February 2, 2021 by D.Fathia
Updated February 3, 2021
Heart health month: a time to remember and take action
The fast pace of life and the ever-accumulating responsibilities and the exhausting routines might have been causing oblivion on some highly important matters. Often we forget to take care of our health and get carried away in a path we neither control nor know its end.
Heart-related diseases are among the leading causes of death around the world. Unfortunately, they affect all people from all age groups. We might not be able to eradicate those cardiovascular diseases, but we can alleviate some of the severe symptoms.
If you believe that precaution is better than cures then this article is for you. Join us for a journey to raise awareness about how crucial our heart health is.
What is heart health month?
1964 marked a pivotal landmark in not only American but also world history. President Lyndon B. Johnson announced February as American heart health under the Presidential Proclamation number 3566, early in December 1963.
Establishing the national heart health month offered an opportunity for both governmental and private organizations, along with individuals and people of academia to join forces to slain the monster.
The American College of Cardiology, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute are among the leading parties in organizing and promoting heart health during February and year-round. Activities include nationwide events and campaigns, global joint roadmaps, and online assistance for tips and recommendations on how to take care of your heart.
How to improve heart health?
All roads might not lead to Rome, but all of our life paths lead to our hearts. If our hearts are not pumping blood perfectly and efficiently, all of our organs would fail and ultimately cause our death.
The heart might be just one small part of our bodies, but it is the center of our existence. That’s why everything we do affects our hearts and vice versa our hearts affect the rest of our bodies.
In these intertwined complex relationships, it is highly important to prepare an encompassing plan of action. But first, let’s see what might cause heart risks.
Bad habits and routines to avoid:
Unknowingly, we eat bad foods and do wrong things that are at the core of heart diseases’ causing factors. These include the following:
- Smoking: Though detecting the detrimental effects of smoking on general health, and especially the heart, goes back to the first public report conducted by Surgeon General Luther Terry, in January 1964, people still neglect the horrifying effects of smoking.
- Minimal physical activity or none
- Overweight and obesity
- Bad diets: the food you consume directly affects your heart.
When it coming to eating healthy it doesn’t matter how old are you. Heart diseases can affect all people, young and old. If your family has a history of heart illnesses then you should consider taking the necessary protection from an early age.
Heart-healthy foods:fish and chicken are the two meat varieties best suited for your heart; both are widely used in the Mediterranean diet known to lead to very few cardiovascular diseases compared to other diets.
Whole grains such as wheat, rice, and barley are rich in fiber and might potentially reduce bad cholesterol.
Garlic has been always one of the recommended ingredients for good health. Allicin, a compound found in garlic, proved its positive effects on reducing blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and possibly preventing blood clots.
Fruits good for the heart:
fruits make excellent desserts and heart-friendly options. Blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, and raspberries are full of antioxidants. Studies proved that they have the potential to reduce blood pressure, cholesterol, oxidative stress, and inflammations.
Bananas are very rich in potassium; a significant daily intake of potassium can reduce blood pressure and inhibit strokes.
Vegetables for heart health:
some studies have proved that beans can decrease blood triglycerides levels. These include soybeans, chickpeas, peas, and pinto beans. Carrots, onions, leafy greens, broccoli, and tomatoes are a must for your daily meals.
Nuts and seeds:
Nuts and seeds are essential for good heart health. Almonds contain heart-friendly monounsaturated fats and are rich in fiber; both nutrients play an important role in protecting your heart. Walnuts, rich in magnesium, manganese, and copper, can thwart inflammations and oxidative stress.
Flaxseeds, chia seeds, and sunflower seeds are recommended for they have great potential in reducing triglycerides, bad cholesterol, and blood pressure.
Other options that might lower the risk of heart disease include green tea, dark chocolate, and olive oil.
Green tea has valuable antioxidants such as polyphenols and catechins that can inhibit inflammations, cell damage, and assist in improving your heart health.
Dark chocolate with significant cacao amounts is rich in flavonoids. Olive oil is a heart-friendly fat; consumers of olive oil are generally less vulnerable to cardiovascular diseases.
Tips to remember for the heart health month and beyond:
- Exercise: meditation, dancing, long morning walks, or gym workouts are options you can choose from and routines you can adhere to for better health. Pick what best suits you and put it on your daily schedule, even for half an hour.
- Quit smoking immediately; it is detrimental or your overall health.
- Keep a balanced diet; try to follow the Mediterranean diet.
- Think positive, laugh out loud, do your routine checkups…
Heart health is key to everlasting happiness and continuous good shape. It is not just about one month; heart health month is just an opportunity to remember, and come together and join forces to combat heart-related illnesses.