health montgomery county pa

Two Surprising Heart-Healthy Habits

We all know that if we want to be healthy, there are things we can do and avoid doing that increase our chances to be healthy.

It’s commonly accepted that regular exercise is good for your heart, your bones and muscles, and even your brain. You don’t have to run ten miles or lift heavy weights to get the positive effects of exercise – you could walk 30-40 minutes three or four times a week, and you will be meeting your body’s basic exercise needs.

health montgomery county paOf course, running, swimming, yoga, or your sport of choice are all suitable for keeping fit – your best option is the one you want to do, so you develop a habitual rhythm and make a long-term commitment to resolving physical stresses.

Getting enough sleep is essential for good health. Your body works hard all day – fighting gravity to remain in an upright posture, breathing 20,000 times a day or more, your heart beating a hundred thousand times every day – you need sleep to give your machinery a chance to rest up.

But there is an even more important reason why you need enough sleep – your brain cleans and maintains itself while you sleep, and that process takes seven to eight hours. So, your brain can only work properly when you get sufficient sleep every night.

Most of us know to avoid smoking, excessive drinking and drugs, including medicines except when absolutely necessary. It’s hard to be healthy when your body is polluted by poisons, toxins and foreign substances, so do all you can to minimize your exposure wherever possible.

You also want to eat healthy food and stay away from unhealthy foods. Your heart and brain hate refined sugar and love protein and healthy fats, so you can make dietary decisions that minimize empty carbohydrates and increase fresh foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds.

Some people like meat and some don’t – some like yogurt and cheese and some don’t – but there is a surprising food that the latest research has linked to heart health. A huge study in China, with 400,000 people over nine years, showed that those who ate an egg a day had significantly less incidence of stroke and heart disease.

Eggs are like little nutrition bombs, providing high quality protein second only to mother’s milk. They are rich in vitamins, like Vitamins B-12, D and E, and minerals like calcium, zinc and iron. They contain essential fatty acids and choline for brain development and function, lutein to slow the aging process, and they offer all that metabolic goodness for only 75 calories.

Eggs have been unfairly accused of being unhealthy sources of cholesterol, but diet experts agree that this is not true. Eggs come fully equipped with a substance known as lecithin, which breaks down the cholesterol and keeps it from sticking to the blood vessels.

And here’s one more amazing dietary suggestion – an article in “Prevention” declared that a daily banana is a little known secret that helps you to be healthier. This deliciously common fruit is loaded with potassium, which helps your muscles and nerves work and regulates your heartbeat. Potassium also balances the fluids in your body, which equalizes your blood pressure, keeps you hydrated and improves kidney function.

Bananas have fiber that acts as a prebiotic, which means that it is a great food for the friendly bacteria in your gut that help you digest what you eat. They even have an anti-oxidant effect, decreasing the stress on your cells, tissues and organs.

Health-conscious people make good decisions about their health habits – if you want some guidance on making sound lifestyle decisions, ask your neighborhood wellness expert, your chiropractor.