In just one day, your heart will beat 108,000 times or 39,420,000 times in one year. It is hard-working and relentless.
The heart continues to work well with just about any lifestyle and/or food choices for a long time; but at some point, when it doesn’t work as well as it used to work, lifestyle and food changes become more important.
Would you change your lifestyle knowing it will help your heart to be happy and be there for you longer? Let’s look at some of the things that make our hearts happy:
• Feeling the joy of life and experiencing gratitude
• Doing what you love
• Being with your loved ones and devoting time to family and friends
• No tobacco and no excessive alcohol exposure
• Normal blood pressure, cholesterol, weight, and blood sugar
Eating Good Food...
The heart works the best when we eat food low in animal fat and animal protein. This means eating fewer eggs, dairy, and meat while eating more vegetables, fruit, fish, beans, whole grains, oatmeal, almonds and walnuts, olive oil, and olives.
Research has shown that the traditional Mediterranean diet reduces the risk of heart disease; in fact, the higher the average daily intake of fruits and vegetables, the lower our chances of developing cardiovascular disease. People who average 8 or more servings of fruits and vegetables a day are 30% less likely to have a heart attack or stroke.
Although all fruits and vegetables are beneficial, green leafy vegetables such as lettuce, spinach, swiss chard and mustard greens, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts, kale, and citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruit, make important contributions.
Take a good walk, ride a bike, hike, jog, dance, swim, or do any activity you enjoy for 150-200 minutes or 2.5 – 3.5 hours per week to make a big difference in your heart health. Exercise reduces the chance of cardiovascular disease by 30-40%.
The heart circulates approximately five quarts of blood each minute. During exercise, the cardiac output increases up to two-fold and may increase up to seven-fold (or 35 quarts a minute) with vigorous exercise; thus increasing the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to our brain and body at this same rate (minimum of two-fold, maximum of seven-fold).
To learn more about specific conditions, visit Your Health Guide on our website and type “Heart” into the Search area. A journey of a thousand miles starts beneath one’s feet and makes you the cure.
Live well and take care of your heart.
By Tatiana Tsvetkova, MD, Cardiologist