4 Crazy Things That Just Might Prevent a Heart Attack
It is well-known that healthy lifestyle habits, such as eating a nutritious diet and exercising regularly, can help reduce risk for heart attack, but many seek to do even more to protect their heart.
While conventional medicine might have you believe that upping the ante on heart protection comes from a daily aspirin, a statin drug or the swearing off of butter, there are some oft-ignored tricks and measures you can adapt to reduce your risk of heart attack.
The following little adjustments might seem far-fetched to create any major difference in your life, but, scientific research has shown their effects are real and can provide noticeable benefits.
Discover the help you may need to get your blood pressure under control by tapping into the 21st century version of a safe, natural and inexpensive solution that people have used since Biblical times to maintain healthy blood pressure levels and overall cardiovascular function.
1. Listen to Soothing Music Before Bedtime
A new study presented at the European Society of Cardiology discovered that listening to soothing music before bedtime increases heart rate variability. This term refers to the heart’s ability to change pumping speed rapidly in response to danger or relaxation. Earlier research indicates low heart rate variability raises the risk of strokes or heart attacks up to 45 percent, as well as elevates the likelihood of death from such events. According to the author Naresh Sen, listening to soothing music at this time of the day is an easy, inexpensive therapy that can’t do any harm.
A similar study from the University of Oxford found listening to classical music lowers blood pressure and slows heartbeat. Interestingly, it produces this effect regardless of a person’s musical preferences. For example, heavy-metal music fans, who have no liking for classical music, will experience as much of the benefit as people who enjoy compositions of the great masters of Bach, Beethoven and Mozart.
2. Eat Three (Yes, Three) Chocolate Bars Per Week
For chocolate lovers, the scientific world has shown that one of life’s best gastronomic pleasures is also good for the heart.
A study presented at the European Society of Cardiology has suggested that eating up to three chocolate bars per month, can reduce the risk of heart failure by 13 percent. But moderation is the key: the study also indicated that eating chocolate daily increases the risk of heart failure by 17 percent and is probably due to the high sugar and fat content associated with the food.
Chocolate, especially dark chocolate, contains special antioxidants called flavonoids, which have been shown to improve blood vessel health and decrease inflammation. Lead researcher Dr. Chayakrit Krittanawong recommended choosing varieties with the highest cocoa content.
3. Take Care of Your Teeth and Gums
The possible relationship between gum disease and cardiovascular disease was first discovered in the 1960s, and since that time, evidence of the link has continued to accumulate. Harvard reports that people with gum disease have double or even triple the risk of a heart attack or stroke when compared to people without the condition. The mechanisms underlying the association are unclear, but experts suspect inflammation may play a role. Studies show some markers of inflammation connected to heart disease and blood vessel function are improved following treatment for gum disease.
4. Move Out of the City
There is a body of research that indicates urban living raises the risk of a heart attack, with research suggesting the increase in likelihood is due to traffic noise, which can raise levels of stress hormones and interfere with sleep.
Moreover, pollution from traffic can worsen existing heart conditions. The World Health Organization says the effect of noise on cardiovascular disease is small compared to other risk factors. Nonetheless, when you have a choice between living on a quieter out-of-the-way street or a street with heavy traffic, opt for the quieter area, even if it involves a longer work commute.