Wed, Feb 22, 2017 | updated 09:25 AM IST

This World Heart Day, get on with 'hearty' life with these tips

Updated: Sep 29, 2016 14:42 IST

By Pallavi Aman Singh

New Delhi [India], Sep 29 (ANI): You may claim to feel young at heart, but the reality could, in fact, be quite the opposite. Good news is - you can actually reduce your risk of heart trouble.

Sivachenduran B, Co-founder of Danvanthiri Medical Tourism, has listed down few ways to improve heart health - all simple, but effective alterations in everyday life that can change your living into a healthy existence.

1. Smile - A good dental hygiene does more than just keeping your pearly whites gleaming. It may affect your overall health. Bacteria in the mouth are involved in the development of gum disease, which can move into the bloodstream and cause an elevation in C-reactive protein, a marker for inflammation in the blood vessels. These changes may in turn, increase your risk of heart disease and stroke. Therefore, it is advised to keep your mouth clean by daily brushing and flossing your teeth.

2. Raise a toast - Judicious drinking of alcohol can raise your high-density Lipoproteins - HDL (good cholesterol) levels, reduce blood coagulation, and also aid in stopping artery damage. Red wines offer more benefits than any other alcoholic beverage. The skins of certain red wine grapes are rich in 'Flavanoids', which are a form of antioxidant. Another form of antioxidant called 'Resveratrol' cleans up chemicals from your system responsible for causing blood clots, the primary inducer of heart disease.

3. Go fish - Fish are high in omega-3 fatty acids that can reduce the risk of heart disease by a third or more. To those concerned about the mercury content or other contaminants in fish, the research says, that the heart healthy benefits outweigh the possible risks of exposure to toxic elements. If you are a vegetarian, then flax seeds, Mustard oil, cabbage family, berries, mangoes can reap you the same benefits if you include them in your daily diet.

4. LOL - Not on a social media platform, but for real: Laugh Out Loud. A good, jolly laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after. It helps in boosting your immune system. Laughter helps relieve the stress that damages the endothelium, the tissue that forms the inner lining of blood vessels and helps your blood flow. It also promotes the healthy function of blood vessels. No wonder, 'laughter is the best medicine'.

5. Pet Therapy - Animal love is unconditional love; and this affection can do more than lighting up your gloomy mood after a day's tedious task. Studies reported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), US show that owning pets can lower the rate of dying from heart disease and possibly improve heart and lung function. If you are sceptical about owning dogs, try going for walks to dog park s in the city to intake the cheerful vibe.

Sivachenduran B told ANI, "With the ongoing rapidity in the Cardio-vascular diseases in India, the country is undergoing an epidemiological transition and is on the threshold of an epidemic of Cardio-vascular Disease (CVD). CVDs are growing at alarming rate of 9.2 percent annually."

He added, "Today, cardiac hospitals in India perform over 100,000 open heart surgeries per year, one of the highest, worldwide. A more tormenting truth is that the incidences of CVDs have gone up radically for people between the ages 25 and 40 to 24.8 percent, which means that we are tending to lose more productive portion of the population to these diseases. The growth of heart diseases impacts has not just touched the youth and the urban for that matter of fact, but also the below-privileged. In fact, the Indian rural population and urban poor are facing a 'double burden' - with incidences of acute diseases that are continuing, there has been a rapid growth in incidences of chronic diseases. However, the brighter side is that heart diseases are preventable and reversible if precautions and curing measures are taken at the proper time."

According to the WHO Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are the major cause of mortality globally, as well as in India. They are caused by disorders of the heart and blood vessels, and include coronary heart disease (heart attacks), cerebrovascular disease (stroke), raised blood pressure (hypertension), peripheral artery disease, rheumatic heart disease, congenital heart disease and heart failure. Non- communicable diseases like cardiovascular, diabetes and cancer can cost the Indian economy a whopping 6.2 trillion dollar during the 2012-2030 period, warning about the spread of such diseases in rapidly urbanising countries like India.

Sivachenduran B continued, "Common modifiable risk factors namely physical inactivity, unhealthy diet, harmful effects of tobacco and alcohol and other habit forming substances have been identified. Controlling the common modifiable risk factors shall help in prevention and control of cardiovascular diseases. Health-care providers should also be alert in recognizing and managing cardiovascular disease risk in women as well." (ANI)

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