Health

The”best medicine” for your heart

The”best medicine” for your heart

When’s the last time you had a good laugh? Not just any kind of laugh, but the gut-busting, tear-inducing kind of laugh that leaves you barely breathing? 

I hope it hasn’t been too long. Because as it turns out, laughter is not just all fun and games.  Recent science shows that a good laugh a day, may very well keep heart attack at bay. Cardiologists at the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) in Baltimore decided to test the effects of laughter on the heart. 

They compared the humor responses of 300 participants, half of which had previously experienced a heart attack or had bypass surgery. The other half did not have heart disease. The results? Dr. Miller, director of the Center for Preventive Cardiology at the University of Maryland Medical Center put it best, “The old saying that ‘laughter is the best medicine,’ definitely appears to be true when it comes to protecting your heart.” In another study, the same group of cardiologists at the UMMC decided to study the positive effects of laughter on the heart even further. What they found was quite surprising… 

Laughter actually makes the tissue that forms the inner lining of blood vessels (known as the endothelium)  expand in order to increase blood flow.  

So there’s one VERY good reason to start laughing a LOT more often. 

You already know that in addition to laughter you should be exercising and eating healthy. But here’s what you may not know… 

There are four heart-healthy foods you can include in your diet that can help protect your heart and keep it healthy for a long, long time. 

  • Blueberries— I’m sure you’ve already heard blueberries are high in antioxidants. But new research shows they also help lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. Eat ‘em plain, add them to oatmeal or a fruit salad. 
  • Garlic—This tasty herb has been shown to relax the lining of your blood vessels. This helps reduce high blood pressure. Add it to as many meals as you like. The more, the better! 
  • Omega 3 fats — These “good” fats help protect you from heart disease. You can get your fill by eating fish — salmon being the best option. Or, you can take it as a supplement. Pretty much any local grocery store should carry it.
  • Beets — Not always a favorite, but beets are actually great for your heart. They help reduce high-blood pressure. You can either start eating more beets or drink some beet juice everyday to get maximum benefit. 

Remember, laughter is definitely one of the “best medicines” for your heart. But don’t forget to also eat right, exercise, and incorporate one of the four heart-healthy foods into your diet! 

If you have questions about this article, or would like to know more about taking care of your heart and the overall health recommendations we give to our clients, just give us a call at 714-262-4003 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation.

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