The most important muscle we have is our heart. Heart diseases are by far the most common single cause of death in United States. It is the largest single killer of American males and females. About every minute someone will die from one. In fact, in United States one out of every five people died from a coronary heart disease (CHD). That is why if we want to have a long and healthy life we have to take care of our heart. But don´t worry, if you follow these 20 top tips stated here your likelihood of suffering from heart disease will be drastically reduced and, as a result of that, maybe you could live long enough to see how humans set foot on Mars.
Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics — 2009 Update (At-a-Glance Version) Adobe PDF, File Size 2197.0 KB
1- Speed up your heart beat.
Anything that speed up your heart beat will make your heart stronger. You don´t need to have your heart rate accelerated too much time because it could be bad for you. The key is to speed up your heart rate once in a while and for limited periods of time. You can do this in many ways: playing soccer with your friends, making love with your partner, pedaling your bicycle, etc. And, finally, if you find an exercise painful or uncomfortable, listen to your body and stop or change your workout.
2- Go as far away as you can from tobacco smoke.
Without a doubt, this is a key point if you want to have a healthy heart. People who are exposed to tobacco smoke for 30 minutes a day three times a week have a greater likelihood (26%) of having a coronary heart disease than the rest of the population (non-smokers). In fact, people who smoke a pack of cigarettes a day have more than twice the risk of heart attack than non-smokers.
3- Get out of depression and cheer up!
People who have depression have twice the risk of heart disease than who is not depressed. The best natural remedy for depression is the physical exercise. But, if your depression is very severe and natural remedies don´t help you, it would be wise to visit a psychologist or a psychiatrist to receive a pharmacologic treatment of adult depression with anti-depressives. Don´t underestimate depression because the consequences can be serious, but don’t fear it either.
4- Meditate 20 minutes a day.
Sit down somewhere comfortable and quiet, turn off or turn down the lights and eliminate any unwanted noise if you can. Close your eyes and relax your body. Then free your mind from thoughts and distractions. Finally, you only have to focus on breath.
You don´t need to ascent to spiritual illumination as Buddha did.
I mean, with only 20 minutes of meditation a day is enough to relax, and thus reduce by 25% your stress and anxiety levels.
5- Consume olive oil and forget the butter.
Olive oil offers protection against heart diseases because it contains monounsaturated fat, a healthier type of fat that can lower your risk of heart disease by reducing the LDL (bad) cholesterol levels in your blood and raising the good one (HDL cholesterol). On the contrary, the butter is not a healthy option for your heart due to its high cholesterol and saturated fat content.
Photo: Rev Dan Catt
6- Eat chocolate with a high percentage of cocoa.
I recommend you dark chocolate because contains a higher percentage of cocoa than white or milk chocolate. Cocoa contains flavonoids which can help with cardiovascular health. It also reduces tendency to form blood clots, and improves blood vessel function.
Research says that dark chocolate contains three times the amount of flavonoids as found in green tea. Besides, at least one third of the chocolate fat is oleic acid, which is healthy for our hearth apart from its other health benefits.
7- Drink a beer once in a while.
Who drink a beer a day, three or four times a week, will have a 32% less likelihood of having a heart attack. That is why a moderate consumption of beer raises blood levels of HDL (good) cholesterol, reducing the risk of developing blood clots. Besides, beer contains polyphenols which have antioxidant properties that reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol.
8- Forget the salt.
The food we eat already has the amount of salt necessary for our organism, and hence we don´t have to add salt to food. There are other spices to enhance the food taste more healthy than salt such as black pepper. Eating too much salt can raise your blood pressure, which triples your risk of developing heart disease, whatever your age.
I never add salt to my food with the only exception of the entrecote steak seasoned with sea salt, which is healthier than common table salt.
9- Have physical contact with other people.
Physical contact with other people (to hold hands, to embrace somebody, etc.) reduces stress and prevents hypertension.
10- Eat tuna.
Tuna is a good source of Omega-3 fats which help to strengthen the heart. It also reduces blood pressure and prevents blood clots. Besides, tuna has a lot of proteins which are good to prevent heart attacks.
11- Drink at least one liter of water per day.
One liter of water or more per day can reduce the risk of developing a cardiovascular disease by 60%, due to its effect of reducing the levels of bad cholesterol.
12- Replace the sugar with honey.
Sugar reduces the levels of HDL (good) cholesterol and raises the risk of developing heart alterations. On the contrary, honey contains antioxidants which help to fight against cardiovascular diseases.
13- Turn down the noise in your life.
People who experience noise above 55 decibels (equivalent to the noise of a washing machine) while sleeping have twice the likelihood of developing problems of hypertension than who sleep without undue disturbance from noise. My advice is just to use earplugs, you will finally get used to it and, in short time, you will notice the benefits of restful sleep.
14- Spread your meals during the day.
The key is to spread your meals from 3 big meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) into 5-6 or even 7 smaller meals. With that you will reduce your cholesterol enough to low the risk of heart alterations between 10% and 20%.
15- Work out at least 30 minutes per week.
You don´t need to spend the entire day in the gym, with only 30 min per week is long enough to feel the benefits. However, I recommend you to work out at least three days per week and no more than five days. To do exercise regularly, even if you don´t train hard, is essential to be healthy and to feel good about yourself. With no doubt, a sedentary lifestyle is one of the top risk factors for heart disease, that is why if you want to have a healthy heart, and thus to life more and better, you have to do exercise regularly. And as if this was not enough, to do exercise, and specifically to lift weights, will improve your look and will raise your self-esteem.
16- Drink tea.
Who drink two cups of tea is 25% less likely to have a heart disease than those who don´t do it. This is because tea is a rich source of flavonoids which help the arteries to relax and prevent blood clots. I strongly recommend you to adopt the habit of drinking tea, with that you will obtain innumerable health benefits and, also, it could be a good moment to relax.
Click here to read a related post of Green Tea.
17- Eat walnuts
To eat walnuts can reduce the risk of having heart diseases by 30%.
18- Drink every day a glass of red wine.
Red wine has polyphenols, powerful antioxidants found in fruits, specifically in berries, but also in green tea and chocolate. Antioxidants prevent cell deterioration. Polyphenols also help to prevent blood clots. Besides, red wine raises HDL cholesterol (the good one which protects the heart). However, for some people red wine is an allergic agent which may cause to them headaches, migraines, nose and stomach malfunctions, but maybe this is because of the added substances rather than the wine itself. I recommend you to drink a daily glass of wine at lunchtime, as I do, and if you notice any side effect from wine you should leave it and replace your consumption of wine with the consumption of berries, specifically red grapes.
19- Eat fish.
It is highly recommended to eat fish at least 2 times a week. With that you will reduce your blood pressure and, also, you will clean the artery plaque. If you don´t want to go to market you also can take fish oil supplements. With only 1 or 2 grams of fish oil you will help to keep a regular heart rhythm and, also, you will improve your circulation.
20- Be happy and optimistic.
As far as possible you should be the most happy and optimistic as you can, because with that you will be 50% less likely to have a heart disease than a sad and pessimistic person. My advice: smile ever you can, have fun with your friends and be friendly and don´t cut yourself off from the world.
These tips are simple and very cheap but effective 100%. You can have a healthier heart by taking these recommendations and, thus, you can reduce dramatically the likelihood of having a heart disease. By having a healthier heart not only will you live longer but also better. Can you get a better reward? I don’t think so…
Written by: David Cantone