7 Heart Healthy Tips And Tricks For Sunday!!
By Adam Pick on March 4, 2007
As a former, double heart valve replacement patient (read my story here), I’ve learned to really watch my exercise, diet and lifestyle choices. The one thing I know after a challenging open heart surgery recovery is to not take your heart for granted.
Sooooo… Here are some interesting tips and tricks for heart healthy consideration I just saw posted on the web.
I didn’t do the research behind the tips and tricks but some of them just make logical sense.
1. DRINK POMEGRANATE JUICE
Learn to love pomegranate juice. Buy some and drink up — according to the National Academy of Sciences, heart cells treated with it produced 50 percent more nitric oxide, a substance that fights plaque and staves off hardening of the arteries, and may even reverse it.
2. DAIRY CONSUMPTION
Consume three servings of dairy every day. Trick: it can be yogurt, milk, or cheese — just make sure it’s low-fat. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute says three servings can lower systolic blood pressure (top number) by about four points in people who don’t consume a lot of saturated fat.
Lower your resting heart rate just by eating fish. Your resting rate can be an indicator of heart attack risk, and lower is better. A new Harvard Medical School study shows that people who eat five or more servings a month of fatty fish like tuna and salmon (which are high in omega-3 fatty acids) average about three beats a minute fewer than those who eat little or no fatty fish.
3. TAI CHI / YOGA
Try tai chi — a Chinese martial art that uses slow, relaxing movements — to lower your blood pressure. In one study, participants who practiced tai chi for 30 minutes a day for 12 weeks lowered their systolic blood pressure by almost 16 points.
4. LAUGH! LAUGH! LAUGH!
Watch funny movies, or do anything else that makes you laugh because it improves your blood flow. A University of Maryland School of Medicine study prescribes 15 minutes of ha-ha time a day. Tip: Lower your blood pressure by breathing deeply. If you take 10 breaths a minute instead of the usual 16 or more, and do this for 15 minutes a day over a period of two months, studies show you will lower your blood pressure.
5. SLEEP! SLEEP! SLEEP!
Women should get plenty of sleep — they should imitate “Snorella,” not Cinderella, who danced until midnight then rose at 4 a.m. to go to work. Insufficient sleep plays havoc with women’s hormones, blood pressure, and blood sugar, according to a study from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. The study says women who sleep fewer than five hours a night have a 30 percent higher risk of heart disease than those who get eight full hours.
6. LISTEN TO MUSIC
Regulate your body’s rhythms with music. University of Oxford researchers say you can lower your heart rate by tuning in to slow, meditative music, and — just the opposite — you can rev up your circulation and breathing by turning on to tunes that are fast-moving toe-tappers.
7. SOY HELPS YOUR HEART
Daily soy shooters in your food (marinades, soups, etc.) can help fight heart-damaging substances generated by smoking, obesity, or diabetes, according to a study by the National University of Singapore. Dark — not light — soy sauce has 10 times the antioxidants found in wine. Trick: use low-salt versions because some soy sauces are loaded with salt, which can raise blood pressure.
Keep on tickin!