Cardiovascular diseases are the number one cause of death for American men and women. More than 610,000 patients die annually from these conditions. If you have basic knowledge about the heart’s health, then the risk factors, such as high blood pressure, being overweight, high cholesterol, and a lack of aerobic exercise, cannot take you by surprise. However, there are certain factors that can counteract suffering from heart disease:
Do not Skip Breakfast
Studies have successfully shown that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Not only is it a primordial source for acquiring energy, but its daily consumption can help you reduce the risk of developing heart problems by 27%. A “bad” breakfast is one of the most common causes for suffering from a heart attack, since this can trigger difficulties in the future.
Because breakfast is when we absorb the most nutrients, it is an ideal time to make healthy choices. So, what should your breakfast include? It is highly recommended that it contains both liquids and solids. A good option is to eat a bowl of oatmeal or tea, a piece of fruit, wholegrain bread, and turkey slices. Remember that an effective diet has to be varied, adequate, and balanced. It should always be supervised by a specialist and contain foods from the three nutrient groups.
Avoid a “Hypertensive Heart”
Did you know that suffering from high blood pressure, or hypertension, can cause severe damage to your heart? It is normal if our blood pressure varies throughout our day—decreasing when we are at rest and increasing when we perform activities. However, the higher your blood pressure is, the harder your heart must work to pump blood. When this happens, the cardiac muscle has to adapt, thicken, and develop more tissue between the muscle fibers, producing a “hypertensive heart”.
Often times there are no symptoms, so you can be unaware that you have a hypertensive heart for a long time. And by the time you become aware of this, the damage could be very advanced. It is recommended that you check your blood pressure at least once a year, which will help you to prevent and control these factors.
Delete Sugary Beverages and Hydrate Correctly
Consuming sugar in liquid form (like sugary drinks) is a great danger to your health, and especially to your heart. Drinking a little over one can per day increases the chance of suffering from cardiovascular diseases by 20%.
Hydrating correctly—by drinking water—is essential for proper functioning of the heart. Poor hydration caused by sugary drinks increases the heart rate and decreases blood volume. This happens because the body tries to send its blood supply to active muscles and vital organs. The minimum amounts of water that you should drink daily are:
- Women: 9 glasses of 250ml
- Men: 12 glasses of 250ml
- Children: 8 glasses of 150ml
Reduce Stress and Laugh More
Stress has been linked to a variety of aspects that harm our health, such as: mood, sleep, appetite problems, and in recent studies, heart disease.
When you are worried, chemical substances that produce physical changes are released. You breathe faster, your pulse accelerates, your mouth becomes dry, among others. Prolonged stress affects your heart’s health because it alters your blood pressure and sugar levels.
There is no better way to relax than by laughing. It has been proven that laughter decreases stress hormone levels, reduces arterial inflammation, and increases the levels of good cholesterol.
Remember that caring for your heart through a healthy lifestyle includes: not consuming tobacco nor large amounts of alcohol, choosing high-nutrient foods, exercising regularly to lose any extra weight; these will help control the various risk factors associated with your heart’s health.