February is the month to become aware of heart disease. Since they are largely preventable, heart disease should be as rare as, for example, scurvy. Unfortunately, however, heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide.

Of course, prevention of heart disease is more complicated than other diseases, such as consumption of vitamin C to stop scurvy, and requires us to make changes in our diets and exercise routines. But it is not difficult changes: just follow these simple tips to have a heart shaped.

heart shaped

1. Maintain a normal blood pressure

Hypertension, a condition that often is not, is the biggest risk factor. If you are taking medication, be strict in their consumption; realize periodic monitoring of blood pressure and make follow-up appointments with your doctor.

2. Stay away from smoke snuff

Smoking raises the risk of heart disease by a factor of two to four. More smokers die from heart disease than from lung disease.

3. Avoid sugar

Fats have been unfairly demonized, even the ones that seem to be really bad the artificial trans fats (also called trans fats). A new study found that Americans consume more sugar than they should, and the higher the consumption of sugar greater the risk of cardiovascular death.

4. Eat real food

Eat real foods like vegetables, fruits, nuts and moderate amounts of whole grains. A weekly serving of oily fish, which is rich in omega-3, reduces the risk of fatal coronary heart disease.

5. Exercise

While physical inactivity increases the risk of heart disease, regular exercise reduces it. According to study out walking briskly down three conditions that increase the risk of heart disease hypertension, high cholesterol and diabetes.

6. Manage stress

Stress raises levels of hormones such as epinephrine (aka adrenaline) and cortisol. As a result increases heart rate and blood pressure, platelets become sticky (increasing the risk of blood clots within blood vessels), and increases blood glucose. Over time, stress increases the risk of heart disease and other conditions such as atherosclerosis, hypertension and diabetes.

7. Get enough sleep

Studies link overwork and lack of sleep with great chances of developing cardiovascular disease and heart attacks.

8. Reduce salt intake

Use herbs and spices instead of salt, since the excessive salt intake can increase blood pressure. The Italian seasonings like oregano, thyme and rosemary are rich in antioxidants, and also counteract oxidative stress (a risk factor for heart disease and many other diseases).

Gradually adopts these simple tips to have a heart shaped, and soon you’ll be enjoying the benefits. Here we leave other suggestions for caring heart and keep it healthy.