Nothing can raise your blood pressure faster than listening to the news about the economy. With the price of gas, food, and everything else, we all need to make every penny count these days. Luckily, protecting your heart doesn’t have to cost a lot.
Here are five penny-wise ways to keep your heart healthy, for just pennies a day—or in many cases, for free.
1. Diet. It’s quite simple. Cut way, way down on the sugar and sweets. Stay away from trans-fats (fried foods and processed food with hydrogenated oil) and polyunsaturated oils (vegetable oils, with the exception of coconut and olive oil). These are no-no’s. They inflame your body, including your blood and arteries. Plus, not stopping at fast food restaurants or buying high-fat snacks will save you money!
2. Spices. Add more turmeric in your cooking. This great curry spice, which you probably already have in your kitchen, contains curcumin, a potent anti-inflammatory. Also use garlic and onions. They can lower blood pressure, thin the blood, and protect your cholesterol from oxidation.
3. Drink plenty of clean water and, as an alternative, drink green tea and pomegranate juice, both of which protect against plaque. For variety, ginger tea is a good choice. It acts like a poor man’s aspirin, and helps thin the blood.
4. Regular physical activity. Start with walking. It’s free. If you want to step it up, try a gym membership. That will cost you, but it’s well worth the expense if you can make it a regular fixture in your life. Exercise serves your whole body well, including your heart, blood pressure, blood sugar, weight, and mood.
5. Yoga. No matter how old you are, yoga benefits the heart, blood pressure, anxiety, depression, and many physical ailments. You may want to start with yoga classes, which cost $10–15 per session. Classes are more fun and instructive, and after a few sessions you’ll know enough do it on your own at home if you wish.