Dr. Mehmet Oz is one of the country's best-known cardiothoracic surgeons, in large part because of his popular daily television program focusing on medical issues and personal health. As a medical professional, Dr. Oz has plenty to say about heart attacks and believes that anyone can realize the joy in finding a healthier lifestyle.
"You absolutely can reverse and virtually eliminate heart disease by making sensible lifestyle changes," he told Better Homes & Gardens
. "It's really fun to experience the 'aha moment' when you finally learn how to read a food label."
His official website, doctoroz.com, contains tips on what to eat and drink, as well as what measures are the most effective in keeping the heart healthy.
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Exercise is naturally near the top of the list as a big factor in improving the body's engine. Finding 20 minutes a day for some kind of physical activity will go a long way toward decreasing the risks of a heart attack.
Eating fruits and vegetables are heart healthy because they are high in the compound called flavonoids, which work to protect the body's cardiovascular system, Dr. Brian Dixon said during a segment for The Dr. Oz show.
He specifically cites foods such as kale, broccoli, yellow onions, apples, dark chocolate and red and purple grapes as beneficial.
Those who enjoy a glass of red wine at dinner should know that they also come with health benefits to the cardiovascular system, because they also contain flavonoids and are high in antioxidants.
For some practical tips, Dr. Oz lists many basic things that have linked to heart health, according to Better Homes & Gardens.
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Here are five:
Sleep seven to eight hours each night. Lack of sleep causes cells to be more resistant to insulin, which is regulated during sleep. Less sleep can result in higher blood sugars and lead to weight gain and heart disease.
Losing weight. Women with waistlines that are more than 35 inches and men above 40 inches are at increased risk of heart disease. Dropping 5 to 10 percent of your weight can significantly improve your heart health.
Laughter. Laughing reduces the levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which can decrease blood pressure and boost mood and immunity.
Sex. That's not a misprint. Partaking in stress-reducing activities is a natural way to improve heart health. Dr. Oz cites studies that show sexual activity reduces blood pressure, and sex at least twice a week has been tied to a notable reduction in heart disease risk among men.
Salt consumption. High sodium contributes to high blood pressure and makes the heart work harder. For those with high blood pressure, eliminating one teaspoon a day could make a significant difference.
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