Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you had remedies that could slash your cardiovascular disease risk and promote heart health simply by savoring the joys of the season? Turns out you can! And that’s especially important now that Johns Hopkins University research reveals keeping your heart healthy can lower the odds of COVID-19 complications by 80 percent. Just…
Taking 10 minutes to gaze out the window at flitting birds or falling snowflakes reduces the risk of heart disease by as much as 30 percent, findings in Environmental Research suggest. According to study coauthor Andy Jones, PhD, even small daily doses of nature lower the production of the heart-harming stress hormone cortisol.
Sip hot chocolate.
Flavanols found in cocoa fend off high blood pressure, cut cholesterol, and keep arteries elastic, say researchers reporting in the British Journal of Nutrition. In fact, their study found that folks who enjoyed two cups of a high-flavonoid cocoa beverage daily lowered their risk of heart disease by 20 percent and their risk of heart attacks by 31 percent. Tip: Use natural cocoa powder to get the best benefits since “Dutch” varieties are processed with alkali, which reduces their flavanol content by 90 percent.
Have fun with friends.
Whether you’re getting together at cookie exchanges, book club gatherings or caroling outings, Swedish scientists say staying social cuts heart disease risk by 50 percent. Spending time with friends enhances activity of the parasympathetic nervous system to keep the heart beating at a healthy rate. And in good news for blustery winter days, Tufts University scientists say connecting via phone calls and video chats works as well.
Dig into pecan pie.
The nuts you add to holiday treats like pies, pralines, and stuffing have heart-protective powers, according to a new University of Georgia study. Scientists say eating 2.5 ounces of pecans (about two small handfuls) daily lowers “bad” LDL cholesterol enough to reduce heart disease risk by 30 percent. Experts explain that healthy fat and fiber in the nuts keep cholesterol from climbing and clogging arteries.
Using these remedies, you’ll improve your heart health in no time!
A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.