8 Dos and Don'ts for a Healthy Heart

Heart Health Dos and Don'ts

Optimism: Do

Happy news! A cheery disposition has been linked to a lower risk for heart disease, especially among people with a family history of the disorder. A sunny temperament may serve as a buffer against heart health–sapping stress.

Heart Health Dos and Don'ts

Tea: Do

Both green and black varieties may help reduce "bad" cholesterol (LDL). Having regular cups can also improve artery function. Skip bottled versions and brew it yourself for the biggest benefits.

Heart Health Dos and Don'ts

Magnesium: Do

The mineral plays a crucial role in helping your heart beat, and an extra 200 milligrams daily could slash your cardiac disease risk by 22 percent. Load your plate with magnesium superstars like whole grains, nuts, and leafy greens.

Heart Health Dos and Don'ts

Happy Hour: Do

Yup, you read that right. Light tippling may drop your risk for sudden cardiac death by 30 to 40 percent. Just keep it to one drink or less per day. More than that has the opposite effect. And no need to start drinking if you don't already!

8 Ways to Protect Your Ticker

Heart Health Dos and Don'ts

Constant Noise: Don't

Living near a busy airport or always being around loud traffic could raise your heart disease risk. Experts believe noise pollution can cause an uptick in stress, which increases blood pressure. Earplugs!

Heart Health Dos and Don'ts

Hormonal Havoc: Don't

Heart attack risk can be seven times higher in women with out-of-whack estrogen or testosterone levels. If you notice irregular periods, sudden weight gain, or excess body hair, see your doc, ASAP.

Heart Health Dos and Don'ts

Air Pollution: Don't

Researchers estimate that cleaning up smoggy air could prevent nearly 8,000 heart failure hospitalizations each year. Breathing it in contributes to atherosclerosis, a hardening of the arteries. Just moving farther from big roadways can reduce your risk.

Heart Health Dos and Don'ts

Anger: Don't

Sure, everyone has the right to get PO'd from time to time. But a permanently angry outlook is extra hard on your ticker: Your chances of a heart attack increase 2.4-fold in the two hours after a rage-fueled outburst, thanks to sky-high levels of adrenaline and cortisol that squeeze arteries.

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