Sea Salt – swap table salt for sea salt – avoid foods with low quality salt already in, and control the amount you consume by seasoning with it only. Instead use more herbs & spices to flavor food.
Improve diet – its not about swapping butter for a margarine with a mind boggling list of unnatural, unrecognizable ingredients. Instead focus on wholesome natural ingredients – vegetables, almonds salmon, walnuts. Cut out refined carbohydrates and sugars.
Coconut oil – although technically classed as a saturated fat, coconut oil can actually protect against stroke and heart attacks. It actually increases HDL cholesterol (the good cholesterol).
Countries like Sri Lanka, where coconut oil was a primary fat source, have lower incidences of heart disease. Populations where coconut oil was a key element of their diet also benefited from improved cholesterol readings, lower body fat deposition, higher survival rate, reduced tension to form blood clots, fewer uncontrolled free radicals in cells, low levels of blood and liver cholesterol, higher antioxidant reserves in cells, and lower incidence of heart disease in population studies.
Exercise -Not only will regularly exercise increase fat loss, help weight control & build muscle mass, but it helps lower blood pressure (a major risk factor for heart disease). It also improves circulation, preventing blood clots that can lead to heart attacks and stroke.
Exercise also increases HDL, transporting fat away from the arteries and to the liver for processing, while reducing LDL cholesterol that can form fat deposits and contribute to heart disease.
Fish oils – Higher amounts of two kinds of omega-3, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), may benefit some people with established heart disease or high triglyceride levels and can have an anti-inflammatory effect for people with rheumatoid arthritis . In addition, DHA is being studied to see if it can slow the progress of Alzheimer's disease.
For heart disease prevention, near-maximum benefit comes from eating two 3-ounce servings of cold water fish a week.
Reduce Stress – Stress activates the sympathetic nervous system, which is what causes a “fight or flight” response. These results in elevated blood pressure, faster heart rate, and slows digestion. It can also contribute to weight gain, complicate existing illnesses such as diabetes, and lead to anxiety and depression. These physical reactions all increase your cardiovascular disease risk. Chronic stress, which is long lasting, such as emotional, or work related stress, as compared to acute stress (when you are being chased by a lion)
Exercise also releases feel-good hormones called endorphins, helping reduce stress.
Furthermore, low levels of testosterone (suppressed by increased cortisol levels in “fight or flight” can increase the risk of bone loss and muscle atrophy, having a negative affect on heart health.
Consider taking up yoga, tai chi or other moderate forms of exercise.
Improve your Breath – try a simple pranayama technique called Kapalabhati Pranayama, which requires rapid successful breathing. Focus on expelling the air rapidly on each outward breath whilst consciously controlling the movement of the diaphragm. This is an exercise for the entire respiratory system, forcing higher oxygen absorption in a very short time. This ensures supply of richer blood to cardiovascular muscles.
Note – that this exercise is unsuitable for those suffering with high blood pressure, glaucoma and other eye disorders.
Ashwaghandha – this fantastic Indian herb has been noted in Ayurvedic medicine for it's ability to strengthen and give more flexibility to heart muscles. It is also renamed for its recuperative and restoring qualities.
It is also used broadly to aid problems such as anxiety, stress, & stress induced insomnia
Stop smoking – Smoking increases the heart rate and certain chemicals in smoke causes blood to clot more easily. Second-hand smoke does the same things as well.
Sleep – Long term consequences of poor quality sleep include, obesity, diabetes, heart attacks, high blood pressure, and stroke. Try to get sleep for 10.30pm at least 5 night a week.