London: Heart disease is the UK’s number one killer – it kills one in every four men and one in every five women. Half of the 270,000 heart attacks a year are fatal and more than 1.5 million people have angina, a condition in which your heart arteries narrow. But you can reduce your risk of heart trouble, and here’s how to do it.
Drink a cup of tea: Actually, drink two. A ten-year study found that two cups a day can reduce your risk by more than 50 percent. The study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Best Ways to Prevent Heart Disease at Any Age
They found that the key to the beneficial effect of tea is a group of chemicals called catechins, which prevent the hardening of the arteries and also help mop up harmful substances in the blood that might otherwise contribute to heart disease. People with the lowest risk of heart disease had the highest daily dose of catechins and drank the most tea.
Brush your teeth and floss twice daily
The bacteria that trigger gum disease also increase your risk of heart attack as they cause inflammation of veins and arteries. Look after your teeth, and your heart, by regular brushing and flossing and chewing sugar-free gum.
Have a piece of plain dark chocolate
Chocolate is good for your heart and the darker the better. It contains high levels of antioxidant flavonoids, plant-based compounds that limit the effects of cholesterol and protect the arteries from becoming blocked. Eat dark chocolate in favor of milk, but keep it as a treat as it is high in calories, sugar, and fat.
Live in the countryside
The British Heart Foundation is investigating the effect air pollution has on heart disease. ‘Breathing in sulfur dioxide and carbon monoxide from traffic fumes could lead to inflamed arteries and eventually to blood clots,’ says Gaynor Dewsnap from the British Heart Foundation.
Carbon monoxide, also found in cigarette smoke, reduces the blood’s ability to carry oxygen to the heart. When your blood carries carbon monoxide, your heart could be deprived of vital oxygen.
A recent study at the University of Maryland in the U.S. showed that people who interrupt others run a 47 percent increased risk of heart disease compared to those who let others finish talking. According to researchers, your body perceives the verbal competition as a form of aggression, which causes your heart rate to rise, and, over time, regular interrupting can contribute to heart trouble.
According to a study by psychologist Dr. Martha Whiteman at Edinburgh University, personality traits such as hostility, competitiveness, and being dominant all increase your risk of heart disease. It is thought that these traits cause your body stress, increasing your blood pressure, and putting your heart under strain. Having a gentle and friendly personality reduces your risk.
Go somewhere warm for winter
Winter is the peak season for heart attacks, no matter where you live. Even in warmer countries, such as Australia, the number of heart attacks increases by 33 percent in winter. People also have more serious heart attacks in the winter, which means more permanent damage or a higher risk of death.
In his study, Robert Kloner, director of the Heart Research Institute in Los Angeles, found there are several possible reasons why the heart is more vulnerable in the winter months. ‘In cooler weather, the heart has to work harder to pump blood because the vessels aren’t as relaxed and dilated as they are when it’s warm,’ he says. ‘Winter also brings a more sedentary lifestyle and weight gain.’
The latest findings on meditation, published in the American Heart Association’s journal Stroke, found that people who meditate two times per day for seven months reduced the number of fatty deposits in their arteries. Meditation also lowers blood pressure by reducing the levels of stress hormones, such as serotonin and adrenaline, in the blood. via dailymail