Did you know that 75% cases of cardiovascular disease, such as heart attack and stroke events, are preventable? Even the feared Alzheimer’s dementia is proving to be preventable and reversible with putting a healthy lifestyle at the center of attention. Poor blood supply to the heart is as avoidable as the poor blood supply to the brain that causes strokes and many cases of dementia. I believe everyone can optimize their heath which starts by giving your body what it needs. Health is the most important thing in life and the heart-brain lifestyle connection is solid. Here are 6 activities that help your heart-brain power remaining high.
1 . Prolonged sitting and repeatedly running marathons are both equally stressful on your brain and heart health. I recommend you build movement into your life by adding short bursts of activity into your day like a 5-10 minute walk after lunch. Standing during commercials while watching TV and getting a standing desk for your office are important habits.
2 . Emphasize nutrient dense foods for your heart and brain. At each meal think about the type of nutrition provided by what you are eating. A bagel and a piece of chicken both have no fiber and few vitamins. Compare that with greens (kale), beans, onions, mushrooms, berries and seeds that pack the same calories with life enriching nutrients. Add spices like turmeric, ginger, rosemary and cinnamon liberally.
3 . While what we eat is the majority of the nutrition equation, how we store, cook, consume and shop for our food matters as well. You can help your heart and brain by not eating from 8PM to 8AM, avoiding BBQ and fried foods which age the heart-brain, avoiding artificial sweeteners, and eating more mindfully and slower.
4 . Emotional health affects both heart and brain health. Stress, depression and anxiety have a direct impact on the heart and brain. These negative emotional factors correlate with a higher risk of dying from heart disease and stroke. Activities like hugging a pet, sex, getting 7-8 hours of sleep, being outdoors, and doing volunteer work can help heal your heart and brain.
5 . Common household products may be harmful to your health. There are over 80,000 industrial chemicals in common household products in the kitchen, bathroom and garage. These products can cause heart and brain disease. Use natural products and avoid BPA plastics in kitchenware and water bottles.
6 . Take the right type of vitamins and supplements for the heart and brain. I recommend a plant-based multivitamin along with CoQ10 and a probiotic. These can fill in the gaps to even the healthiest of diets.
In the Western world, cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death including both heart attack and stroke. Optimal nutrition, exercise, sleep, stress management and proper supplements can protect the brain while they protect the heart too.