9. Green Tea
Green tea contains powerful antioxidants that improve the health of cells that form the innermost lining of the heart and blood vessels. It helps reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Plus, green tea helps control blood sugar and boosts metabolism.
In a 2008 Japanese study, researchers found that drinking more than five cups of green tea per day lowered the risk of death from heart attack or stroke by 26 percent.
- Drink three to four cups of green tea (preferably caffeine-free) daily.
- Alternatively, you can take 100 to750 mg standardized green tea extract per day.
Regular exercise paired with a healthy diet and lifestyle can help prevent and manage heart disease. Aerobic exercises like walking, jogging, bicycling, jumping rope, aerobics and cardio exercises are particularly beneficial for strengthening your heart and cardiovascular system, improving circulation and lowering blood pressure.
Plus, exercising helps maintain a healthy body weight and reduces stress, which are linked to heart and several other diseases. In addition to physical exercise, do deep breathing exercises to help you feel more relaxed and rested.
The American Heart Association suggests exercising 30 minutes per day five days a week to improve heart health and reduce your risk of heart disease. Seek your doctor’s advice to prepare a proper exercise regimen for you.
- Limit fat, cholesterol and salt in your diet.
- Replace saturated fats in your diet with polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. For instance, use olive oil instead of butter, margarine and other animal fats. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that just two tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil in your daily diet can significantly help cut your risk of heart disease.
- Stop smoking and limit your alcohol intake.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Reduce stress and practice regular relaxation techniques.
- Keep diabetes under control.
- Take supplements such as omega-3 supplements, coenzyme Q-10, vitamin D and L-carnitine after consulting your doctor. Omega-3 fatty acids, in particular, help lower cholesterol and blood pressure, slow the progression of atherosclerosis and reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke in those suffering from cardiovascular disease.
- Get proper sleep. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that every extra hour of sleep decreased the risk of developing coronary artery calcification by 33 percent.
- Visit your doctor regularly to keep a check on your condition.