|Heart health: Maintain healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels to prevent heart disease|
Heart health: A healthy diet and lifestyle promote a healthy heart. You can make simple changes to improve your cardiovascular health. Here are five direct tips from experts that you can follow.
Taking care of the heart is important as it is one of the most vital organs in the body. It is the heart that keeps alive by pumping blood to all other organs. The incidence of heart disease has increased considerably over the years due to factors such as diabetes, hypertension, unhealthy diet and obesity, sedentary lifestyle, and alcohol and tobacco use. It is vital to take immediate action and make lifestyle modifications to reduce the burden of heart disease. One should lead a heart-healthy lifestyle, as the benefits of a healthy heart can also have a positive impact on one's overall well-being. Having a strong heart can protect against complications related to various chronic diseases. While age has been a leading risk factor for heart disease, over the years more and more young people are being diagnosed with heart disease due to changing lifestyles. Therefore, it is important to start caring for the heart from an early age to prevent deaths at a later stage.
Steps to have a healthy heart:
1. Making healthy food choices –
- Whole grains: It is recommended to include at least one type of whole grain in daily meals, such as cereals and millet.
- Foods rich in omega 3: seeds such as flaxseed and chia seeds are the best sources of omega-3
- Leafy green vegetables: Include more vegetables in your daily diet, as they are excellent sources of vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin K, which is good for your heart.
- Herbs – Avoid table salt and add herbs to add flavor to food.
- Olive oil and mustard: Use olive oil and mustard for cooking, as they contain healthy fats, which are good for your heart.
- Nuts and seeds: a handful of almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, walnuts, etc. should be consumed. every day.
|Nuts are loaded with essential nutrients that are beneficial for your heart health|
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2. Hydrate yourself –
In addition to drinking water throughout the day, stay hydrated with other healthy beverages like coconut water, lemon, smoothies, and homemade low-sugar and low-salt beverages.
3. Exercising regularly –
Exercise can lower your risk of developing plaque in your arteries, which reduces blood flow. The key is to get up and move, go for a walk or do some push-ups or sit-ups. According to the WHO, it is recommended to do at least 150-300 minutes of physical activity/training every week.
4. Managing stress and mental well-being –
Managing stress can help reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. Stress is often associated with high blood pressure and exposes the body to elevated levels of stress hormones. There are breathing exercises and meditation that can help manage stress.
5. Control blood pressure -
High blood pressure is a common ailment and one of the leading causes of heart disease, including heart attacks, heart failure, and others. One should maintain regular blood pressure control and eat a diet that helps reduce hypertension.
|A low sodium diet and regular exercise can help regulate blood pressure numbers|
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Importance of monitoring the heart:
While the above precautionary measures can help keep your heart health in check, it's important, especially for heart patients, to monitor your heart regularly. The advent of medical technologies such as remote monitoring has now made it possible for patients to monitor their hearts from the comfort of their homes and transmit information about their heart to their doctor remotely. Early reaction also helps improve patient outcomes.
When to consult a doctor?
Most people may avoid seeing a doctor due to the similarity of symptoms experienced in heart disease; however, it is important to seek medical help if you experience symptoms such as shortness of breath, palpitations, dizziness, chest pain, shortness of breath, pain in the neck, jaw, throat, rapid or irregular heartbeat.
(Dr. Tejas Patel, Chairman and Chief Interventional Cardiologist, Apex Heart Institute, Ahmedabad)