7 keys to a healthy heart:
1. Eat to Live
I remember a recent discussion I had with my colleague. We were talking about the spiking rate of heart attack patients. I suggested the number one key solution was eating to live.
She said, “Margaret, seriously? Eat to live? What do they do all their lives? Eat to die?!”
We laughed over it. But I was concerned because she didn’t understand the meaning behind those words. Of course, the main reason we eat is to live, but is that what we usually get? Unless you eat the right things, you’re not going to be “living.” As sad as it sounds, we need to be wary of fatty consumptions.
Now please pardon me, I’m going to get a bit medical savvy here. Do you know that the average human consumes 5.6 grams trans-fat daily? Trans fat is the primary benefactor behind cardiovascular diseases, including heart attacks.
What do you eat that contains trans-fat?
- All forms of cake
- Cinnamon rolls
- All the mouth-watering tidbits Aunt Molly gives you during tea time.
True, a lot of doctors warn you to steer clear from “high fats” like milk, butter, cheese —dairy products. But do you know that you actually need them to keep your heart healthy? Just not too much.
There are two kinds of fat: Good fat and Bad fat (trans-fat):
Good fat contains omega-3 polyunsaturated fats like cheese, dairy milk, almond, coconut, avocados, and olives. Just the right proportion will be perfect for your heart.
What makes trans-fat the bad guy? It clogs the coronary arteries that supply nutrients to your heart. That’s trouble. You don’t want to wake up one day to find that you’re going to sleep forever. Scary.
You want to eat little of the good fat and reduce the intake of trans-fat to almost nothing. Don’t wait to be knocked out before you take action. You may not be lucky enough to get a second chance.
2. Add Nutritional Supplements to your Healthy Diet
Someone asked me, “Why can’t I take the supplements alone without changing my diet?” I said that you can’t pour water and gasoline to a raging fire simultaneously. You’d eventually get burnt. Why? Well, the water, which is meant to stop the fire, is opposed by a constant supply of gasoline, so the fire just keeps burning. Now, do you understand why you can’t rely on supplements alone? Good.
Let’s talk about which supplements and multivitamins you need:
- Folic Acid (B9)
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin B6
The vitamins above are part of the Vitamin B complex. And they reduce a high level of homocysteine —causes atherosclerosis (artery plaques). If you take these vitamins with your diet daily, then you’ll be well away from trouble.
Apart from these, some other supplements should not be forgotten:
- Cod-liver oil
- Green foods (veggies)
- Whole food fibres
Generally, they reduce the harmful LDL cholesterol levels in the body. If your LDL (Low-Density Lipoproteins) cholesterol is high, then it means that you’re at risk of contracting heart disease. However, a mixture of vitamins and supplements will keep the LDL cholesterol level at bay. So, don’t skip it!
3. Be a Germaphobe
They’re not freaks! Germaphobes are wise indeed. And I’m going to tell you why. Do you wonder how being squeaky clean will keep your heart healthy? It’s straightforward. Germs are ubiquitous, which means they’re everywhere. So, they can be found on our skin, most especially under the fingernails. Because of our nature, we can’t help but touch areas like our eyes, nose, ears, and mouth. All these places are outlets for viruses and bacteria to get into our bodies.
Now, pay attention carefully. When these germs get into our system, they form an inflammatory site in our plasma. Our body automatically wades them off with white blood cells. This action triggers the liver to release high-sensitivity C-reactive protein for battle against the germs.
Research has shown that a high level of C-reactive protein can be a green light to heart attacks. Do you now see the damage that can come from germs? It’s pretty clear the reason why doctors advise you to keep your nails short -even though that doesn’t deter bacteria.
Take action today. Don’t pass the sink without stopping for a wash? Take a splurge of soap and wash your hands thoroughly. Don’t forget under your fingernails and between your fingers. Also, keep a gel-like sanitizer in your bag and use it frequently. This will help you practice advanced hygiene and imitate a Germaphobe. Now, you see why they are not weird.
4. Always Stay Fit.
Look at those words again. Always. Stay. Fit. It doesn’t say “be fit after you barely survived a heart attack”. Nor did it mention to staying fit sometimes. It clearly states “Always”. 99.99% of the time you are fit, you keep your heart healthy. Don’t wait for chest pains or heartaches before you put on your Nikes and go for a run. Or you’d just end up like Fixx—the dead runner. And I know you don’t want that.
Instead, practice the first three keys I’ve given you and let this fourth one follow suit. By so doing, you’ll greatly reduce the risk of plopping dead in the middle of a run.
Take these next exercise tips and body therapies:
- Try weight training
- Be a rebounder
- Take deep breathing exercises
- Go for a walk
- Sleep earlier
- Expose yourself to the sunlight (the early morning sun that showers you with a lot of Vitamin D)
These exercises are excellent ways to help you condition your body while increasing your heart rate at a healthy pace. All these will help you prevent heart diseases. You can’t overshoot the importance of taking care of yourself. #selflove.
5. Detoxify Your Surrounding
The American Heart Association said that air pollution is a primary culprit of heart diseases. Moving from smoggy environments wouldn’t stop you from getting heart diseases. Because we spend time indoors and indoor air pollution is dangerous too. I suggest you open your windows and allow fresh, natural air to come in. Even if it’s freezing outside or smoking hot. A couple of minutes would do you a wealth of good.
A significant component of the air that causes cardiovascular disorders are toxins. There are two kinds of toxins: water-soluble and fat-soluble toxins.
The water-soluble ones are harmless and quickly leave your system as soon as they arrive. On the contrary, the fat-soluble ones do not. It takes a while for them to be eradicated from your body. But there is an effective way to kick them out. Water. Drink lots and lots of water to detoxify your kidneys and prevent heart diseases. Try exercising for the lymphatic system detox. Then don’t forget the deep breaths for lung detox.
If you’re a meat lover, stay away from commercially produced beef. Organic meat is better. It’s another effective way to reduce toxins in your body and prevent heart diseases.
6. Avoid Threatening Emotions
A lot of us think that the seat of emotions is in our heart, but this isn’t right. The centre is as much of an organ as your kidney and it takes instructions from the brain. Speaking of the brain, that’s the seat of emotion. Let’s say, for instance, someone provokes you. Do you know what happens? Adrenaline is immediately released to your bloodstream, causing your heartbeat to thump faster. Da-dum, Da-dum, Da-dum. The adrenaline also signals the coronary arteries to expand so that the heart muscles get oxygenated blood.
Here comes the sad part.
If you have plaques in your coronary artery walls, they will constrict instead of dilating. This means less blood goes to the heart. Which can cause you to have a heart attack or, sometimes…sudden death.
What should you do? Well, apart from eating healthier to avoid plaques, add forgiveness to it. Let go, move on, ignore people more. Why? So that you can live. If anything happens to you, they might cry for a bit, but the world will move on, it’s inevitable. Think about you.
7. Live a Purposeful Life
No matter how many precautions you take, there will still be loopholes. Live a purposeful life and strive to be happy and healthy so you can enjoy every minute of it.
A Quick Tip for the ladies
Note that your skin absorbs every smack of lipstick you apply on your lips. And this introduces toxins to your body, leading to heart diseases.
Generally, you need to be aware of these issues. Share them with your friends. Research to keep yourself posted. You can do it. Stay safe. Stay heart-healthy.