Forming healthy habits during childhood is the best way to protect this organ for all stages of life.
Beating over 100,000 times a day, and through a 97-thousand-kilometer network of blood vessels, our heart is the organ responsible for pumping the blood that keeps our body’s organs alive. As the World Health Organization (WHO) states, it also releases hormones and generates electromagnetic waves that communicate with the rest of the body.
From the beginning of life through adulthood, this pump – which is the motor to keeping our bodies going – requires special care. How you care for it, however, depends mostly on leading a balanced and healthy life that prevents the onset of chronic non-communicable diseases such as heart attacks or strokes, which, because they are silent diseases, are difficult to detect on time.
Prevention is the best way to control this. The following are some recommendations for a healthy heart.
- Reduce your consumption of artificial and flavored beverages. This helps to prevent cardiovascular disease. Drinking these beverages frequently increases the chances of having a heart attack or cerebral thrombosis as well as other problems such as obesity and diabetes.
- Try to avoid the trans fatty acids of processed foods (fried foods, margarine or packaged foods), and replace them with healthy fats such as those found in nuts and avocados, among others. Trans fats can raise your cholesterol levels in the blood and increase your risk for heart disease.
- Physical activity helps keep the muscles active and greatly prevents metabolic syndrome, a group of conditions that put a person at risk of developing heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
- With every meal, include a portion of vegetables; ideally, salads with a wide variety of colors. Including different types of vegetables is important because this food group reduces bad cholesterol.
Watch your weight
Keep your bodyweight at a number that helps you prevent the onset of cardiovascular disease, especially when you have risk factors such as high blood pressure; a high and consistent stress levels; a diet that is high in salt, carbohydrates and saturated fats; high cholesterol and triglycerides; and if you are physically inactive. Taking active breaks, walking more, and playing sports can help achieve this goal.
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