Keeping a healthy heart is central to your body’s overall good health. Embracing a healthy lifestyle –no matter your age – will help prevent heart disease and lower your risk of a heart attack or stroke. People with pre-existing heart conditions should be especially vigilant in keeping themselves healthy. Understanding blood pressure levels, the importance of a balanced diet and how addictions can sometimes get the better of you will be vital tools for you to navigate your way to a healthy heart and healthy later life.
Read advice on how to have a happier and healthier life.
We look at why it’s so important to look after your heart and showcase some practical tips for maintaining a healthy heart.
UNDERSTANDING YOUR BLOOD PRESSURE
High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a condition in which the long-term force of the blood against your artery walls is high enough that it could cause health problems such as heart disease. So what can cause high blood pressure?
Smoking and Alcohol are two of the major causes of heart-related problems. The older we get, the more activities like smoking and drinking affect our overall health and especially the heart. If you can quit smoking, or significantly cut down and moderate your alcohol intake, you will drastically improve your heart health.
If you have a diet that’s high in salt intake, you are increasing your chances that your blood pressure is also high. You can cut down your salt intake by keeping the salt shaker off the dinner table and reducing how much you use in your cooking. Try switching to herbs and spices instead of using salt for flavouring. Also, keep an eye on how much salt is going into the processed foods you buy.
The same goes for sugar. High amounts of sugar in your diet can lead to weight gain, which can raise your blood pressure, lead to diabetes and cause heart disease. Try fresh fruit and yogurt as an alternative to sweet desserts.
UNDERSTANDING YOUR DIET
Eating for a healthy heart is more of a pattern rather than targeting a specific type of food or nutrient. What you eat over days, weeks and months will have an effect on your heart health.
Generally, the types of foods you should sustain eating will be naturally low in saturated fats and trans fats, low in salt, and low in added sugars. They should also be high in fibre, whole grains, anti-oxidants and non-saturated fats.
So what foods tick the boxes? All sorts of different fruits and vegetables, as these foods have proven links to healthier hearts and a lower risk of disease.
Wholegrain cereals are largely comprised of natural grains which have great nutrients that are good for your heart, such as vitamin B, vitamin E and fibre.
Healthy fats can be included in a healthy heart diet – ones that contain mono-unsaturated and poly-unsaturated fats. Healthy fats are found in avocadoes, nuts and fish.
THE IMPORTANCE OF EXERCISE
Studies show that people who aren’t very active are more likely to have a heart attack than those who are. Aim to get at least 2-3 hours of moderate-intensity activity a week to lower your risk of developing coronary heart disease.
Split up the time any way you like over the course of the week. For instance, a quick 30-minute walk a few times during the week will get you over the line and you might not even notice it!
HOW SUPPLEMENTS CAN HELP IMPROVE YOUR HEART HEALTH
After making a few key lifestyle changes you can augment your heart health with ThisHerb’s ground-breaking Salv Tonic, a formula that takes key well-known Traditional Chinese Medicine ingredients that improve cardiovascular health. Salv Tonic can help relieve chest pain, reduce vascular diabetic complications and invigorate the blood and improve microcirculation.
See more information on ThisHerb’s heart health herbal medicine.