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Best Ways to Protect and Improve Your Heart Health

Updated on January 9, 2015

Heart disease is number one killer of woman. Here is how to protect and improve your heart health.

Have cereal with milk for breakfast and enjoy a mid-morning latte

A study of 5000 adults aged between 45 and 84, found those who drank low-fat milk had an estimated 37% lower risk of heart and kidney disease.

Eat more blackcurrants….Strawberries

These fruit are packed with potent antioxidant, which helps slash the risk of heart attacks, stroke and heart failure. The proteins found in strawberries that can prevent the development of heart disease.

Stroke a cat or dog: Studies prove this has a calming effect, lowering blood pressure.

Know Your Number

Getting your blood pressure under control by middle age is the key to preventing heart disease. Yet, UK adults don’t even know what their blood pressure is. Get yours checked regularly at your GP practice or local pharmacy. Follow medical advice if it’s high.

Cook with Olive oil

Spanish researchers who studied 40,757 adults over 11 years, observed no association between consumption of food fried in Mediterranean oils, such as olive and sunflower oils, and the risk of coronary heart disease. That’s not an excuse for a daily fry-up, though!!!

Switch to lo salt…

…to season your food: University of Warwick figures suggest that 4.400 deaths and 32,000 cardiovascular events, such as heart attacks and strokes, could be prevented annually by Britons reducing their daily salt intake from 8.6g to 6g

Join a Choir...
Join a Choir...

Time how long you brush your teeth

Research shows 74% of Brits spend an average of just 40 seconds brushing instead of the recommended two minutes. And one-third of us never floss. Yet, poor dental hygiene causes gum disease – a major risk factor for heart disease.

Leave work on time

A study at the University of Warwick of more than 7,000 people found that people who work more than 11 hours a day are 67% more likely to develop coronary heart disease than those who work seven to eight hours.

Snack on Nuts….. With a small glass of red wine

Eating loz of nuts (almonds, hazelnuts, Brazils, walnuts and peanuts), four or five times a week, can reduce your risk of coronary artery disease by as much as 40%. Studies have found wine contains high levels of antioxidant compounds called flavonols, which are good for the circulation and blood-clotting.

stretch
stretch

S-T-R-E-T-C-H!

Japanese researchers found that adults over 40 who stretched regularly had 30% more supple arteries. Consider going to a Pilates class or doing yoga.

Cook smart

Steam, boil, poach, grill, bake, casserole, microwave or stir-fry instead of frying and roasting.

Limit shift work if possible

Night-shift workers are 41% more likely to suffer heart disease. It’s not clear whether lack of sleep or the unhealthy eating habits and lack of activity associated with shift work are to blame.

Watch your waistline

Over half of British woman are “apple” shaped; dramatically increasing their risk of heart disease, according to research by Nuffield Health. Cutting down on alcohol, sugar and doing regular cardio exercise helps target abdominal fat.

Love your coffee break

Drinking moderate quantities of coffee can reduce the risk of heart failure by 11%. But drinking 5 or more mugs per a day appeared to be bad for the heart.

Get on your bike

Cycling can help lower unhealthy LDL cholesterol. But the main objective is to find an exercise you enjoy and stick with it.

Enjoy one or two squares of dark chocolate every day

This simple treat can reduce heart disease risk substantially.

Check your Pulse

Picking up abnormal rhythms, such as atrial fibrillation (AF), a common heart rhythm disorder that raises stroke rise. See you’re concerned.

Choose products fortified with plant sterols and stenols……….

………such as Benecol and Flora Proactive, which have been shown to have an active cholesterol- busting effect.

Feel the sunshine on your face
Feel the sunshine on your face

Feel the sunshine on your face

Research shows that low levels vitamin D from sunlight can raise your risk of peripheral arterial disease (a narrowing of the arteries) by 80%.

Join a Choir….

Singing is good for the heart because it’s an aerobic activity, which can increase oxygenation in the bloodstream. It’s also a proven stress-reliever.

Look on the bright side

People who enjoy simple pleasures and have a positive outlook on life are less likely to have heart attacks, say US researchers who examined 200 separate research studies, which looked at psychological well-being and cardiovascular health.

Make Monday and Friday fish nights

The European Society of Cardiology recommends people should eat fish twice a week. One of these should be oily, like salmon or trout, as they contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids. Or take a supplements containing 1g of omega 3.

Don’t mix alcohol with energy drinks

This increases the risk of heart palpitations and disturbed sleep, because of the caffeine content in drinks such as Red Bull.

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