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11 Surprising Facts About Your Heart

Straight from the Heart

One of the hardest working muscles in the human body is your heart. The heart beating capabilities of this extraordinary muscle are powerful with it being able to beat approximately 3 billion times throughout an individual’s lifetime. With every beat of your heart, it can also pump out close to two ounces of blood. Over the average day, this can equate to a minimum of 2,500 gallons of the red stuff.

Sedentary Lifestyle Could Equate to Trouble

For health conscious individuals who want to stay heart healthy, you may want to reduce the amount of time in front of the T.V. You may also want to do a little more walking than driving. A study of nearly 30,000 individuals across 52 countries showed that the group of people who owned a T.V. and automobile had a greater risk of a heart attack by as much as 27 percent over individuals without. However, the studies also cautioned that it was the lack of exercise that caused the increase risk of a heart attack and not the actual machines.

The Benefits of a Mediterranean Diet

A slimmed down Mario Batali isn’t the only one who has benefited from the Mediterranean diet. Research suggests that individuals with heart disease who follow this particular eating regimen can prevent a second heart attack from occurring. Mediterranean eating consists of consuming fruits, vegetables, fish, high-fiber grain, beans, monounsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids. Dieters are also asked to limit eating sweets and cheese.

Pollution is Just as Toxic for the Heart

Studies have shown the negative effects of pollution on a person’s lungs. Scientists are also finding the toxic air that you breathe can also be responsible for harming your heart. When the toxic air is inhaled, the harmful molecules can cause both your heart and lungs to become contaminated. Individuals who have been exposed to polluted air can also be at a higher risk for arrhythmias.

A Broken Heart

The despair and overwhelming feelings of depression and anger caused by grief can take a toll on a person. The sadness and shock of losing a loved one can also leave feelings of anguish and bring on a sudden heart attack. A recent study of more than 2,000 heart attack survivors indicated that the risk of a heart attack was greater after the death of a loved one than after any other time. As the grief subsided, so did the risk of a heart attack.

Your Heart as the Focal Point

When the Pledge of Allegiance is usually recited, you’ll notice that most individuals place their hands over the left side of their bodies. While the heart may feel like it’s favoring the left side, your heart is actually centered toward the middle of the chest. However, a heart defect called dextrocardia has the heart being placed on the opposite side.

A Cup of Java to Reduce Risks

Coffee with caffeine can cause the heart to beat faster. However, a surprising study found that individuals who drank coffee were less likely to be hospitalized or concerned about heart arrhythmia. While caffeine can often cause the heart to beat faster, studies have shown that consuming more than four cups of coffee daily were fund to lessen a person’s risk by as much as 18 percent. Individuals who drank between one to three cups per day found their risk to be at 7 percent. However, physicians are not likely to prescribe coffee as a way to protect the heart.

It’s the Size of an Apple

The heart is the size of an average apple and can weigh between seven and 15 ounces. This can equate to being a littler bigger than your fist.

It Never Stops Ticking

Your heart begins ticking approximately 22 days after you’ve been conceived. By the time it ends, the average heart can end up beating as much as 3.5 billion times according to research.

Men versus Women

Both male and female hearts experience the same rate of beat before conception. However, a male heart can beat approximately 70, while women can experience around 78 beats.

Does Sneezing Stop the Heart?

The age old saying says that sneezing can trigger the heart to stop. However, heart aficionados find that saying to be simply just a myth.

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