Heart health is certainly crucial for our overall health. Heart disease is the biggest killer in the U.S., though, there is much to be optimistic about: death is plummeting as we get better at diagnosing, treating, and preventing the issue. According to a major review published earlier this year, heart attacks have dropped by 40% since the outline of the smoking ban in 2007.
Without a doubt, we are learning more and more about how the way of life can protect – or wreck- the health of the heart. Recently, American scientists reported that simply brushing the teeth thoroughly can dramatically decrease levels of inflammation in the body and help protect against heart attack.
According to Johannes Hinrich von Bostel, a former paramedic, and prospective cardiologist, also the author of the book Heart: The Inside Story of Our Body’s Most Important Organ, it’s never too late to start thinking about your heart and taking steps to care for it. In spite of everything, the buildup of fatty deposits in the arteries (atherosclerosis), which can lead to stroke and heart disease – usually starts at the age of 25.
“Atherosclerosis is the only disease that every person in the world has from the age of 50,” claims von Borstel. “100% of people have it. It’s something you can’t entirely stop, but you could influence how quick it develops.”
In accordance with the latest research, and his experience treating people with a host of a heart condition, von Borstel exposes some of the astonishing ways to keep your heart healthy, whatever your age – from having intercourse to ditching the vacation lie-ins.
3 Rules for Heart Health
- Eat Raw Garlic
“Fruits and vegetables have secondary phytochemicals which have the same effect as diverse [heart protective] medicines but not in a dose which is unsafe for your body,” explains von Borstel. He names garlic, onions, and ginger as blood turpentine that promote blood flow throughout vessels and boosted blood supply to tissues and organ, and recommends grating 1 tsp. of root ginger or 2-3 tsp. of grated garlic into a cup of water per day in order to reduce blood pressure naturally.
“It’s no problem to eat these each day, as long as you eat in a balanced way,” he claims. Allicin, the main ingredient found in onions and garlic, is thought to act on the kidneys, dilating the blood vessels and changing levels of hormones. A study by the Institute of Food Research showed that eating a 100-200g serving of onions (1-2 onions) had the largest impact on inflammation.
- Exercise “Between the Sheets”
One of the most beneficial workouts you can do for your heart is exercising yourself between the sheets, according to von Borstel.
“As well as a complete cardiac exercise, before and during intercourse there is a great release of hormones which have a protective effect on the cardiovascular system,” von Borstel explains.
Being intimate with someone you love, instead of a stranger, is far better for your heart due to the fact that genuine affection causes the release of higher oxytocin levels, claims von Borstel.
Last year, a research by Ulm University that followed over 500 individuals who survive a heart attack, found no relationship between their risk of future heart problems and how often they had intercourse. The authors assumed intercourse provided a great form of physical exercise for the heart, and people shouldn’t give it up.
- Sleep well
Sleepless nights are linked to an increased high blood pressure, heart rate, and a spike in chemicals associated with inflammation – all of which could strain the heart. Scientists from the University of Warwick lately reported that people who sleep for less than 6 hours per night and have disturbed sleep have a 15% greater chance of stroke and a 48% greater chance of heart disease.
Insomnia is also a source of stress triggers adrenalin and stress, which makes your heart beat faster and, over a prolonged period, may lead to angina or heart failure.
But, getting too much sleep could be dangerous as well – experts at the University of West Virginia have found that people who regularly sleep for up to 9 hours a night have a nearly 50% higher risk of experiencing a heart attack or some other cardiovascular disease.
Progressively, data suggests that irregular sleep patterns – for instance, lying in on the weekends can disrupt the delicate balance of the circadian rhythm that may alter processes in the body, such as raise the risk of conditions (like type 2 diabetes) and the metabolism of sugar.
Even though the study is current, von Borstel’s conclusion is very clear: “Sleeping too little and too much can be harmful to your health. 7 is the perfect number for most adults.”
Heart disease is one of the most common deadly diseases today. Luckily, the number of deaths has significantly fallen since the 2007 smoking ban was presented, though, there are still worrying statistics of people losing their life to the disease every year.
It is never too early to start looking after your heart health, no matter what age you are. To sum up, Johannes Hinrich von Bostel suggests that having more intercourse, eating more garlic, and getting enough (but not too much) sleep – are the key components for better heart health.