When it comes to improving heart health, you know the rules: Eat well, exercise, don’t smoke, and maybe enjoy an occasional glass of red wine. While the benefits of the above are undeniable, you can always do more for the benefit of your health – sometimes taking a road less travelled. If you are looking to further boost up your heart health, read on to uncover five unconventional ways to do so.
5 new guidelines for improving heart health
Have more sex: Sex is actually a great form of exercise, but there is yet another benefit. Having sex releases lots of hormones, and many of them offer protective benefits to the heart. Some of these hormones can help lower blood pressure, which is a big contributor to heart-related problems. So why not burn some calories and lower your blood pressure all the while snuggling up to your partner.
Eat garlic: Raw garlic is a natural blood thinner which can help improve blood flow. As long as you are consuming garlic, along with onions and ginger, in balance, you can strengthen your heart health over time. And if you’re worried about bad breath, don’t fret. Studies have shown that chewing on apples or lettuce can help minimize the garlic breath.
Sleep well: Sleep is an integral part of supporting a healthy heart, but the key here is to get the right amount. Believe it or not, sleeping more won’t give you more benefits. Studies have shown that the appropriate amount of heart-healthy sleep we need is seven to eight hours. Anything more or less is putting your heart at risk.
Brush your teeth: Studies have uncovered that regular teeth brushing can help reduce inflammation (harmful for your heart in the long run). Some of these studies have shown teeth brushing is almost as effective as statins in reducing the risk of a heart attack and stroke. If you haven’t seen your dentist in a while, make an appointment right away for the sake of your stronger heart.
Avoid white flour: Even though the Egyptians didn’t smoke and were physically active, they still had high rates of artery disease. It was believed to be a result of consuming white flour products. Refined flour increases glucose levels, contributing to weight gain, insulin resistance, and diabetes, which are all risk factors for coronary heart disease. Along with avoiding white flour, it’s also important to reduce your sugar intake to further protect your heart.
As heart disease is the number one killer for men and women alike, it’s important that you work towards improving your heart health – no matter your age.