5 Amazing Facts About the Human Heart
The blood vessels in your heart are the most likely to clog. The reasons are blood flows in two directions in many arteries, creating turbulence that can damage artery walls-which makes it easier for plaque to set in. And coronary arteries have lots of branches and bend, which are prime real estate for atherosclerosis.
Nearly half of all heart attacks have no symptoms, according to a 2016 Wake Forest University study. No-symptom attacks were more common in men but deadlier in women.
The best food for your heart? It might be bananas. In a 2020 analysis of studies involving more than 4 million people, banana consumption showed a 24 percent lower risk for coronary heart disease. But all produce helps; people who munched the most fruit and vegetables had 11 percent less cardiovascular disease than those who ate the least.
Spare parts for your heart may come from outer space. In 2020, NASA blasted cardiac stem cells into space for an Emory University research project. The focus was to see if they would become beating heart-muscle cells faster in zero-gravity conditions. The stem cells became heart cells in just three weeks. Researchers hope to use them for heart failure repairs, a therapy that could require up to 150 million cells per treatment.
Grab a racket. A study that tracked 80,306 adults for nine years found that tennis and badminton cut the risk for fatal cardiovascular disease by 59 percent. Swimming and aerobics lowered the odds by 41 and 36 percent, respectively. Distance running was less effective; some research suggests it could have a negative impact.