Easy Ways to Prevent Heart Attacks Every Day
It seems like heart attacks get all the attention. But what about the causes — the reasons they occur in the first place?
Many people don’t find out the relevant information (causes, prevention, etc.) until they’re already in a hospital bed being treated for one, and told how to change their lifestyle to lower the chances of it occurring again. So, why not be informed of such a tragedy and have the ability to prevent it all together?
My goal with this article is to arm you with enough information that you’ll be able to do just that, and hopefully without having to endure the pain of reading a boring, drawn out essay just to accomplish it.
What is a heart attack, anyways?
A heart attack is what occurs when a section of the heart literally starts dying. This happens when blood flow, which contains oxygen, is blocked from making its way to your heart, or a section of it. (Check out the animation at the bottom of this article.)
Common Causes of Heart Attacks
Among the most common causes of heart attacks are plaque build-up of the arteries (called “atherosclerosis“). The coronary arteries are often the ones where the tough substance likes to reside, and that is when they begin to create the block that will eventually prevent blood and oxygen from reaching your heart.
Another evil plot plaque enjoys is building up over time to eventually create the ever pleasurable blood clot. Evil little substance, that plaque. Ah, those pesky blood clots — an evil friend of plaques — who work to kill us off by conspiring with plaque that has built up in the arteries, and ruptured, allowing a clot to form on top of it.
From there, the clot grows until it has succeeded in completely blocking the blood from coursing through a coronary artery. Blood clots can also lead to pulmonary embolism and strokes.
High Blood Pressure, as you already know, is another leading contributor to heart attacks, stroke, congestive heart failure, blindness and kidney disease to name even more.
High blood pressure puts extra force against the walls of the arteries, which can lead to damage that makes the arteries more susceptible to narrowing and hardened fatty deposits. These damaged arteries will also fail to deliver oxygen to body parts correctly.
Now that you know some of what a heart attack is all about let’s consider some of the little things we can do each day to work towards preventing one.
What Can You Do?
You can make choices that lower your blood pressure if it’s high, prevent blood clots, and prevent plaque from building up in your arteries. Even the smallest efforts can amp up your heart’s health overall, which will provide protection.
We’ll focus on a few easy ways to do each of those things.
- Strengthen that awesome muscle in your chest by engaging in any physical activity you can — even a short walk, or walking in place will be useful to your body. Moreover, you’ll feel proud of yourself, which in turn, encourages you to increase your movement.
- Take up meditation
Just a few minutes a day will benefit you. Have fun with it by using YouTube to find guided meditation sessions for free. You’ll notice improvements in how you feel instantly, and lower your blood pressure at the same time. A win-win.
- Experiment with your taste buds
Don’t be discouraged, because aside from the ever-famous oatmeal, there are plenty of other delicious foods you can indulge in that have heart-attack preventing properties. Look for foods that are rich in omega-3, as they can prevent heart attacks in folks who’ve already had one.
Source: Mayo Clinic
Tasty foods such as baked potatoes, yogurt (Greek yogurt, anyone?), potassium-rich bananas are just a few ways to lower your blood pressure.
Yogurt is on the menu for high blood pressure diets because it is rich in calcium, and folks with high blood pressure tend to be deficient in calcium. So, keep in mind yogurt isn’t your only option for obtaining calcium.
To increase your food options and lower blood pressure at the same time, look for foods high in Vitamin D.
Cod liver oil, oily fish like trout, Portobello mushrooms, and whole grains are among some of the highest Vitamin D-containing foods. Also, fiber-rich foods like rice and oat brans, cauliflower, broccoli, celery, cabbage, raspberries, squash, kidney beans, etc. will help lower blood pressure.
Try incorporating carrots into your diet regularly for the beta-carotene boost — which can significantly lower a male’s risks of having that beating organ o’ love attacked.
Get plenty of sources of lycopene
Think cooked tomatoes, marinara, etc., for added protection.
Source: US National Library of Medicine
If you love the warm flavor of cinnamon, sprinkle your oatmeal (or other foods) with it and watch your blood pressure lower.
Sprinkle your salads, smoothies and other dishes with chia seeds to reduce plaque buildup.
Make your tea the green kind to reduce blood clots.
Snack on pumpkin seeds for their Vitamin E content that promotes blood flow and prevents clots.
Pre-ripened lemon, grapefruits, and oranges
For a dose of Vitamin P (Hesperidin, an antioxidant and anti-microbial) to increase the blood flow to your heart.
Source: Living Naturally
Decrease the hardening of your arteries by using avocado oil for cooking.
Source: National Institute of Cardiology
Incorporate garlic into as many meals as you can!
As if you needed one more reason to include garlic into your food for better health, right?
You can also take it in capsule form, and you’ll want to get it inside you some way or other since the allicin in it lowers your risk of heart attack.
Last, but not least
Don’t forget that happy people tend to be at lower risk for heart attack!
Source: Harvard School of Public Health