The heart is an organ that you can’t live without. It is the pump that keeps you alive so taking good care of it can help you live a longer life. Many people do not take sufficient care of it throughout their lives and end up suffering from heart disease and other health conditions when they are older.
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in many parts of the world (Aschem & Deborah, 2008). You can avoid being part of this statistic by adopting some healthy heart habits. Here are eight natural ways to improve the health of your valuable blood pump.
Table of Contents
1. Cut Down on Alcohol
Several scientific studies have shown that moderate amounts of alcohol like wine can reduce the risk of coronary heart diseases.
However, regular and excessive alcohol consumption can also contribute to health problems.
Many times, it is difficult to know when is too much. Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to liver disease as well as other cardiovascular conditions including high blood pressure.
2. Physical Exercise
Physical activity is crucial in improving your heart health. Exercise helps you manage your weight and improves insulin sensitivity.
Exercising regularly also cuts the Low-Density Lipoproteins (LDLs) and reduces the risk of developing atherosclerosis and hypertension (Mercola, 2010).
Consequently, the state of the cardiovascular system is improved because the walls of the vessels of the circulatory system are strengthened and they function more efficiently.
Exercising regularly is key. Following a routine or an exercise schedule has many benefits and can help you stay healthy long-term.
Many people prefer to wake up in the morning and workout before they start their day. Working out in the morning can assist other body functions like the nervous system and cognition.
However, for those with advanced heart disease, exercise is not advised. Rather, less strenuous activity can be more beneficial for their hearts.
Simple as it may seem, meditation helps in maintain the health of your heart and the cardiovascular system as a whole. It has been proven scientifically that people who spend time meditating have a lower risk of developing high blood pressure and having a stroke.
Just 20 minutes of meditation a day would be helpful in greatly improving your heart health (McMillan, 2015). Yoga also has a similar effect as meditation. For an amazing Yoga Routing, we recommend Yoga Burn, by Zoe Bray-Cotton.
Any other relaxation methods would be beneficial; relaxing is the beginning of having a properly functioning heart.
4. Adequate Sleep
Proper sleep plays a great role in keeping your body healthy. A study by the Nurses Health recorded that people who spend fewer than 5 hours of sleep are more susceptible to heart disease than those who spend at least 8 hours sleeping (Kressser, 2013).
Studies show that short durations of sleep are associated with high blood pressure, which is a leading risk factor in the development of other cardiovascular diseases. When blood pressure is elevated, the heart strains to pump blood and overcome the resistance in the circulation.
Due to the stress, the heart starts to undergo remodeling, and its ventricular walls thicken to pump blood with more force. Unfortunately, the remodeling ends up impairing heart function because the heart chambers’ volume are substantially reduced and heart failure ensues.
In addition, people who lack sleep have been found to be more susceptible to weight gain as they have increased appetite and eat more calories. They also experience insulin resistance in higher numbers.
5. A Handful of Nuts
Consumption of nuts reduces your chances of developing cardiovascular disease. Data shows that people who eat nuts have a lower Body Mass Index (BMI), and lower systolic blood pressure compared to people who don’t eat nuts.
However, nuts that have lower levels of omega-6 fats have been found to be the most beneficial in improving heart health. These include almonds, macadamia, walnuts, and hazelnuts. Since nuts are full of calories, it is advisable to eat them in moderate amounts.
6. Stress Management
Many people are battling with stress for different reasons. In fact, stress and hypertension are closely linked and increased hypertension can lead to a poorly functioning heart.
Stress also leads to inflammation which can affect the circulatory system significantly when it is not controlled. Several stress management techniques can be adopted.
When stress sets in, it is important to follow a relaxation method such as taking 15 minutes to meditate and breathe deeply.
7. Fruits and Fiber Bites
Fruits and other sources of soluble fiber are required by the body to enhance the proper functioning of the heart. Instead of drinking fruit juice, go for whole fruits and other fiber-rich foods such as whole grains.
Soluble fiber works wonders by reducing the levels of circulating LDLs and inhibits fatty acids synthesis. People who consume fiber-rich diets have 15% lower chances of developing heart disease.
8. The Amazing Arjuna Bark
If you are looking for a natural remedy to cardiovascular disease, a great option could be the Arjuna tree, also known as Kaugach. Its bark has chemical components that your heart needs such as flavonoids and saponins.
These components have been found to have cardiotonic effects. Suresh (2013) states that the extracts of Arjuna bark have vasodilation effects on the peripheral veins meaning that they significantly reduce high blood pressure by decreasing peripheral vascular resistance.
Also, the bark of the Kaugach has been found to reduce the risk of atherosclerosis because they lower the levels of Low-Density Lipoproteins (the bad fats) and increase the levels of High-Density Lipoproteins (the healthy fats).
How to Prepare it
Cut a small piece of the Arjuna bark and soak it in water for 8 hours (preferably overnight). Boil the water in the morning and leave it to cool. This is medicine that you can take on a daily basis.