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10 ways to keep your heart healthy

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Heart and circulatory diseases are extremely prevalent diseases compared to others. If you're looking to keep your heart in great shape, here are 10 things you can do:اضافة اعلان

Cut down on salt

If you have a diet high in salt, your blood pressure could likely be high too — which means you have an increased risk of suffering from heart disease or stroke.

The recommended maximum daily salt intake is 6g for adults and 3g for children (2.5g of salt is the equivalent of 1g of sodium). You can cut down by not having any salt at the table when you're eating and reducing how much you use in cooking.

Also, keep an eye on food labels to check how much salt you're eating in processed foods. Foods with more than 1.5g salt or 0.6g sodium per 100g are considered high, so avoid them wherever possible.

Eat less sugar

Too much sugar in your diet could lead to weight gain, which can raise your blood pressure and lead to diabetes and heart disease. If you have a sweet tooth or you're unable to give up sugar altogether, try integrating fresh fruit with yogurt into your diet instead of sweetened puddings and cakes.

Limit saturated fat

Eating too much saturated fat — which is found in butter, ghee, margarine, fatty meats, dairy fats, and processed foods like pies, pastries, and cakes — is believed to increase cholesterol levels.

Switching to semi-skimmed milk and low-fat dairy foods instead of full-fat ones and choosing lean cuts of meats and steam or grill instead of frying can help you limit your saturated fat intake.

Fill up on fruits and vegetables

Increasing the amount of potassium in your diet by eating at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day as potassium can help to lower your blood pressure. The nutrients in fruit and vegetables — including vitamins, minerals, and fiber — may also help to keep your heart healthy.

Some fruits and vegetables are rich in soluble fiber and can help lower your cholesterol; these include citrus fruits, sweet potato, eggplant, mango, and most beans.

Go for more fish

Oily fish such as pilchards, sardines, mackerel, salmon, and fresh tuna, are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are thought to be particularly beneficial for your heart because they improve your cholesterol levels.

You can get omega-3 fats from spinach, wheat germ, walnuts, flaxseeds and flaxseed oil, soya and canola oil, and pumpkin seeds if you're a vegetarian.

Quit smoking

Smoking is one of the main causes of cardiovascular disease, and smokers are almost twice as likely to have a heart attack than those who have never smoked. Smoking not only damages the lining of your arteries but also reduces the amount of oxygen in your blood and raises your blood pressure.

Cut back on alcohol

Alcohol can affect your heart by causing high blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythms, and damage to the heart muscle. But you don't have to give it up completely. Just stick to current guidelines for moderate alcohol drinking, which are two to three units a day for women and three to four for men.

Get more exercise

Studies show that people who aren't very active are more likely to suffer a heart attack than those who are. Aim to get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity a week to lower your risk of developing coronary heart disease.

You can split up the 150 minutes any way you like. For instance, have a brisk 30-minute walk during your lunchtime throughout the week.

Keep your weight down

If you weigh more than you should, you can be at a higher risk of having high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes. Eating less sugar and saturated fats while cutting back on alcohol, eating more fruit and vegetables, and getting more exercise can help you lose excess weight and keep you in a healthy weight range in the long term.

Keep stress under control

If you're under a lot of stress, you may be more likely to smoke, have little or no exercise, and drink more than a moderate amount of alcohol — all of which are linked with heart problems, which is why it is important to keep your weight under control. 

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