Healthy Heart Tips


A strong heart is a result of healthy lifestyle choices. Be active and stress-free. Today's fast-paced life and workplace pressures escalate stress levels, taking a toll on one's heart. We must realize that the healing power of the body decreases when under stress, leading to many complications like hypertension and poor immunity. Today, even youngsters are prone to heart ailments. So, it's very important to stay healthy and manage your stress levels by understanding the risk factors - high cholesterol levels, stressful lifestyle, smoking, and lack of exercise - following simple changes in lifestyle. Heart disease may be a leading cause of death, but that doesn't mean you have to accept it as your fate. Although you lack the power to change some risk factors - such as family history, sex or age - there are some key heart disease prevention steps you can take.


You can avoid heart problems in the future by adopting a healthy lifestyle today and take these steps to prevent heart disease

Eat More Eat Less
Healthy fats: raw nuts, olive oil, fish oils, flax seeds, or avocados Deep-fried foods; saturated fats from whole-fat dairy or red meat
Nutrients: colorful fruits and vegetables fresh or frozen, prepared without butter Packaged foods of any kind, especially those high in sodium
Fiber: cereals, breads, and pasta made from whole grains or legumes White or egg breads, granola-type cereals, refined pastas or rice
Omega 3 and protein: fish and shellfish, poultry Red meat, bacon, sausage, fried chicken
Calcium and protein: Egg whites, egg substitutes, skim or 1% milk, low-fat or nonfat cheeses or yogurt Egg yolks, whole or 2 percent milk, whole milk products like cheese or yogurt


  • Make time for breakfast: The first meal of the day is one you shouldn't skip. There is an abundance of good-for-you benefits to eating a healthy breakfast. What's a healthy breakfast exactly? Whole grains (ex. Rolls, cereals, etc.), low-fat protein (ex. Hard-boiled egg, turkey bacon), low-fat dairy (ex. Skim milk, low-fat yogurt, or cheese), and fruits and vegetables.
  • Maintain a healthy weight: As you put on weight in adulthood, your weight gain is mostly fat rather than muscle. This excess weight can lead to conditions that increase your chances of heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.
    • One way to see if your weight is healthy is to calculate your body mass index (BMI), which considers your height and weight in determining whether you have a healthy or unhealthy percentage of body fat. BMI numbers 25 and higher are associated with higher blood fats, higher blood pressure, and an increased risk of heart disease and stroke.The BMI is a good, but imperfect guide. Muscle weighs more than fat, for instance, and women and men who are very muscular and physically fit can have high BMIs without added health risks. Because of that, waist circumference also is a useful tool to measure how much abdominal fat you have.
    • Even a small weight loss can be beneficial. Reducing your weight by just 10 percent can decrease your blood pressure, lower your blood cholesterol level and reduce your risk of diabetes.
    • Weight control and regular exercise are critical for keeping your heart in shape "but the food you eat may matter just as much. A heart-healthy diet can reduce your risk of heart disease or stroke by 80%. By understanding which foods and methods of cooking are healthiest for your heart, you may be able to prevent or manage heart disease and high blood pressure, and take greater control over the quality and length of your life.
  • Get regular health screenings: High blood pressure and high cholesterol can damage your heart and blood vessels. But without testing for them, you probably won't know whether you have these conditions. Regular screening can tell you what your numbers are and whether you need to take action.
    • Blood pressure. Regular blood pressure screenings start in childhood. Adults should have their blood pressure checked at least every two years. You may need more-frequent checks if your numbers aren't ideal or if you have other risk factors for heart disease. Optimal blood pressure is less than 120/80 millimeters of mercury.
    • Cholesterol levels. Adults should have their cholesterol measured at least once every five years starting at age 20. You may need more frequent testing if your numbers aren't optimal or if you have other risk factors for heart disease. Some children may need their blood cholesterol tested if they have a strong family history of heart disease.
    • Diabetes screening. Since diabetes is a risk factor for developing heart disease, you may want to consider being screened for diabetes. Talk to your doctor about when you should have a fasting blood sugar test to check for diabetes. Depending on your risk factors, such as being overweight or a family history of diabetes, your doctor may recommend first testing you for diabetes sometime between ages 30 and 45, and then retesting every three to five years.
    • Eat chocolate: No guilt required. Rich, dark chocolate not only tastes delicious, the flavonoids it contains can help stave off heart disease and also suggests that chocolate can positively affect blood clotting.
    • Go nuts: Almonds, walnuts, pecans, and other tree nuts deliver a powerful punch for lowering your risk of cardiovascular and coronary heart disease. The Nuts helps to reduce bad (LDL) cholesterol.
    • Eat garlic. Study after study has confirmed garlic's abilities to lower blood pressure, reduce phospholipids and cholesterol, strengthen heart action, increase immune response, reduce platelet clumping and clotting (thus reducing strokes) and stabilize blood sugar levels. Eat garlic raw or lightly cooked, several cloves a day.
    • Drink lemon balm tea. It is so strengthening to the heart that there's an old saying about it: "Those who drink lemon balm tea daily will live forever!" You can also steep a handful of fresh leaves in a glass of white wine for an hour or so and drink it with dinner. Or make lemon balm vinegar to use on your salads.
    • Watermelon plays a significant role in lowering heart disease risk and aiding weight management: Watermelon is the next food to ascend to nutritional stardom, as it fights the accumulation of arterial plaque to help prevent a heart attack and is proving to be an important ally in weight management.
    • Drop the salt: To maintain a healthy blood pressure, stop using salt at the table and try adding less to your cooking, or cut it out completely. You'll soon get used to it. Also, watch out for high salt levels in processed foods. Check the food labels: a food is high in salt if it has more than 1.5g salt (or 0.6g sodium) per 100g.
    • Drink less: Alcohol can be fattening. If you added three or four gin and tonics to your usual daily diet, you could put on nearly 2kg over four weeks.
  • Incorporate Physical Exercise in your daily routine in terms of:
    • Take the stairs instead of an elevator or escalator at school or the mall. Just start with one flight. Soon, you'll be ready for two.
    • Park your car at the far end of the parking lot. The short walk to and from the store or school helps your heart.
    • If you ride a bus or subway, get off a stop before your destination. Walk the rest of the way.
    • If you can, spend a few minutes of your lunch break taking a stroll around the campus grounds. It should help you stay awake after lunch.
    • If you have a family, schedule an after-dinner walk. Make it quality time.
    • Sitting for extended periods doubles risks from diabetes, heart disease and early death:
    • Stand or walk briefly to break extended periods of sitting to lower chronic disease risks
  • Poor sleep increases insulin resistance, diabetes and heart disease risk in teens:
    • It is not difficult for most people to understand the importance of a good night's sleep to awaken refreshed and ready to take on the challenges of a new day. Less known is the scientific evidence that explains how poor sleep habits is the root cause behind the development of many chronic diseases, in a similar fashion to smoking or eating a nutritionally depleted diet. Insufficient and poor quality sleeps with increased risk for overweight and obesity, cancer and cognitive decline.
    • Two independent research bodies have been released that implicate poor sleep with increased risk of insulin resistance leading to full-blown diabetes as well as higher incidence of heart disease beginning in adolescence through the teen and young adult years. Increasing the amount of sleep that teenagers get could improve their insulin resistance and prevent the future onset of diabetes
  • Check your family history: If a close relative is at risk of developing coronary heart disease from smoking, high BP, high Cholesterol, lack of physical activity, obesity and diabetes, then you could be at risk too.
  • Laughter is the best therapy: Laughter anytime will work wonders for you. It is an instant way to unleash the pressure and it makes you feel light.
  • Consider pet therapy: Our pets give us more than unconditional love; they offer numerous health benefits. Owning pets can lower the rate of dying from heart disease and possibly improve heart and lung function.