AARP.org has some great tips for keeping your heart healthy, starting with the simple advice to brush and floss regularly.  Swollen or bleeding gums can lead to microorganisms traveling into the bloodstream, which can cause inflammation and heart damage.  Older adults who skimped on oral hygiene were 20 to 35 percent more likely to die during a 17-year study done by  University of Southern California researchers.  Also, doing 10 minutes of resistance training each morning can go a long way.  In a study which was published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, women (average age of 62) who did just 20 to 59 minutes of muscle-strengthening exercises each week were 29% less likely to die during a 12-year study than those who did none.  There are also simple alterations that you can do to your diet which will help a lot.  For instance, try replacing half the butter in your baking recipes with mashed avocado.  Replacing saturated fats with MUFAs can help lower LDL (bad cholesterol).  Try eating more bananas!  A diet rich in potassium can help offset some of sodium’s harmful effects on blood pressure.  (AARP Bulletin Volume 62, Number 4, Page 13).

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