The heart is the body’s most important organ, so why wouldn’t you do everything you can to keep it healthy?
There’s an increasing amount of information revealing how your lifestyle can have an effect, good or bad, on heart health. One recent study suggested that simply brushing your teeth thoroughly can reduce inflammation in the body and protect against heart attacks.
Johannes Hinrich von Borstel, a doctor and former paramedic warns of the dangers of a condition called atherosclerosis, a condition everyone begins to develop around the age of 25. Atherosclerosis is categorised by the build-up of fatty deposits in the arteries and can lead to heart disease and stroke.
“Atherosclerosis is the only disease that everyone in the world has from the age of 50,” says Dr von Borstel. “One hundred per cent of people have it. It is something you cannot completely stop, but you can influence how fast it develops.”
So what are some ways to keep your ticker beating healthily? Dr von Borstel says sex, sleep and eating raw garlic can help:
Having sex (with someone you love)
“As well as an entire cardiac workout, before and during intercourse there is a big release of hormones that have a protective effect on our cardiovascular system,” says Dr von Borstel.
Having sex with a person you love, not just a stranger, is better for your heart because the genuine affection means higher levels of blood-pressure-lowering oxytocin are released.
Sleeping (but not too much)
Failing to get enough sleep is associated with an increased heart rate, high blood pressure and a spike in inflammation, which can strain the heart. So sleeping well is important but sleeping too much can also be detrimental. One study from 2010 found that people who regularly get more than nine hours sleep per night had an almost 50 per cent higher risk of having a heart attack.
Eating garlic (every day)
We all know how important good nutrition is for overall health. Along with ginger and onions, garlic contains a blood thinner that helps promote blood flow through vessels and improved blood supply to organs.
“As long as you eat in a balanced way, it is no problem to eat these every day,” says Dr von Borstel.
Read more at theage.com.au
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