Didn’t think the health of your brain was connected to heart?
Although the heart and the brain are located in very different parts of your body and you wouldn’t think they affect each other, keeping your heart healthy can contribute to a healthy brain.
Here’s the deal: whenever your heart beats, blood is pumped out to all organs of your body: your brain included.
The blood that is carried to the different parts of your body contains oxygen and nutrients your body needs to function properly.
Just before the blood reaches the brain, there is a layer called the Blood Brain Barrier that allows for oxygen and nutrients to move into your brain cells.
Because the quality of blood that reaches your brain from your heart depends heavily on the health of your heart, it is important to keep it healthy to ensure everything keeps running smoothly.
High blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol can all affect the brain in a bad way.
Add in the reality that as we age, there’s an increased risk for heart-disease and heart-related problems, and this is a topic that needs to be taken seriously.
Because we take your overall health seriously, in this post, we will talk about how you can have a healthy brain by keeping a healthy heart.
High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure or hypertension happens when the pressure of blood against the walls of a person’s blood vessels is too high.
When a person has high blood pressure, the heart has to work harder to pump blood to the brain.
Over time, this overworking of the heart leads to a weakened heart and blood vessels that are not effective at transporting blood to your brain.
When this happens, your brain is starved and unable to function at the level it needs to.
How do you keep high blood pressure at bay?
While there are drugs that can help you keep blood pressure low, eating a healthy diet with reduced salt and exercising regularly is helpful when it comes to keeping blood pressure down.
Cholesterol is a natural product that forms a part of your cells.
It can however become dangerous when you have too much of it in your blood.
Because cholesterol is a waxy-like substance, it easily sticks to the walls of your blood vessels.
Over time, it can cause plaque- a hard substance which clogs your blood vessels.
As you can imagine, clogged blood vessels are not going to be effective at transporting blood.
How can you keep cholesterol levels low?
Eating foods low in LDL (low density lipoprotein) cholesterol is the first step to getting your cholesterol under control.
Food that are high in good cholesterol (HDL) cholesterol help to reduce the levels of bad cholesterol in your blood.
These foods include:
- Olive oil
- Beans and legumes
- Whole grains
- High-fiber foods
- Chia seeds
Exercising regularly, quitting smoking and eating a low carbohydrate diet can also contribute to lowering cholesterol.
Some people have naturally high levels of cholesterol because they have a hereditary condition known as familial cholesterolemia.
For such people, a doctor may recommend medications to keep cholesterol low.
Because there are no real symptoms that show you have high blood pressure or high cholesterol, it’s important to get consistent check-ups to make sure a doctor catches these problems during the early stages.
Keep a healthy brain by keeping your heart healthy
As we age, the risk for heart conditions goes up.
Because there is risk for memory loss and dementia with old age, it is especially important that we keep our hearts healthy so everything else is healthy.
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