Keeping your arteries young and healthy is not a cakewalk. Given today’s lifestyle, the process becomes more daunting than ever. And then comes the junk we consume each day, not to mention artificial sugars and bad carbs. And how can we skip the evil habits of smoking and drinking? This has made keeping our heart and arteries healthy a far-flung goal. But we are here to change the norms. Sit back as we list some ways and tips through which you can protect your arteries and keep your heart strong while living longer:
To start with, here are some tips that straight away prevent hardening of the arteries
Reduce weight to protect arteries
The healthy weight keeps up the spirits while promoting good blood pressure. when you have a normal blood sugar level, you will have healthier triglyceride and cholesterol levels. Also, if you are less obese, you will have less fat in your body. This reduces the chance of clotting in the arteries making them fat which usually leads to severe heart problems.
When you start losing the extra fat, you simply reduce the workload of your heart. The blood vessels have to supply the heart with the blood it needs for pumping. When you shed weight, the amount of fat around your blood vessels lessen. This reduces the chance of plaque congestion that might have clogged the coronary arteries. This also reduces the chance of a heart attack. If you reduce the fat, you reduce the pressure on your heart. Also, blood pressure is directly related to a healthy weight. If one loses weight, he might be able to reduce his blood pressure medications. Chances are that a person might even eradicate the need of taking blood pressure drugs.
when you lose weight, the bloodstream tends to change. This includes the change in the number of blood lipids or blood fats. Losing weight can decrease your triglycerides level. It also decreases the cholesterol level. It simply means that you get good cholesterol levels and the fat floating in your bloodstream reduces by losing weight.
Another advantage of losing weight is that it reduces the occurrence of clots in our bloodstream. Sometimes, blood slows down forming clots in the bloodstream. When you have a healthy weight, you have normal blood pressure. This means that you will have fewer clots. Shedding pounds means that clot won’t happen and there is less or no chance of clot reaching your lungs, brain or heart.
Adopting better diet
This might come as no surprise. But eating better is surely healthy for your arteries. When you adopt a healthy eating pattern, your blood flow remains active which keeps arteries in proper function. You can include healthy ingredients in diets such as whole grains, poultry, lean meats, nuts, vegetable oils, healthy dairy, fiber-rich fruits and many more. Also, you should avoid having red meats, sugar-sweetened items, salt, and processed meats. Always keep the diet including few amounts of everything and nothing should be consumed in excess.
Cut blood sugar
As a normal value, the blood sugar level on fasting should be below 100mg/dL. This can remain intact if you cap on artificial sugars like tea, candies, chocolates, etc. High blood sugar levels can pose a great danger to arteries and can damage blood vessels.
If you are consuming too much sugar, you can overlook the benefit of other eatables that are healthier for the heart including fiber and grains. While sugary drinks can greatly increase blood pressure, the high sugar diet can also damage our lives. Eatables rich in artificial sugar can cause the liver to dump harmful fats into the bloodstreams. This can increase the risk of heart diseases like stroke and heart failure.
Controlling cholesterol to protect arteries
When you control cholesterol, you tend to reduce the chance of clotting in arteries. Unhealthy cholesterol levels can cause plaque deposition in arteries. This is a common phenomenon called atherosclerosis which is often related to heart problems. This syndrome arises due to bad cholesterol levels and can make arteries stiff and narrower.
Not being lazy
Being physically active can pump up blood circulation while keeping arteries healthy. Our arteries carry blood just like water flows through pipes. If the pressure is well-maintained, the pipes shall remain intact. One should try getting 2 hours of physical activity per day. This should also include an hour of vigorous-intensity activity. You can combine the plan according to the days. If you are not able to do a workout, you can adapt jogging or walk for a few hours every day.
Blood pressure control to protect arteries
This is again an obvious one. When your blood pressure is moderate, less pressure will be exerted on arteries and they will have to do less work. Normal blood pressure should be maintained between 120 – 80 mm Hg. The value above 140-90 mmHg is bad for the blood vessels. One can control blood pressure by taking less stress and indulging in healthy activities.
Refrain from smoking
Smoking is simply bad for our heart and entire respiratory system. The smoke that we inhale blocks our arteries and even cause congestion. Regular exposure to smoking and other harmful drugs such as nicotine can increase the risks of heart stroke and other heart-related diseases. How smoking affects our cardiac vessels is a wide subject. Let us discuss it in brief.
When you smoke, the chemicals literally act as poison for our blood cells. These damages the heart function and even affects the structure of our blood vessels. This increases the risk of atherosclerosis. In this condition, a waxy substance gets deposited in our arteries. With time, the substance hardens and our arteries become narrow. This reduces the flow of blood rich in oxygen. Hence, oxygen is not able to reach other parts of our body organs.
CHD or coronary heart disease is another deadly syndrome that occurs due to regular smoking. In this, the plaque builds and it leads to chest pain. In extreme cases, the condition can also cause heart failure resulting in death.
While smoking is alone a major risk factor, it becomes even more threatening when combined with other factors such as bad cholesterol intake, rise in blood pressure, obesity or alcohol consumption. This all weakens our arteries and may lead to heart diseases.
Another syndrome that occurs due to smoking is peripheral artery disease. In this condition, the waxy plaque clots the artery carrying blood to our head and other organs such as limbs. Patients suffering from this disease have increased heart failure risk and may even experience attack or stroke at some point in their life.
Don’t skip checkups
while we are always confident about our heart is healthy, we often delay checkups when we find something is not right. We tend to take medicine and get well and then face the same issue again and do the process again without any checkups at all. This is a huge blunder. You should believe that your heart and blood vessels are in your own hands. You have to schedule a check-up of blood pressure, blood sugar level, and cholesterol tests as soon as you experience anything wrong. You should always follow healthcare recommendations. If you are taking medicines, you should never reduce or increase the dose as per your own wish.
Drink more water
You must have heard how water is good for our skin as it removes anti-oxidants and keeps the outer shell moisturized. Water is not only good for digestion and the brain, but for our heart as well. Our heart pumps as much as 2,000 gallons of water every day. If you continue drinking water regularly, you are intaking more water than your heart can pump. Hence, in a way, you are helping your heart do its job comfortably.
Also, it is a fact that when your body gets dehydrated, your heart experience strain. The blood flow decreases when you are short on water. Hence, to compensate for this loss, the heart starts pumping blood faster. This increases the heart rate and you may feel palpitations. In such cases, blood also retains more sodium which makes the job of circulation tougher. You should consume more water if you are doing any physical exercises or working out.
Getting a good sleep to protect arteries
Studies suggest that at least 7 hours of peaceful sleep is wonderful for your heart. Same way, partial sleep or staying awake late at night can be harmful to your arteries. Scientists believe that people taking at least 7 hours of sleep during the night have less calcium in their arteries which is a symptom of heart disease. Same way, calcium was comparatively more in people who slept less than 5 hours which is below normal value.
Limit saturated fats
Saturated fats are normally found in meat and other full-fat dairy products. If you cut down on these, you can help your arteries become healthier. You should opt for alternatives such as leaner cuts and other fat-reduced options. Taking low cholesterol butter and oil is also a good option.
To keep the heart and arteries healthy, you should also limit trans fats. For guessers, these are found in various processed foods. These trans fats elevate your bad cholesterol levels. It is always a good practice to check the ingredients label before buying an eatable. If you find anything like hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated, you should avoid such trans fats from your diet.
Stay informed about your diabetes
Heart health is related to blood sugar levels. Most people are unaware of this condition at the start. This elevates the risk. High doses of sugar in our body can damage our arteries. This also exerts pressure on our heart health. To avoid this, you should get your blood sugar level checked. This is true for age-old people and even for pregnant mothers. When you find out that you have diabetes, you should consult your doctor who shall work on your diet schedule besides prescribing effective medications for the cause. Knowing your diabetic level and not knowing that your blood sugar levels are high can make a great difference in the health of your arteries and heart.
Trying all healthy food to protect our arteries
An automobile runs well if he is given clean fuel. Same way, the heart tends to work well if you eat well. And the clean fuel for heart includes vegan diets like green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds, sprouts, and whole grains. The diet should also contain less amount of processed or refined eatables such as creams, crackers, artificial sugars, and bread.
And when you are trying to make your diet safe for heart, you should always consider eradicating sugary drinks. This includes fruit juice or soda drinks. If you are consuming such drinks, you are consuming more calories than our body can process. This pressurizes our hearts without getting any benefit.
In the end, stay positive
What happens if you find out that you are suffering from diabetes or facing high levels of blood pressure? you might stress yourself. This only makes the situation worse. Being positive is the key to a healthy heart and blood vessels. Always remember that when you skip your exercise schedule or consume alcohol, you are not doing a crime. Same way if you had a fattening meal or smoked a cigarette, you should get back on the regular track of healthy lifestyles. You should not stress yourself on the wrong deeds and look for doing right for your heart in the next upcoming days.
also, when you get good results, you should reward yourself. This will not only foster a great optimism in your heart but will also help you in progressing ahead with confidence. When you observe that weight scale or get stable blood sugar, you should keep track of your achievements. This will help you progress with momentum while doing something you enjoy with heart and something that is good for your heart.
Always remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day. Changing and maintaining new habits take time and effort. And if you progress, you should keep your aim in mind and stay away from making everything perfect. You should always reward yourself even for the slightest achievement. You can also ask your family to support you. Your heart’s future lies in your hands.