In the Book of Joy by Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama, the Dalai Lama told about a meeting with Japanese scientists who explained, “ that wholehearted laughter is very good for your heart and health.” He further said that he has found that, “people who are always laughing have a sense of abandon and ease. They are less likely to have a heart attack than those people who are really serious and who have difficulty connecting with other people. Those serious people are in real danger.”
In addition to laughter, the Cleveland Clinic recommends these, “five key things you need to do every day to help your heart work most efficiently.” In their list, “Get enough sleep” is number three but I think it should be number one.
- Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is an essential part of keeping your heart healthy. If you don’t sleep enough, you may be at higher risk for cardiovascular disease no matter your age or other health habits…If you have sleep apnea, you should be treated as this condition is linked to heart disease and arrhythmias. “
I do want to add, that if you snore, PLEASE get a sleep test. It is the only way to diagnose sleep apnea. According to American Sleep Apnea Association, it is estimated that, “22 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea, with 80 percent of the cases of moderate and severe obstructive sleep apnea undiagnosed.”
- Eat healthy fats, NOT trans fats
So, what are trans fats? They are industry-produced fats often used in packaged baked goods, snack foods, margarines and fried fast foods to add flavor and texture. Read the labels on all foods. Trans fat appears on the ingredients list as partially hydrogenated oils. Look for 0 percent trans fat. Make it a point to avoid eating foods with trans fat.
- Practice good dental hygiene, especially flossing your teeth daily
Dental health is a good indication of overall health, including your heart, because those who have periodontal (gum) disease often have the same risk factors for heart disease. (As a Dentist, I wholeheartedly agree!)
- Don’t sit for too long at one time
In recent years, research has suggested that staying seated for long periods of time is bad for your health no matter how much exercise you do.
- Avoid secondhand smoke like the plague
Studies show that the risk of developing heart disease is about 25 to 30 percent higher for people who are exposed to secondhand smoke at home or work.”
Happy Valentines Day, and don’t forget that dark chocolate is also good for your heart!