Mother Earth Living

Natural Health

Better living through nature

Add to My MSN

3 Fun Ways to Keep Your Heart Healthy

2/11/2011 1:04:00 PM

Tags: natural health, heart health, heart disease, heart attack, blood pressure, cholesterol, dark chocolate, wine, sex, flavanoids, antioxidants

Maintaining good heart health can seem like a chore. Eat a healthy diet. Hit the gym more often. Watch your weight. Keep your blood pressure and cholesterol down.

Keeping your heart healthy will help you enjoy life for a longer period of time—and what is life for if not a little enjoyment? Although diet, exercise and healthy habits are all crucial for good heart health, you can have a little more fun while taking care of your heart. Incorporate these three steps into your life!

Dagoba chocolate bar 
Dagoba's organic chocolate bars and baking products will help you on your way to heart-health fun. Photo Courtesy Dagoba Organic Chocolate. 

1. Indulge in dark chocolate 

An apple a day may keep the doctor away, but so does a square of dark chocolate—and, honestly, which one would you rather have? Dark chocolate is rich in flavanoids, a type of antioxidant, and when eaten in small quantities, dark chocolate can lower blood pressure and increase good cholesterol. A recent study found that eating one square of a 100-gram (3.5 oz) dark chocolate bar each day decreases your risk of a heart attack or stroke by 39 percent. So go ahead and indulge—but just a little!

2. Drink a glass of wine. 

Like dark chocolate, red wine has a high content of flavonoids, helping to increase levels of good cholesterol and lower the risk for heart disease. Wine also causes the arteries to expand, which in turn can help lower blood pressure. But, like dark chocolate, the key to wine’s health benefits is in moderation. One glass a day should suffice; any more than that and the effects are reversed, causing your blood pressure to rise.

glass of red wine 
One glass of red wine each day can boost your heart health. Photo By Emiliano De Laurentiis/Courtesy Flickr.

3. Get intimate. 

Nothing gets the blood flowing more than a good romp in the hay, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that regular sex can benefit our hearts. People who have sex once or twice every two weeks have lower blood pressure and a significantly decreased risk for heart disease than those who have sex less than once a month. Sex not only provides a fun and engaging form of exercise, but it also releases a hormone called oxytocin that can reduce stress.

Susan Melgren is the Web Editor of Mother Earth Living. Find her on .

Related Content

In the News: The Benefits of Cocoa

Dark chocolate may be good for more than just antioxidants—it might protect your body from a range o...

Every Herb Has a Story: Treat Coronary Heart Disease with Hawthorn

Hawthorn herb can help support your heart and prevent coronary heart disease, the number one cause o...

In The News: Garlic For Your Heart

A new study shows how freshly cut garlic can help protect your heart. Learn more.

In The News: Chocolate's Effect on Coronary Heart Disease Explored Further

Experts provide a few more reasons why snacking on this sweet is good for your health.

Content Tools

Post a comment below.


Subscribe today and save 58%

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Subscribe to Mother Earth Living!

Welcome to Mother Earth Living, the authority on green lifestyle and design. Each issue of Mother Earth Living features advice to create naturally healthy and nontoxic homes for yourself and your loved ones. With Mother Earth Living by your side, you’ll discover all the best and latest information you want on choosing natural remedies and practicing preventive medicine; cooking with a nutritious and whole-food focus; creating a nontoxic home; and gardening for food, wellness and enjoyment. Subscribe to Mother Earth Living today to get inspired on the art of living wisely and living well.

Save Money & a Few Trees!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You’ll save an additional $5 and get six issues of Mother Earth Living for just $14.95! (Offer valid only in the U.S.)

Or, choose Bill Me and pay just $19.95.