- LATIN AMERICA
- MIDDLE EAST
- United Kingdom
- United States
- New Zealand
- South Africa
- iHaveNet.com: Health Ailments
Good Morning, Heart Health!
by Diana Kelly
Want to help your ticker's health, starting now -- as in, this morning?
First to try: Eating a balanced breakfast that includes fiber-full whole grains, fresh fruit, and lean protein, like a bowl of high-fiber cereal topped with low-fat milk and blueberries. 
Next, incorporate one of these heart-healthy habits into your morning.
A brief walk -- even 10 minutes -- gets your heart off to a good start. Better yet, add two more 10-minute walks later in the day for a total of 30 minutes, a routine that's been shown to lower blood pressure even more effectively than 30 consecutive minutes. 
One large banana is a potassium powerhouse (containing 487mg  -- about 10 percent of your recommended daily dose of this important nutrient). [3,4] A diet rich in potassium may help maintain healthy blood pressure. [4,5]
A handful of berries, that is. In a study of more than 90,000 women whose diets were tracked over decades, eating more than 2 or more combined servings of fresh strawberries and blueberries per week was associated with lower risk of having a heart attack. Berries get their power from anthocyanins, flavonoids that give them their cheery colors. Anthocyanins make blood vessels more flexible, lowering blood pressure.  Try tossing a handful of fresh berries on your morning cereal for a delicious pairing.
You already know that green and black tea's good for overall health, but preliminary research has discovered that brewing up a cup of flavorful hibiscus tea may lower blood pressure too. Like strawberries, the dark red hibiscus leaf also gets its color from anthocyanins.  To make a cup: Boil water and pour over dried hibiscus leaves and a cinnamon stick. Steep for 20 minutes, strain, and sweeten with some orange juice or honey. 
Your morning cup of joe has some benefits beyond helping you feel more awake. In a review of studies, researchers found that those who regularly drank about two 8-ounce cups of coffee had a lower risk of heart failure than those who didn't consume the java . Remember, that's two standard cups at your favorite coffee shop, not two giant mugs.
1. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics 4 Tips for Better Breakfasts
2. Bhammar DM,Angadi SS, Gaesser GA.
Effects of fractionized and continuous exercise on 24-h ambulatory blood pressure.
Med Sci Sports Exerc.2012 Dec;44(12):2270-6.
3. USDA Database Banana
4. Potassium AI
5. He FJ, MacGregor GA.
Beneficial effects of potassium on human health.
Physiol Plant.2008 Aug;133(4):725-35.
6. Aed'n Cassidy, Kenneth J. Mukamal, Lydia Liu, Mary Franz, A. Heather Eliassen, and Eric B. Rimm High Anthocyanin Intake Is Associated With a Reduced Risk of Myocardial Infarction in Young and Middle-Aged Women
7. Hopkins AL, Lamm MG, Funk JL, Ritenbaugh C.
Hibiscus sabdariffa L. in the treatment of hypertension and hyperlipidemia: a comprehensive review of animal and human studies.
Fitoterapia. 2013 Mar;85:84-94.
8. Tea recipe:
9. Mostofsky E, Rice MS, Levitan EB, Mittleman MA.
Habitual coffee consumption and risk of heart failure: a dose-response meta-analysis.Circ Heart Fail. 2012 Jul 1;5(4):401-5.
Diana Kelly is a New York-based freelance writer and editor with over 10 years' experience working for various media outlets including WeightWatchers.com, Prevention, Shape, Redbook, Men's Fitness and more
AGING | ALTERNATIVE | AILMENTS | DRUGS | FITNESS | GENETICS | CHILDREN'S | MEN'S | WOMEN'S
Article: Copyright ©
"Good Morning, Heart Health!"