Heart Health: Preventing Cardiac Disease

A healthy heart is the secret to a long and happy life. However, in order to get there, we need to be careful with that vital organ in the center of our chests.

The heart is so important that it's become a social icon meaning love and caring. That's also why our heart pumps a certain special way when that certain someone comes our way. While certain people might be good for our heart, it takes a little more than some TLC to keep your ticker in tip-top shape.

Considering the heart pumps up to 3 billion times in a 60-year time, needs just as much exercise as any other muscle.

If you don't keep good care of your heart, you could start having problems. The No. 1 thing to watch out for is heart failure, or other problems like cardiac disease, also known as heart disease.

Here are some key cardiac disease symptoms to help you determine if something is wrong:
DizzinessFast or slow heartbeatFatigueAbnormal sweatingChest painShortness of breathPain in the legs, abdomen, lower, back, or neck

If you experience any of these symptoms, it could mean you're having heart troubles. It's important to see your doctor if you do. If they symptoms are bringing you to your knees, call an ambulance immediately.

But keeping your heart healthy isn't just about giving it a good workout. To keep it in tip-top condition, your heart needs important nutrients, regular conditioning, and avoiding harmful substances.

Here are some ways to promote heart health every day:
Cardiovascular exercise: The more you exercise your heart, the better in shape it will be. Thirty minutes three times a week is good, but the more the better.Low-cholesterol foods: Reducing the amount of cholesterol you eat will help keep your arteries free of plaque, which causes constriction. These are common in animal products, processed foods, and other things."Good fats": Monosaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids found in most fish, nuts, avocados, and other healthy foods are good ways to raise your "good" cholesterol (which lowers the "bad" kind). Research also shows omega-3s also prevent heart arrhythmias.Caffeine: While a little bit of caffeine in the morning can help you get going, too much can create unneeded strain on your heart. If you want a good jolt without the caffeine, keep a large glass of water near your bed and gulp it down the second you wake up.Shake out less salt: Salt, while tasty addition to lots of foods, plays a large role in narrowing in the arteries, which puts unnecessary stress on the heart.Smoking: You've been looking for a reason to quit. Here's one more.

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