Uninterrupted and smooth heartbeat is something that every human being yearns for! After brain, the heart is one of the most active and busiest organs because it pumps blood all around the body. But sometimes, intruders like depression, lifestyle disorders, wreak havoc in a healthy heart leading to various heart ailments. In fact, in India heart attack kills one person every 33 seconds. Despite these statistics, people turn a blind eye to the aftermath of cardiovascular diseases. Thus, to spread awareness, The World Heart Federation started World Heart Day that falls on 29th September every year.
Conceptualized in 2000, World Heart Day is the perfect podium that unites countries across the globe to fight against cardiovascular diseases. It aims to fight against notorious culprits and educate people about excessive tobacco use, unhealthy lifestyle and physical inactivity. Every year, World Heart Federation comes up with different global campaigns and this year it pledges to ‘look after our own hearts, and the hearts of our loved ones,’ using the slogan ‘My Heart, Your Heart’. The primary goal of this campaign is to make a promise to ourselves to get active, eat healthily and say no to smoking. The reason for this being the startling statistics of the World Health Organization, which states that about 17.7 million people die each year from cardiovascular diseases, which is an estimated 31% of all deaths worldwide. In fact, a new international study published by Elsevier in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology also noted that death caused by cardiovascular diseases has declined in the US by 41% between 1990 to 2016. However, India has an alarming statistic wherein the death toll has escalated by 34% from 155.7 to 209.1 deaths per one lakh population in the same period. In fact, heart disease is the biggest killer in India than cancer.
However, with preventive measures and a healthy lifestyle, you can definitely make your heart healthier. If you are a smoker, then quit, because smoking damages the lining of your arteries, leading to a build-up of fatty material which narrows the artery. Furthermore, to have a healthier beginning, start getting active! Devote at least 30 minutes of your day for heart-friendly exercises like brisk walking, aerobic exercises, swimming, jogging, etc. Regular exercise will help you burn calories, keep up a healthy weight, curtail bad cholesterol, lower blood pressure and boost good cholesterol. Also, complement your daily exercise routine with heart-healthy eating by cutting down salt, fat, high-calorie food, alcohol and concentrate more on low-fat protein sources, vegetables, fruits and whole grains. And start your healthy regime by including dry fruits and nuts because a study by the BMJ Open Journal has concluded that they can cut down the risks of cardiovascular diseases.
1. Almonds – Lowers Cholesterol
Cholesterol is a fat-like substance that circulates in your body. And, furthermore, there are two types of cholesterol – low-density lipoproteins (LDL) and high-density lipoproteins (HDL). LDL is often tagged as the ‘bad cholesterol’ because high levels of LDL, lead to accumulation of cholesterol in arteries thus causing heart diseases. However, regular consumption of almonds can control this situation as it boosts HDL – the ‘good cholesterol’ and enhances the way to cut down cholesterol from the body.
2. Walnuts – Regulates Heartbeat
Studies have revealed that Omega-3 fatty acids decrease the risk of abnormal heartbeat that leads to sudden death. Not just this, but they also cut down the triglyceride levels, curtails growth rate of plaque that clogs blood vessels, minimally lowers blood pressure and prevents inflammation of blood vessels. And all these elements are found in walnuts. Additionally, walnut kernels contain an ample amount of antioxidant content, more than any other nuts.
3. Pistachios – Maintains Blood Pressure
It’s been observed that stress is not a direct risk factor for heart ailments. But if you are unable to cope up with stress, then falling prey to extensive alcohol consumption, smoking, overeating, inactivity can lead to cardiovascular diseases. Furthermore, these factors can increase your blood pressure and damage your artery. But pistachios are a saviour in such situations as stated by Pennsylvania State University, which reveals that pistachios may positively lessen the body’s retort to the everyday stresses. Pistachios work on the blood pressure and also curtail the vascular load on the heart.
4. Raisins – Antioxidant
Phytonutrients – phenols and polyphenols are antioxidants that help in removing free radicals from the blood. With antioxidants in the body, the damage to cells and DNA can be prevented along with diseases like heart ailments, stroke and cancer. Interestingly, raisins are a rich source of these nutrients. Not just this, but raisins are also rich in potassium which controls blood pressure, regulates the heart beat and subdues the effects of sodium.
5. Cashews – Rich In Dietary Fats
Dietary fats play a pivotal role in prevention of cardiovascular diseases. These fats are a prerequisite for human body because they absorb nutrients like fat soluble vitamin A, D, E, and K and essential fatty acids. Also, some of the healthy fats are monounsaturated fats, which suppress bad cholesterol levels, thus helping to have a healthy heart. They also help in providing nutrients to nurture the body cells and act as an antioxidant. Interestingly, all these properties are found in cashews that curtails LDL, inflammation, vascular reactivity, etc.
Despite having healthy fats, dry fruits and nuts are dense in calories. So, keep a close eye on quantity and stick to a small handful of nuts (1.5 ounces of whole nuts). Also, you can explore some amazing healthy-heart recipes like date and walnut balls, pistachio & peach toast, fruit & nut mix, nut & dried fruit dark chocolate bark and healthy trail mix. All these recipes are loaded with healthy fats but to enhance their taste, it’s important to choose the best set of dry fruits and nuts. And to do so, explore Ambrosia Nuts that are fresh, handpicked and will delight your taste bud!