Although some factors which affect the heart cannot be changed or avoided, there are several things that can be done to improve or retain the health of the heart:
- Eat a health diet that contains plenty of fruits and vegetables, fiber and omega 3 fatty acids.
- Fruits and vegetables provide antioxidants that protect cells from damaging free radicals and necessary vitamins and minerals that help the body perform optimally. Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains provide fiber which not only helps to reduce the amount ofcholesterol that is absorbed from food, but also the amount of cholesterol that has already been stored within the body.
- Fatty fish such as salmon, sardines, anchovies and mackerel provide omega 3 fatty acids, especially eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexanenoic acid (DHA). Omega 3 fatty acids have been shown to be effective in reducing overall cholesterol levels and triglycerides, improving blood flow and pressure, and may help to reduce the occurrence of the more severe outcomes of heart disease. For vegetarians or those who have fish allergies, flax seeds or flax seed oil provides a nice alternative.
- Avoid fried or fatty foods and excessive sugar and sodium intake as much as possible. Eating or drinking products like these often affect weight, cholesterol levels, and blood pressure.
- Lose weight or try to retain a healthy weight. Obesity strains the heart as well as the body overall and has been associated with several severe health related conditions.
- Exercise often. Exercise can take may forms such as vigorous walking or running, working out at a gym, or just doing yoga or a workout video at home. Exercising on a regular basis helps to reduce stress, retain a healthy weight, and helps to keep bones, muscles and the heart strong.
- Do not smoke, and drink alcohol in moderation. Both vices can have damaging affects on the body tissues themselves and how the body functions.
- Supplement when necessary and under the approval of a healthcare provider. Resveratrol, omega 3 fatty acids, coenzyme-Q10, and several other supplements have proven to be effective in helping retain and support healthy heart functioning.
The heart is a very strong, intricate, and yet delicate mechanism that cannot be lived without. Often individuals never think that what happens to others, such as having a heart attack, could happen to them until it is too late. Though growing older does increase the possibility of heart problems, they can occur at any age. The best course of action for keeping the heart healthy is to do as much as possible to prevent damage, not try and retain what is left after damage has occurred.