Heart disease refers to numerous problems that affect the structure and functions of the heart. It is most often related to atherosclerosis, or plaque buildup in arterial walls, that causes narrowing of the arteries, thereby inhibiting blood flow and increasing the risk for a heart attack or stroke.
The heart is an amazing structure, tough yet fragile. A muscle, its network of arteries and veins transport blood through your body, nourishing organs and tissues. When the heart is working as it should, you barely notice it. But when your heart starts acting strangely, you have cause to worry. Thankfully, you live in a day when heart disease can be treated very successfully, and in some cases, the condition can even be reversed. Several home remedies can assist in keeping your heart healthy.
Causes of Heart Disease:
Lots of pressure in the arteries can cause them to become stiff and thick. This hardening of the arteries is known as Atherosclerosis and can restrict the blood flow to other organs and tissues in the body. Unhealthy diets, lack of exercise, obesity or smoking are the main risk factors for this disease.
Heart Arrhythmia is caused by abnormal heart rhythms. The conditions that result in this abnormality are drug abuse, coronary artery disease, congenital heart defects (birth defects), diabetes, smoking, drug abuse, stress, high blood pressure, consumption of alcohol or caffeine (excessive), valvular heart disease, few over-the-counter medication, dietary supplements, herbal remedies and prescription medications.
Pericarditis, myocarditis and endocarditis are developed when bacterium, chemicals or virus reach the heart muscle. The most common causes of heart infections include:
Bacteria: When a number of bacteria enter the bloodstream, endocarditis is caused. The bacteria can enter while eating food or brushing teeth. It is extremely important to keep your teeth clean all the time. Also avoid outside food to prevent these diseases.
Medication: Medicines that cause a toxic or allergic reaction. Illegal drugs, some antibiotics like sulfonamide drugs and penicillin can cause heart infections
Inflammation of blood vessels, other inflammatory conditions, lupus, tissue disorders can also cause heart infections.
Heart disease can be improved — or even prevented — by making certain lifestyle changes. The following changes can help anyone who wants to improve heart health:
Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight increases your risk of heart disease. A BMI of less than 25 and a waist circumference of 35 inches (88.9 centimeters) or less is the goal for preventing and treating heart disease.
Physical activity will reduce the chances of high cholesterol, diabetes, stress and blood pressure. Exercise of 30 minutes each day is recommended, but if you can allocate an hour every day, it could do wonders to your body. Try to stay as conscious as you can by taking the stairs, walking your dog or even gardening.
Master herbalist Dr. John Christopher was nicknamed doctor cayenne because he praised its value as a heart health tonic, which if strong enough could halt a heart attack in progress.
Manage stress. Reduce stress as much as possible. Practice techniques for managing stress, such as muscle relaxation and deep breathing.
Studies have determined that pomegranate juice helps unclog arteries by reducing artery thickness. L-Arginine is a supplement that helps increase blood vessel nitric oxide to repair arterial inner lining damage.
Deal with depression. Being depressed can increase your risk of heart disease significantly. Talk to your doctor if you feel hopeless or uninterested in your life.
Practice good hygiene. Stay away from people with infectious diseases such as colds, get vaccinated against the flu, regularly wash your hands, and brush and floss your teeth regularly to keep yourself well.
Increase your magnesium intake. It's the most important ignored mineral in existence involving 300 metabolic processes. It directly affects heart health, especially with heart beat regulation. Yet most Americans are magnesium deficient.Greens are excellent sources of magnesium, which can also be supplemented orally with magnesium citrate formulas or topically with magnesium chloride, and even by soaking in Epsom salts.
Move. Exercise helps you achieve and maintain a healthy weight and control diabetes, elevated cholesterol and high blood pressure — all risk factors for heart disease. If you have a heart arrhythmia or heart defect, there may be some restrictions on the activities you can do, so talk to your doctor.
With your doctor's OK, aim for 30 to 60 minutes of physical activity most days of the week.
Avoid oils that are processed by heat or hydrogenated. These cause inflammation, and they're ubiquitous in processed and fast foods. But there is one cold pressed oil to avoid, Canola (rapeseed) oil. It's not the health food it's promoted to be.
Eat healthy foods. A heart-healthy diet based on fruits, vegetables and whole grains — and low in saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium and added sugar — can help you control your weight, blood pressure and cholesterol.
Check your cholesterol. Ask your doctor for a baseline cholesterol test when you're in your 20s and then at least every five years. You may need to start testing earlier if high cholesterol is in your family. If your test results aren't within desirable ranges, your doctor may recommend more frequent measurements.
Most people should aim for an LDL level below 130 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL), or 3.4 millimoles per liter (mmol/L). If you have other risk factors for heart disease, you should aim for an LDL below 100 mg/dL (2.6 mmol/L). If you're at very high risk of heart disease — if you've already had a heart attack or have diabetes, for example — aim for an even lower LDL level — below 70 mg/dL (1.8 mmol/L).
Increase your omega-3 fatty acid intake. Both cardiologists mentioned above refer to the imbalance of omega-6 fatty acids to omega-3 as an inflammatory factor in the standard American diet Omega-3 is high in fish and krill oils, fatty fish, freshly ground flax seeds, hemp seeds, and chia seeds as well as avocados and free range eggs. The oils from those plants are also beneficial if they are organic and cold pressed.
Keep diabetes under control. If you have diabetes, tight blood sugar control can help reduce the risk of heart disease
Stop smoking. Smoking is a major risk factor for heart disease, especially atherosclerosis. Quitting is the best way to reduce your risk of heart disease and its complications.
Control your blood pressure. Ask your doctor for a blood pressure measurement at least every two years. He or she may recommend more frequent measurements if your blood pressure is higher than normal or you have a history of heart disease. Optimal blood pressure is less than 120 systolic and 80 diastolic, as measured in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg)