Based on reports, heart disease is the second leading cause of death in Indonesia after stroke. Many think that this disease attacks the elderly, but the application of an unhealthy lifestyle, can make this disease occur at a young age. So, how to maintain a healthy heart?
Reasons why it’s important to keep your heart healthy
Your heart is a very vital organ. That is, when your heart is in trouble, your survival will also be threatened. That’s why you really need to know how to maintain a healthy heart.
The heart is the center of the circulatory system. Its main function is to pump blood throughout the body. This pumping heart’s blood carries oxygen and essential nutrients that cells, organs, tissues in your body need in order to function normally.
If the heart, heart muscle, and surrounding blood vessels are disturbed, blood circulation throughout the body can be disrupted. As a result, cells, tissues, and organs may not receive adequate blood supply and will die. This condition can lead to death if not treated immediately.
How to maintain a healthy heart to keep it functioning normally
So that your heart stays healthy and can function properly, follow some of the following tips to keep it healthy.
1. Take care of your oral health
Did you know that the health of one part of the body with other parts is related to each other? For example, oral health with the heart.
Problems with the heart can occur when symptoms of gum, mouth, and tooth disease get worse and don’t get treatment. When it gets worse, both bacteria and fungi can move into the bloodstream and increase C-reactive protein. Protein can cause inflammation in the blood vessels around the heart.
Therefore, an easy way to maintain a healthy heart is to take care of your oral health. Try to brush your teeth twice regularly, in the morning before breakfast and at night before going to bed. Also clean your teeth by flossing or using dental floss.
2. Limit consumption of salty foods
Salty and savory foods are delicious, but if they are excessive they can cause high blood pressure (hypertension) which is one of the risk factors for heart disease. When your blood pressure is high, the work of the heart in pumping blood will be heavier and this can interfere with heart health.
Limit intake of salt (sodium) per day for people aged 19-49 years is 1500 mg. You can reduce salt by limiting the use of salt when cooking. In addition, also limit packaged high-salt foods, such as smoked beef, snacks, and junk food.
To keep the food delicious, you can replace the salt with healthy spices, such as garlic, onion, or pepper.
3. Get enough sleep
How to maintain a healthy heart you need to do is to maintain the quality of your sleep. Don’t make it a habit to go to bed late at night and wake up during the day, or stay up late without a clear purpose.
You need to know that sleep is time for your body to rest. If you often sleep late at night or stay up late, your body’s biological clock will be damaged. This condition can cause blood pressure to rise and inflammation, which can increase the risk of heart disease.
So, try to go to bed early and wake up early every day, even if you are on vacation. Get rid of anything that can disturb your sleep at night, such as playing with your phone or watching tv. Make sure you sleep at least 7-8 hours per day.
4. Avoid sitting too long
Sitting all day facing the computer not only makes your body sore, but also lowers your heart health. The reason is, sitting for too long can cause blood clots that can worsen blood circulation in the body.
If you do spend time working in a sitting position, don’t forget to do stretching exercises at work or at home. Another way to maintain a healthy heart that you can try is to take the stairs instead of the elevator and walk down the yard or office corridor. That way, you stay active even if you have to work.
5. Quit smoking and inhale secondhand smoke
You already know, don’t you, if smoking can damage your health, including your heart? Yes, smoking can cause heart disease because the chemicals can encourage the formation of plaque in the arteries in the heart. This plaque can build up over time and block blood flow, which can lead to heart disease later.
For that, you should stop smoking. You also need to avoid people who are smoking because the smoke can also be smelled by you.
6. Eat more vegetables and fruit
Vegetables and fruits are great sources of vitamins and minerals for your body. In addition, this type of food contains antioxidant compounds that can prevent inflammation, is rich in fiber, and low in calories. The content of these nutrients can help you maintain a healthy heart.
You can add various types of vegetables as a meal menu, and fruits as a healthy snack. Don’t forget, wash the vegetables and fruit first with running water before you eat.
7. Limit fatty foods
Fat is what your body needs, as a source of backup energy and helps absorb nutrients in food. However, not all fat is for the health of the body. There is a type of fat from food that you need to limit your intake of, namely saturated fat.
This type of fat can cause cholesterol levels in the body to be high, and eventually form plaque in the blood vessels in the heart, so it is bad for heart health.
So, the way to maintain heart health in this regard is to limit foods that contain saturated fat. For example, high-fat foods are fried or offal of beef and chicken.
8. Regular exercise
Exercise nourishes the body as a whole, from the tips of your hair to your feet, including the heart. The benefits of exercise for the heart are numerous.
This physical activity helps control weight, lower blood pressure, and increase levels of good cholesterol. There are many types of exercise that are healthy for the heart, such as running, cycling, swimming, jogging, or cardio. Do exercise for at least 30 minutes every day.