Keep your heart healthy with vitamin D-rich foods | Health News

The COVID-19 virus spares no one, but elderly people and those with underlying health conditions like hypertension, diabetes or heart ailments are at a higher risk of getting the infection. These people are also likely to experience more severe symptoms of the infection. A WHO-China Joint Mission report indicated that people with such health conditions are experiencing mortality rates 2-3-fold higher than the general population.COVID-19 is known to infect the lungs majorly. But Dr. Ashok Seth, Chairman, Fortis Escorts Heart Institute, New Delhi, said that the novel coronavirus can also affect the heart. According to him, the virus can cause inflammation of the arteries, which can lead to blockage inside the arteries and consequently heart attack. This viral infection can also worsen the condition in people with pre-existing heart disease, he added.As people living with heart disease are more susceptible to the infection, they are recommended to avoid going to hospitals for their routine check-ups to prevent exposure to this strain of coronavirus. They are also advised to continue to take their medication and follow medical advice, apart from following the established COVID-19 preventive measures.

In addition, experts also recommend that everyone should take care of the heart while at home during self-quarantine. One way to keep your heart healthy is by eating vitamin D-rich foods, suggests a new research.

Consuming food rich in vitamin D may help protect against heart-related problems, especially in men, revealed the study published in the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics.

Foods that are high in vitamin D include salmon, egg yolks, mushrooms and fortified foods cow’s milk, soy milk, cereal and oatmeal. Besides increasing your vitamin D intake, you should also follow the below steps to keep your heart healthy:

Quit smoking

If you’re smoking, stop it now. Kicking the butt is one of the best things you can do to protect your heart. Smoking can increase your heart rate, tighten major arteries, and cause an irregular heart rhythm, all of which makes your heart work harder. Studies have also shown that smoking raises blood pressure, which increases the risk of stroke. Tobacco use is also linked to cancer, lung disease, early menopause, infertility, and pregnancy complications.

Be physically active

If you are an adult, you need at least 30 minutes of exercise five or more days a week for heart health. A 30-minute walk can give you the benefit. If walking is not possible due to lockdown, you can do aerobics, stretching exercises, or simply play kickball with your kids. Just reduce your sitting time during the day and find ways to stay active.

Manage your blood cholesterol

Cholesterol is a fatty substance carried in your blood and when it is present in high amount, it can increase your risk of heart disease. Limiting the intake of saturated and trans fats is an important step to reduce your blood cholesterol.

Achieve and maintain a healthy weight

Obesity can increase your risk of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD), particularly heart failure (HF) and coronary heart disease (CHD). That is why it is important to maintain a healthy weight to reduce your risk of heart disease and other health problems.