Heart health is impacted by a variety of factors, including physical, emotional and spiritual factors. It’s one reason the heart is the most intriguing organ. It’s our lifeline, pumping blood throughout our body, yet we experience emotions that are somehow related to our heart.
“Heart health is impacted by a variety of factors, including physical, emotional and spiritual factors.”
While science is still exploring the many facets of the heart, taking a holistic approach to healing the heart can be beneficial. Whether you have a serious heart health concern or less life-threatening yet emotional concerns, the heart is central to our overall well-being. That being said, we offer the following healthy habits for heart health:
1. Add Vitamin J – Vitamin J = Vitamin Joy with a dose of laughter and pleasure! Add joy, laughter, and pleasure to your life. A study from the University of Maryland School of Medicine recommends 15 minutes of daily laughter for optimum heart health.
2. Incorporate Physical Activity – Start with simple activities that you enjoy, like walking, yoga or dancing – start with 10 minutes a day and increase. Exercise is essential.
3. Eliminate Trans Fats – An FDA advisory panel found that trans fats are even more harmful to health than saturated fats. The Institute of Medicine went a step further, concluding that the safest amount of trans fat is zero.
4. Try An Omega-3 Supplement – Omega-3 fatty acids play a crucial role in keeping the heart beating steadily and not lapsing into dangerous, sometimes fatal erratic rhythms. As many fish contain high levels of mercury and PCBs, use supplements such as fish oil, cod liver oil if you need extra vitamin D or krill oil.
5. Reduce or Eliminate Refined Sugar – Avoid sugar and chemicalized, artificial sweeteners in foods and beverages. Use gentle sweeteners like maple syrup, raw honey, brown rice syrup, agave nectar and stevia. Also, eat sweet vegetables such as yams, carrots, and beets.
6. Eat More Vegetables, Fruits, Nuts, and Whole–Grains – Vegetables, fruits, nuts, and whole grains are full of vitamins, antioxidants, and other nutrients great for improving circulation, lifting the spirit, purifying the blood and strengthening the immune system. Choose whole foods you enjoy and have them several times daily.
7. Get More Sleep – Women who sleep less than 5 hours each night, have a 30 percent higher risk of heart disease than those who get 8 hours. Too little sleep may play havoc with your hormones, blood sugar and blood pressure.
8. Avoid Tobacco – Exposure to tobacco, even secondhand smoke, can cause heart disease to worsen.
9. Evaluate Your Salt Intake – As sodium intake increase, so can blood pressure. Moderating your intake can help prevent and control hypertension. When using salt, choose high-quality sea salt which has important minerals that the body needs.
10. Breathe Deeper – Meditation and relaxation techniques can help teach our bodies to tone down our physical response to stress.
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