10 tips for a happy heart

Keep your heart in top condition with these simple pointers.

1. Choose fish. Cold-water fish which contain protective omega-3 fatty acids has been shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular health problems. Among the best choices are wild salmon, sardines and herring.

2. Get in your exercise. Aerobic activity helps maintain heart health. Walking is inexpensive and a popular way to stay fit –– all it takes is a little motivation and a comfortable pair of shoes.

3. Control waist size. Make sure you have more low-fat, high-fibre and low sugar foods than other types, and choose more low-fat and fat-free dressings, condiments, sauces and table spreads instead of full-fat ones.

4. Take vitamin E, a well-known protective nutrient for the cardiovascular system that may reduce the risk of serious cardiovascular complaints.

5. Also consider taking CoQ10 and fish oil for their antioxidant and vessel protecting qualities.

6. Get Smart About Smoking. Smoking is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, but that risk can be reduced by stopping smoking at ANY age.

7. I’ll drink to that. Red wine contains antioxidants and flavonoids, and has been associated with heart protection.

8. You can have your chocolate and eat it too! That is, if it’s dark chocolate. Pure dark chocolate contains a very high amount of catechins (a heart healthy antioxidant). Enjoy it with black grapes and wash it down with a beverage containing natural cocoa powder or tea, additional excellent sources of these heart healthy compounds.

9. Have a hearty laugh. Very few things in life are better than a good laugh and it turns out that laughing heartily is good for the heart. Enjoy the lighter side of life with family and friends.

10. Manage stress well. Be proactive and address issues as they arise. Try exercise such as yoga, which gives you both a mental and physical lift.

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