With the prevailing unhealthy lifestyles and stressful minds, it is natural to expect a quantum leap in heart-related problems, with the disease afflicting persons not only with hereditary and age-related heart history but the younger generation as well. The risks of developing the disease differs from individual to individual, depending on their dietary habits, lifestyle, drug abuse, etc. Heart disease requires proper diagnosis and treatment and adopting a home remedy, too, involves taking advice from a health care professional. You can then make use of some of these home remedies to improve the health of your heart.
Exercise is essential for maintaining the health of the heart. Proper exercise helps in controlling blood pressure, diabetes, body weight and high cholesterol all of which contribute in elevating the risk of a heart attack. In case of a defective heart or heart arrhythmia it is always advisable to consult a specialist before choosing any exercise. Once permitted, a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate exercise like walking, swimming etc is sufficient for most days in a week. A sensible method would be to exercise certain muscles of the body and then let them rest a day before starting another session.
Good sleep and schedule
With present day hectic lifestyles, it is essential to sleep well and on time for the benefit of your heart. A good night’s sleep will reduce the workload on your heart as the blood pressure and heartbeat rate decrease at night. People who have interrupted sleep will depict variability in their heart rate which is not a good sign. This can also increase the risk of insulin resistance and development of type 2 diabetes. Shortened sleep interferes with eating habits and you may end up eating unhealthy foods which are bad for your heart.
Cut back on saturated fats
A healthy diet consists of various different fats like monounsaturated, polyunsaturated and saturated fats. Saturated fats are fat molecules which are full of hydrogen and remain solid at room temperature. These fats are found naturally in animal products as well as dairy products, in addition to many baked and fried foods. Eating food with saturated fats increases the level of LDL or bad cholesterol in the blood, thereby raising the chance of a stroke. So it is essential that these foods are replaced with better options which are far healthier and which can decrease blood cholesterol levels and improve lipid profiles. An average man should not consume more than 30gm and an average woman not more than 20 gm of saturated fat in a day.
Any amount of smoking, even light or occasional, causes harm to the heart and blood vessels. In fact, apart from the heart, smoking harms almost every organ in the body including lungs, eyes, bladder, mouth and digestive organs. Exposure to second hand smoke is equally harmful and must be avoided. The only way to reduce risk of heart disease, if you are a smoker, is to give it up totally. If you do not smoke, don’t start and if you smoke, do stop now. No matter how much time you have been smoking, quitting will benefit you a lot and within a span of a few years only your risk of heart disease will be similar to that of non smokers.
Eating a diet rich in fruit has always been known to have a protective effect. Consuming grapefruit can shield you from heart related problems as it contains lycopene, an antioxidant which helps lowering cholesterol levels. It has been established that eating a grapefruit daily also reduces the level of triglycerides, a heart disease enhancing type of cholesterol. Just half a pint is sufficient to keep blood vessels healthy. However, if you are already taking any drugs connected to the heart, it is important that you consult your doctor before taking grapefruit juice as it stops the body from metabolising heart related medicines.
Keep an eye on salt intake
Consuming too much salt results in the body retaining more water, thereby increasing build up of fluids which can aggravate heart problems. A reduced salt diet is vital for improvement of the heart, as the corresponding reduction in sodium consumption will control high blood pressure and swelling (edema). Salt consumption should be restricted to 1.5 to 2 gms a day in persons with high blood pressure and heart disease.
Drink in moderation
Your heart is the most important pump in the world. It works tirelessly, non-stop, day and night to deliver oxygen and other nutrients to your body and discharge the waste products. Long-term excessive alcohol drinking can damage this unique pumping system, resulting in cardiovascular disease and possibly death. Drinking in excess of what the risk guidelines suggest can result in an increase in blood pressure, which is the single largest cause for a heart attack. Heavy drinking weakens the muscles of the heart as well resulting in the breakdown of your most important pump.
Have your blood pressure and cholesterol checked regularly
Cholesterol assists in development of new cells in the body and is usually produced in ample quantities by the liver. When this cholesterol comes into your body from other sources, like eggs, meat etc. then the cholesterol intake significantly increases leading to risk of heart disease, as this excess amount gets deposited on the artery walls. Over a period of time these arteries narrow down, thus restricting flow of blood to the heart. Similarly, blood pressure too must be regularly checked and kept in control, as it does not display any symptoms on the outside.
Take measures to reduce stress levels
Stress is considered a part of everyday life, but, if allowed to go out of control can cause serious physiological and emotional issues including high blood pressure, chest pains and heart disease. Everyone experiences stress in one form or the other. The ability to handle stress may vary from individual to individual depending on how the body responds. A stressful situation can start a chain of unwanted events, like excessive drinking, which in turn may trigger heart related issues. It is very important therefore to manage stress effectively by exercising, having a good diet and maintaining proper body weight. In case your problem remains unsolved, it is advisable to contact a therapist or look for stress management classes in your community.