How to Keep Your Heart Healthy
You only have one heart which plays a vital role in your body for pumping up blood throughout the body, supplying oxygen and nutrients to the tissues, and gets rid of wastes like carbon dioxide. According to the American College of Cardiology, heart disease is still the leading cause of death in Americans. The tasks for keeping your heart healthy are actually pretty simple but will cause a change in lifestyle for those who normally are not careful with their diet, exercise, and sleep. It is important to ensure a healthy heart by making healthy choices since you are the only one who can take care of it.
Your body needs to have saturated, polyunsaturated, and unsaturated fats instead of loading your stomach with trans fats increasing the chances of heart disease and strokes. You will find trans fats in snacks, baked goods, margarine, and fried fast foods in order to get more taste. Make sure to read the label in the nutritional facts for zero percent trans fats as is raises your bad cholesterol levels and lowers good cholesterol levels.
You should also cook without salt as well as limit adding extra salt to your food and eating processed foods. The American Heart Association says to keep your salt levels at 1,500 milligrams. Eating two and a half cups of vegetables and fruit a day is better to keep in your system as they are low in calories and filling. Whole grains also lower cholesterol, blood pressure, and chances of getting type two diabetes.
Sleeping for too little can cause problems in blood pressure and inflammation so it is important to get at least six to eight hours of sleep each night. Taking care of your dental health is also a factor to a good heart as the bacteria in your mouth can move to the bloodstream and elevate C-reactive protein which causes blood vessel inflammation. By brushing and flossing your teeth, you can prevent the risk of periodontal gum disease which can in turn cause heart disease. Sitting for a long time can also cause a blood clot so getting at least 30 minutes of activity five days or more will help the blood pumping. Most importantly, have regular checkups for blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol as you will not be able to tell yourself how bad it is without a doctor taking a good look.
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Page published: January 5, 2018. Page last reviewed and clinically fact-checked January 28, 2020