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6 Types of Heart Related Disease

Heart disease describes a variety of conditions that affect your heart. Heart diseases include blood vessel diseases, such as coronary artery disease; heart rhythm problems; and heart defects you’re born with (congenital heart defects), among others. The term “heart disease” is often used interchangeably with the term “cardiovascular disease.” Cardiovascular disease refers to conditions that involve narrowed or blocked blood vessels that can lead to a heart attack, chest pain or stroke. Other heart conditions, such as those that affect your heart’s muscle, valves or rhythm, also are considered forms of heart disease. Many forms of heart disease can be prevented or treated with healthy lifestyle choices.

heat-related illness

Types

There are many types of heart disease that affect different parts of the organ and occur in different ways.

  1. Congenital heart disease

This is a general term for some deformities of the heart that have been present since birth. Examples are:

Septal defects: There is a hole between the two chambers of the heart.

Obstruction defects: The flow of blood through various chambers of the heart is blocked.

Cyanotic heart disease: A defect in the heart causes a shortage of oxygen around the body.

  1. Heart valve problems

When heart valves don’t open enough to allow the blood to flow through as it should, it’s called stenosis. When the heart valves don’t close properly and allow blood to leak through, it’s called regurgitation. When the valve leaflets prolapse back into the upper chamber, it’s a condition called prolapse. Discover more about the roles your heart valves play in healthy circulation and make sure to learn more about heart valve disease.

  1. Myocardial infarction

This is also known as a heart attack, cardiac infarction, and coronary thrombosis. An interrupted blood flow damages or destroys part of the heart muscle. This is caused by a blood clot that develops in one of the coronary arteries and can occur if an artery suddenly narrows or spasms.

  1. Arrhythmia

This is an abnormal rhythm of the heart. There are many types of arrhythmias. The heart can beat too slowly, too fast or irregularly. Bradycardiameans that the heart rate is less than 60 beats per minute. Tachycardia is when the heart rate is more than 100 beats per minute. An arrhythmia can affect how well the heart works. The heart may not be able to pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs.

  1. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy

This is a genetic disorder in which the wall of the left ventricle thickens, making it harder for blood to be pumped out of the heart. This is the leading cause of sudden death in athletes. A parent with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy has a 50 percent chance of passing the condition on to their children.

  1. Heart failure 

This doesn’t mean that the heart stops beating. Heart failure, sometimes called congestive heart failure, means the heart isn’t pumping blood as well as it should. The heart keeps working, but the body’s need for blood and oxygen isn’t being met. Heart failure can get worse if it’s not treated. If your loved one has heart failure, it’s very important to follow the doctor’s orders.

Prevention

Some types of heart disease, such as those that are present from birth, cannot be prevented.Other types, however, can be prevented by taking the following measures:

  • Eat a balanced diet. Stick to low-fat, high-fiber foods and make sure to consume five portions of fresh fruit and vegetables each day. Increase your intake of whole grains and reduce the amount of salt and sugar in the diet.
  • Exercise regularly. This will significantly strengthen the heart and circulatory system, reduce cholesterol, and maintain blood pressure.
  • If you smoke, quit. Smoking is a major risk factor for heart and cardiovascular conditions.
  • Reduce the intake of alcohol. Do not drink more than 14 units per week.

Heart disease is easier to treat when detected early, so make sure to talk to your doctor about your concerns regarding your heart health. If you’re concerned about developing heart disease, talk to your doctor about steps you can take to reduce your heart disease risk. This is especially important if you have a family history of heart disease. If you think you may have heart disease, based on new signs or symptoms you’re having, make an appointment to see your doctor.

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How the NHS Is Monitored: Get the Facts

Currently, there is news of the NHS going through one of the worst phases in the recent times. Just three months ago, news regarding US President Trump’s criticism of the NHS was published in the New York Times.

In fact, a 2015 news article in The Independent reported that the UK had one of the worst healthcare systems in the developed world and the blame was all on severely limited funding from the NHS. Moreover, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) noted that NHS funding had remained static between 2009 and 2013.

At this point, it is important to keep in mind that the annual growth health spending in the UK is a mere 1.2 percent, which is “considerably less” than what one would expect in a developed nation.

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Having read all of this criticism, one should think of the possible factors that have contributed to the ailing NHS and what is possibly its worst performance ever. Before you jump to any conclusions, it is critically important that you learn the factors that monitor NHS. After all, it’s not the NHS that is solely responsible for this condition.

For this reason, you should learn how the NHS is monitored. This article looks at the bodies that monitor NHS and how they might be responsible for the current bad health of the NHS.

A Quick Overview of the NHS and Its Role in UK Healthcare Services

The NHS (National Health Service) is the national healthcare system for the UK. It was established in 1948, in the aftermath of the Second World War. One of the core principles of the NHS is to provide healthcare irrespective of their wealth. In addition, it aims to meet the healthcare needs of every citizen of the nation based on clinical needs rather the patients’ ability to pay.

NHS-funded services include – primary care, in-patient care, long-term healthcare, ophthalmology, and dentistry. It provides either free or subsidized services depending on the type of the care.

It employs over 1.3 million staff and has a budget of over £90 billion. The major sources of funding are taxes and national insurance contributions.

The Department of Health, headed by the Secretary of State for Health, oversees the NHS. In fact, the Department of Health spends a big chunk of its budget in running the NHS. During the period between 2013 and 2014, the Department of Health spent most of its £110 billion budget on the NHS.

What Is NHS Commissioning?

According to the NHS England, “Commissioning is the process of planning, agreeing and monitoring services.” In simple words, commissioning is the act of granting certain powers or the authority to carry out a particular task or duty. This means the NHS commissioning body grants authority to NHS organizations based on the scope of their services.

The commissioning body develops frameworks for the commissioning groups, tools to support their policies, provides opportunities to address their needs, supports the struggling clinical commissioning groups (CCG), and promotes their autonomy.

Which Bodies Monitor the NHS?

The NHS and its bodies are monitored and inspected by the following organizations.

●    Audit Commission

The Audit Commission was active from 1 April 1983 and 31 March 2015. Now, the Public Sector Audit Appointments Ltd, National Audit Office, Financial Reporting Council and Cabinet Office have replaced it.

The major functions of the Audit Commission include:

  • Manage the contracts.
  • Exercise statutory powers to appoint auditors.
  • Set and determine fees.
  • Arrange housing benefit subsidy certification.

●    Care Quality Commission

The Care Quality Commission aims to make sure health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate, high-quality care.

The major functions of the Care Quality Commission include:

  • Registration of care providers.
  • Monitoring, inspection and rating services.
  • Taking action to protect people who use services.
  • Publishing independent views on major quality issues in health and social care.
  • Protection of the rights of vulnerable people, including those restricted under the Mental Health Act.
  • Listen to and act on your experiences.
  • Involving the public and people who receive care
  • Collaboration with other organizations and public groups.

●    The National Patient Safety Agency

The NPSA is a partner organization that collaborates with the Department of Health. Therefore, it is also called an arm’s length body (ALB) of the Department of Health.

The major functions of the NPSA include:

  • Identification of the risks to the patients who receive NHS care.
  • Reduction of the risks
  • Take national initiatives to improve patient safety.

●    The Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA)

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency is an executive agency that regulates medicines, medical devices and blood components for transfusion in the UK. The Department of Health and Social Care sponsors it.

The major functions of the MHRA include:

  • Ensuring that medicines, medical devices and blood components for transfusion meet applicable standards of safety, quality, and efficacy
  • Ensuring that the supply chain for medicines, medical devices, and blood components is safe and secure
  • Promoting international standardization and harmonization to assure the effectiveness and safety of biological medicines
  • Helping to educate the public and healthcare professionals about the risks and benefits of medicines, medical devices, and blood components, leading to safer and more effective use
  • Supporting innovation and research and development that’s beneficial to public health
  • Influencing UK, EU and international regulatory frameworks so that they’re risk-proportionate and effective at protecting public health

Want To Know More?

To know more about how the NHS is monitored, visit http://www.FindaTopDoc.com. Also, gain unlimited access to a myriad of other benefits. Readers can find evidence-based health information with just a click. Driven by the aim to provide authentic information about diseases, drugs, supplements, medical procedures, and lifestyle tips to all its visitors, FindaTopDoc.com and CEO Anthony Casimano allow visitors to read about the best doctors locally. Readers can choose the doctor that best meets their unique health needs, and request to schedule an appointment instantly.

 

How Does Exercise Affect your Sleep?

It is important to find time for exercise on a daily basis, and for many this means squeezing in a workout early in the morning, or even late at night, just before bed. However, many people have difficulty sleeping if they exercise too late in the evening. If you are one of these, you might be reacting to the increased adrenalin and cortisol that result from strenuous activity, which can make it extremely difficult to fall asleep. In that case you should avoid intensely exercising within three hours of bedtime so you have adequate time to wind down. Research suggests that many people will sleep better if they exercise, even if that exercise is done in the evening, as late as an hour or two before bed. If your lifestyle is such that you can only exercise at night, you should find ways to improve your chances of sleeping well. Sleep and exercise are equally important for your health, so the trick is to develop a routine that optimizes both. Here are some tips.

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  1. Listen to Your Body

Even if you’re only exercising once or twice a week, you shouldn’t blame yourself for getting tired quickly. Instead of blaming yourself for being out of shape, take the cues your body is giving you. When you’re tired, your body is demanding rest and nutrients to rebuild your muscles and energize you. Although your workout might have been what pushed you over the edge, there are high chances that are you’re neglecting your body before you even hit the gym.

  1. Have a High-Protein Bedtime Snack

People who drank a protein shake before hitting the sheets usually experience a greater increase in muscle strength than those who didn’t. That’s because in your body, protein breaks down into amino acids, which build up your muscles. Since most of us consume protein only with meals, there typically aren’t many amino acids available overnight for muscle growth. That basically means your body’s prime recovery hours aren’t being used to their full potential. To get the most muscle-building power while you sleep, try a protein-rich snack like Greek yogurt or a turkey roll-up.

 

  1. Sip Sleep-inducing Brews

You already know you should avoid caffeine in the evening, but why not take things one step further by sipping something that will increase drowsiness? Try chamomile tea or a sleep smoothie to drift off with ease. Good sleep nutrients include vitamin C, potassium and magnesium. You can choose anything from leafy greens, avocados, cherries and strawberries to counter deficiencies in these nutrients.

  1. Turn In a Little Earlier

When you get more quality sleep your motivation to work out skyrockets. Sleep affects people’s perception of how hard exercise is. If you’re tired, your brain may try to convince you to save your resources by hijacking your good intentions to visit the gym or by making your workout feel unusually difficult once you’re there. All you have to do to regain your motivation is get to bed a little sooner. Just 30 minutes should be enough to increase your drive to exercise the next day.

If you’ve been burning the candle at both ends, exercise might be quite impossible. If you’re spending your nights studying, or working instead of sleeping, you’re depriving your body and this can make you feel even more tired after a workout. Try to get at least seven to eight hours of sleep a night to allow your muscles to rest and rebuild.

What Causes Both Frustration and Satisfaction In Patients?

Eliminating patient frustrations seems to be a constant battle for a great number of hospitals and health systems. Hospitals that focus on improving patient satisfaction gain significant advantage over competitors. Centralized patient access is the key for providing an ideal patient experience. Self-scheduling options keep common patient frustrations low such as confusion, getting transferred back and forth on the phone and waiting. SCI Solution’s infographic depicts the 5 Stages of Frustration, as well as the corresponding 5 Stages of Patient Satisfaction. Here they are.

What Causes Both Frustration and Satisfaction In Patients

Here are the five stages of patient satisfaction:

  1. Reassured: Patients can experience this stage after leaving their physicians office well-informed about the next steps required of them.
  2. Respected: Patients can feel respected when tests are scheduled at their preferred location.
  3. In control: Online scheduling tools and resources can significantly help a patient feel like they are in control of their care.
  4. Prepared: Text message appointment reminders can help a patient feel prepared and in control.
  5. Empowered:The end result of a satisfactory care experience.

Here the five stages of patient frustration:

  1. Scared and confused:This stage can occur when patients are unsure about what is expected of them.
  2. Frustrated:Patients can feel frustrated when they struggle to manage their care and be in control.
  3. Waiting:This happens when a patient has not been given sufficient information during the care process.
  4. Surprise: Patients can experience surprises in the form of unexpected charges.
  5. Angry: When a patient experiences this stage, they may consider switching providers.

Patient-centric care is becoming much more prevalent in hospitals and private practices alike, as the healthcare industry continues to prioritize the importance of positive patient experiences. Here are a few simple ways that you can improve your practice in order to achieve greater patient satisfaction.

  1. Patient education

Providing your patients with the information and tools they need in order to improve their health is crucial to the patient experience. A patient will feel like they’ve received more comprehensive care when they leave doctor’s office with more knowledge. On top of that, studies have shown that greater patient education leads to better patient adherence, which leads to improvements in both patient satisfaction and health outcomes.

  1. Improve hospital atmosphere

Hospitals are probably one of the least relaxing places to be. The noise, harsh lighting and sterile environment don’t really play a big role in encouraging rest and relaxation. Hospitals are beginning to upgrade their décor to create a warmer environment and resolve the issue of noise pollution.Nighttime noise levels above 55 decibels can disturb sleep and even boost heart disease risk, so hospitals should be at 30 or below. Noise levels have been reported at more than 100 decibels at night in some facilities according to some studies. Hospitals can innovate to help patients relax, by developing quieter equipment, giving nurses wearable devices, and so much more.

  1. Keep supplies on hand

This seems simple enough, but make sure that medical supplies are easily on hand and always accessible. Keep supplies that are used frequently in patient rooms and make sure you have a good system to keep these supplies stocked regularly. It is frustrating for staff and patients alike when the medical professional at point of care has to stop what they’re doing to find supplies that should be easily accessible.

  1. Personalize the patient experience

Patients want to be comfortable during their hospital stay, and expect their needs to be met. Giving them a personalized experience within your hospital can do just that. Concierge Care is a suite of mobile engagement solutions that meets the patient at their fingertips. The Inpatient Satisfaction program addresses the non-clinical, non-emergency needs of each patient with in-the-moment access to their own personal “Comfort Concierge.” Using a mobile device, tablet or laptop, patients can make real-time requests from a menu of services such as room temperature adjustment, requesting a hot meal, pet therapy or a visit from clergy.

Patients are often frustrated by the inability to communicate with their doctor in between appointments. Every hospital should use technology and build systems that open the lines of communication between the doctor and the patient. This will not only foster long-term patient relationships, but it will create better health outcomes by making it easy for patients to schedule future appointments and stay consistent with healthy behaviors.

How to Cut Healthcare Cost?

Medical inflation still outpaces general economic inflation by a 4.5% growth rate. It can be a difficult act for employers to keep health insurance from financially squeezing their business, while also providing great benefits package for employees.There is no particular reason for healthcare costs to keep rising but there are many drivers contributing to the increases. Soaring prices for medical services, unhealthy lifestyles and a lack of transparency concerning prices and quality are all factors that greatly contribute to the spike in premiums. Employers may have more options for controlling their company’s healthcare costs than they think. It is completely the same with patients and here are some strategies to minimize costs without cutting benefits.

How Patients Can Cut Healthcare Costs

  1. Save Money on Medicines

There are at least several ways to cut costs on your medicines.You should definitely ask your health care provider if you can switch to generic medicines. The truth is that they have the same active ingredient, but cost a lot less than brand-name drugs.Make sure to ask your provider if there is a less expensive medicine that treats the same condition.Also, see if you can order your medicine through the mail.Don’t forget to take all of your medicines as directed as not taking your medicine or not taking enough medicine may lead to further health problems.

  1. Save Hundreds of Dollars on X-Rays and Tests

Some facilities charge hundreds of dollars more for x-rays and tests than competing providers. Sometimes, people get charged $500 for an x-ray that should be about $30 and it happens all the time. Independent radiology centers often charge less than hospitals, even though the same radiologist may be reading the x-rays. It’s common for the radiologist to be in one building in the morning and another in the afternoon. It’s the same radiologist, but one MRI costs $500 and another is $3,000.For example, a knee MRI ranges from $650 to $4,200, and a recommended fair price is $1,183.

  1. Use Your Benefits

Get routine health screenings whenever you can. These tests can catch health problems early, when they may be more easily treated. And you often do not have to pay copay for health screenings, vaccines, and annual visits.It’s also important to get prenatal care if you are pregnant since that is the best way to ensure you and your baby will be healthy.Some health plans offer health advocates or case managers. A health advocate can help you get the most of your benefits. A case manager can help you to manage complex health problems such as diabetes or asthma.Moreover, make sure to use free and discounted services as many health plans offer discounts on things like gym memberships or eyewear.

  1. Ask for a Discount

Some 61 percent of people who went to a doctor and asked for a discount actually got something. If you’ve been a loyal patient, don’t be afraid to ask if your doctor or healthcare provider can cut you a break on an office visit charge or a procedure cost. You might be surprised.

  1. Choose In-Network Health Care Providers

Depending on your health coverage, you may have the choice to see providers who are in-network or out-of-network. You pay less to see providers who are in-network, because they have a contract with your health plan. This means they charge lower rates which can be highly beneficial.

  1. Consider a High-deductible Plan

A high-deductible health plan requires you to pay a higher out-of-pocket deductible before your insurance coverage kicks in. However, monthly premiums are usually lower than traditional health plans, and if you only see your doctor once or twice a year, you may save money with this option. Just make sure you have the cash on hand to cover the deductible if you do end up needing significant care.

4 Essential Components of the Path to a Healthy Pregnancy

Each month of pregnancy is different, not just for you and your family but also for the baby that’s growing inside your body. Make sure to make the most of your pregnancy by following the right path to a healthy pregnancy.

Pregnancy is a time of joy and stress. Once you reveal the news of the pregnancy, your friends, family members and relatives gather around you to offer their experience, suggestions, and gifts. Many of them will surely suggest eating certain foods, exercising, thinking positively and the list never ends.

While the suggestions from your loved ones are precious, you should also understand that your case might be different from theirs. In addition, there is no one-size-fits-all formula when it comes to taking care of your body and the baby during pregnancy. That said, following certain guidelines from experts could go a long way in helping you and your baby stay healthy during and after the pregnancy.

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In this article, you will find expert-recommended tips that comprise the path to a healthy pregnancy.

A Quick Overview of Pregnancy: Know the Early Signs and Symptoms, and Related Terms

Pregnancy starts with the fertilization of an egg by sperm, continues with the formation of an embryo inside a woman’s womb and then a fetus, and ends with the delivery of a fully-grown baby. An embryo refers to a fertilized egg during the first nine weeks of pregnancy.

The early signs and symptoms of pregnancy include:

  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Tender breast.
  • Missed periods or an abnormal period.
  • Weight gain
  • Enlarged breast and darkening of nipples.
  • More frequent urination than usual.
  • Sensations of fetal movement in the abdomen (generally after 20 weeks)

Trimester

A trimester is a three-month period during which specific events and characteristic developmental changes happen inside the womb. There are three trimesters in an individual pregnancy.

Estimated date of delivery (EDD)

Also called the estimated date of confinement, EDD refers to the date at which a pregnant woman is most likely to give birth to the baby. It is calculated by counting forward 280 days from the first day of the woman’s last period.

Preterm Labor

In preterm labor, the uterine contraction begins before 37 weeks of pregnancy.

High-risk pregnancy

A high-risk pregnancy can refer to any condition in which a woman is likely to have certain complications during pregnancy. Diabetic or hypertensive women and women 35 years or older are prone to complications during pregnancy.

The Path to A Healthy Pregnancy: Here is What It Looks Like

The path to a healthy pregnancy is more than just eating healthy foods, getting enough nutrients and exercising daily. Because pregnancy lasts 9 months and every event is crucial, you should think beyond healthy diets and exercise.

The path to a healthy pregnancy consists of:

1.   Start.

Pregnancy occurs when the sperm fertilizes an egg. For this reason, the start of the pregnancy is from the date of your last menstrual period. This is exactly where the pregnancy duration is divided into three 3-month periods called the trimesters.

2.   Trimester

The first trimester extends from week 1 to week 12. During this period, a fertilized egg enters the embryonic stage and gradually transforms from a tiny seed into a more human-like mass. Most major body organs are developed in the embryonic stage. Keep in mind that your baby is more prone to the damages by radiation, alcohol, certain medications, and infections during the embryonic stage.

In addition, from week 4 – 8, start taking prenatal vitamins along with a nutritious diet, schedule a visit with an OB/GYN and have your first prenatal checkup.

After your first prenatal checkup, schedule monthly prenatal checkups with your OB/GYN. Because now, you are taking care of yourself as well as the little baby growing inside you, take at least 300 calories more than what you would take normally each day.

Talk to your doctor or pharmacist before taking any medications, both OTC and prescription, and supplements. Because this is a crucial phase of pregnancy where organs develop in the embryo, any wrong medication can lead to complications or deformity.

From week 9 – 13, talk to the OB/GYN to detect fetal heart tones. Fetal heart tones indicate well-being of the fetus and are audible using ultrasound or fetoscope.  The baby’s heart starts beating by the sixth week and becomes detectable from week 8 to 14.

Also, ask the OB/GYN whether to go for the chorionic villus sampling (CVS) or not. CVS is a prenatal diagnostic test that determines if the fetus has any chromosomal or genetic disorder.

3.   Trimester 2.

The second trimester typically starts at week 13 through week 27. Most pregnant women feel fetal movements at about week 18 to week 22.

From week 14 – 18, start doing a kind of exercise that strengthens the pelvic floor muscles called Kegel exercises. If you are 35 years or more, consult your doctor if you need a specific test called amniocentesis. From week 19 – 23, go for a mid-pregnancy ultrasound examination. Before week 24, start the baby registry and consider umbilical cord banking.

From week 24 – 27, get your blood sugar tested to detect a type of diabetes called gestational diabetes. In the meantime, think of getting a life insurance policy.

4.   Trimester 3.

The third or the final trimester spans from week 28 – 37. During this period, prepare yourself for the forthcoming delivery by taking a childbirth class. Talk to a pediatrician and learn tips for newborn care. As you move nearer the delivery, watch your uterine contractions.

On the delivery day, seek an immediate medical attention once the labor starts.

Want To Know More?

To know more about the path to a healthy pregnancy, visit http://www.FindaTopDoc.com. Also, gain unlimited access to a myriad of other benefits. Readers can find evidence-based health information with just a click. Driven by the aim to provide authentic information about diseases, drugs, supplements, medical procedures, and lifestyle tips to all its visitors, FindaTopDoc.com and CEO Anthony Casimano allow visitors to read about the best doctors locally. Readers can choose the doctor that best meets their unique health needs, and request to schedule an appointment instantly.

Foods for a Healthy Heart: What to Eat and What Not to Eat

Your diet has a lot to do with your health. After all, you become what you eat. When it comes to taking care of your heart, the foods you eat and your habits play the most important role. We all know that proper nutrition and healthy lifestyle are essential weapons against heart disease. However, most people get stuck in their routine and often fail to follow a heart-healthy diet in the long run.

In this article, we look at the foods that cut down the risk of heart disease and how you can include them in your diet. In addition, you will also learn how avoiding some foods helps to keep your heart healthy and young.

foods for a healthy heart

Before we dive deeper, let’s have a quick overview of heart disease and its prevalence in the US.

Heart Disease Accounts for 1 in Every 4 Deaths in the US

Heart disease is an umbrella term for a number of conditions that affect how your heart functions. These include coronary artery disease (CAD), arrhythmias and heart defects that are present at the time of birth (congenital heart defects).

In literature, the term heart disease is often used interchangeably with cardiovascular disease (CVD). Specifically, CVD refers to the conditions that might arise because of blocked or narrowed blood vessels, such as stroke, chest pain and chest pain (angina).

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recognizes heart disease as the leading cause of death for both men and women. CAD is the most common type of heart disease, which causes 370,000 deaths every year, according to the CDC.

Amidst all these gloomy stats, the good news is heart disease is preventable and sticking to heart-healthy diet and lifestyle is easier than you think.

3 Incredibly Heart-Healthy Foods You Should Take Daily

1.   Vegetables and fruits

Vegetables and fruits always take the top slot when it comes to the list of heart-healthy foods. They are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Most notably, they contain high amounts of vitamin K, which is essential for proper blood clotting. Moreover, they are also a rich source of dietary nitrates. Nitrates are well known for supporting healthy blood vessels and increasing their elasticity.

Vegetables and fruits are low in calories and thus can help control weight, reduce blood pressure and make your blood vessels cholesterol free.

Numerous scientific studies have found that increasing your daily intake of vegetables and fruits can significantly reduce the risk of heart disease.

2.   Whole grains

Unlike refined grains, whole grains contain all three parts of the grain. These include germ, endosperm, and bran. Because they contain high amounts of fiber, they can help reduce the blood levels of bad cholesterol, LDL.

A 2016 study published in the journal BMJ found that eating three more servings of whole grains daily slashed the risk of heart disease by a whopping 22 percent.

Similarly, another study revealed that a daily intake of at least three servings of whole grains decreased systolic blood pressure by 6 mmHg. Keep in mind that this reduction in blood pressure can reduce the risk of stroke by about 25%.

When you purchase a whole grain product, choose only the product that has a label “whole grain or whole wheat”. Also, keep in mind that products that have labels like “multigrain” do not necessarily contain whole grains.

3.   Fatty fish and fish oil

Salmon, mackerel, sardines, and tuna are all great sources of heart-healthy fats called omega-3 fatty acids. Numerous studies support the role of omega-3 fats in reducing the risk of heart disease.

According to a 2010 study, those who eat salmon three times a week for eight weeks had achieved a significant decrease in diastolic blood pressure. The study was published in the journal Nutrition.

Similarly, other studies have also found that eating fatty fish can help to reduce total cholesterol levels, blood triglycerides, fasting blood sugar and systolic blood pressure. Conversely, decreasing your intake of fatty fish can increase the risk of high blood pressure, diabetes or obesity, all of which are risk factors for heart disease.

You may consider taking fish oil supplements or krill oil if you think your diet is deficient in omega-3 fats. However, make sure to consult your doctor before taking any supplement.