Being fit alone is not an accurate indicator as to whether we are at risk of heart diseases. Young and fit people can be felled by a stroke just as easily as older or less active people. Therefore, let’s not take our heart health for granted. Here are some simple life hacks that we can apply to our lives,
Give your heart a workout
We can help increase our heart rate by spending 30 minutes a day on cardio activities.
- Walk at least 10,000 steps a day (you can use a pedometer to check or download a mobile app to check).
- If running on a treadmill gets boring, liven things up by playing games such as basketball, tennis, squash, ping pong with friends or family.
- Take the stairs more often instead of relying on escalators and elevators.
- Gardening and doing housework help too!
Eat foods that will help to keep the heart healthy.
Here are some examples. You can discuss these and other suitable options with your doctor, pharmacist or dietitian.
- Oatmeal – high in omega-3 fatty acids, folate and potassium, oats can help lower our cholesterol levels.
- Salmon and other sources of omega-3 fatty acids – they can help lower your blood pressure and reduce the risk of atherosclerosis (clots in your blood vessels).
- Food or supplements containing antioxidants such as Coenzyme Q10.
- Of course, avoid foods containing trans fat or are rich with high fat or cholesterol content.
The Spotlight on Coenzyme Q10
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a substance that is naturally found in many parts of our body, especially in our heart, liver, pancreas and kidneys. It can stop the action of a group of particles called free radicals. Free radicals can damage cells and cause unwanted and possibly harmful changes to our genetic material.
Increasingly, CoQ10 is being used to help patients with heart problems such as congestive heart failure, high blood pressure and such. It is also used for a variety of other diseases and conditions
Evaluating what we know so far
The Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database offers the following information:
- People with congestive heart failure may find taking CoQ10 alongside their heart failure medications useful.
- Many research found that CoQ10 (when taken by itself or alongside other medications) can help lower blood pressure.
- CoQ10 may help reduce tissue damage after a heart or blood vessel surgery, but more research is needed to verify this.
- People who have suffered a heart attack may lower their risk of another heart attack or other heart problems if they take CoQ10 within 72 hours after their heart attack.
Mayo Clinic. Available at www.mayoclinic.com
Medline Plus. Available at www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus
WebMD. Available at www.webmd.com
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