How to keep your heart healthy

1 Quit smoking: The risk of  a heart attack for smokers as well as passive smokers is more than twice compared to a non-smoker. Smoking constricts your arteries, makes your blood more susceptible to developing a clot.

2 Get fit: Obesity is linked with Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) and belly fat is most damaging. If you are overweight, see your doctor. The risk factors of CAD multiply. So if you take care, there is less chance of the genetic factor coming into play.

3 Regular check up: Get your cholesterol levels checked. High cholesterol leads to build up of fatty plaques on the walls of your arteries.

4 Healthy food: Eat more fruits, root vegetables, leafy green vegetables, brightly coloured vegetables (carrots, tomato etc). You should cut down on meat, processed food, food with “hidden fat” such as cakes, pastries and aerated drinks.

5 Beat stress: In some ways stress is the most difficult problem to solve. Stress produces hormones in the blood stream that constrict arteries.

(With inputs by OP  Yadava, Chief Cardiac Surgeon, National  Heart Institute)

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