Thousands of people fall victim to heart diseases every year. The cost of treatment is ever increasing, which people find difficult to afford. It is hence easier to prevent such diseases than fall victim to them. If you are wondering how to prevent heart diseases, then simply read on.
Natural way is the best way to prevent heart problems because it helps you to adapt a healthier life, keeping all diseases at bay. Before we know how to prevent heart diseases, let us have a peep into the factors causing them.
The major causes of heart diseases are hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol level, smoking, alcohol consumption, lack of exercises, fat rich diet, obesity, etc. In other words, a sedentary lifestyle clubbed with improper diet and lack of exercises are the major factors contributing to heart problems. Therefore, the best solution is to exercise, have healthy food and maintain a proper diet.
Prevention is Better than Cure
Modification of lifestyle is the best way to keep heart problems at bay. The following are the predominant factors for a healthy heart:
- Healthy diet
- Proper exercises
- Quit smoking
- Reduce alcohol intake
- Weight control
A fiber-rich diet is recommended for those prone to heart disorders. An ideal heart healthy diet must be:
- Low in cholesterol and trans-fat levels
- Rich in Omega-3 fatty acids
- Rich in vitamins, minerals and fibers
Including lots of fruits and vegetables in your diet will give you enough stock of fiber for the day. In addition, doctors recommend whole grain cereals. Fish is a rich source of Omega-3 fatty acids. Unlike other meat products, it is a rich source of protein and is very low in saturated fats.
Omega-3 fatty acids have a number of beneficial effects on the heart. They decrease the level of triglycerides, lower hypertension and regulate the heartbeats. In other words, they are vital in reducing the risk of arrhythmias.
Vegetarians find it difficult to include Omega-3 fatty acids in their diet. Fish oil supplements are formulated for such patients. A diet rich in fatty acids such as oily foods increase the level of triglycerides in the body, thus increasing the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
For a heart healthy diet, people must stay away from processed foods, fried foodstuff and those rich in saturated fatty aids. Including fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains and cereals, egg whites, etc., is recommended since they are low in fats and do not have cholesterol.
Some diseases like Type II Diabetes, stroke, heart attacks and obesity are attributed to lack of physical inactivity. Human body is designed to perform activities by standing on the legs. Therefore, a sedentary lifestyle, wherein people sit for most part of the day, has many associated ill-effects on the human body.
However, owing to today’s lifestyle, many people tend to lead a sedentary life, thus causing the above said diseases. Exercising is one healthy way to keep these lifestyle-related diseases at bay.
Lack of physical activity leads to insufficient blood circulation and this in turn causes blood to clot. Simple exercises like walking, jogging or swimming increase your heart rate since the body is in need of more blood during physical exertion.
This is good for the heart since it prevents clot formation in the body, stimulates blood circulation and also removes impurities. It increases the amount of ‘good’ cholesterol in the body, thereby removing the ‘bad’ cholesterol.
Nearly 40% of death caused by cardiovascular diseases can be attributed directly to smoking. It is well-known that cigarettes contain nicotine-a major cause of cancer. In addition to nicotine, they also contain tar, carbon monoxide and host of other chemical substances that are harmful for heart health.
Although smoking increases blood circulation, it also causes atherosclerosis. This occurs when the lining of the arteries starts deteriorating. In other words, the walls of the arteries thicken, lining deteriorates, and plaque and fat deposits block the flow of blood through the arteries.
Another effect of smoking is narrowing of the walls of the arteries. As a result, the blood supply gets reduced, causing excess strain on the heart, and consequently giving rise to angina pectoris. Quitting smoking reduces your risk of heart attacks as well as helps you to lead a healthier life.
Although alcohol consumption is considered to be healthy, it has its own ill-effects. Less than two drinks a day aids in preventing heart attacks. However, a higher amount increases the risk of stroke, heart attacks and other cardiovascular diseases.
Evidence suggests that heavy drinking can be linked to cardiomyopathy, blood pressure and other cardiovascular disorders. A heavy dose of alcohol in the body can cause irregular heartbeats, thus resulting in a drastic change in blood pressure, causing breathlessness and heart attack. Heart attacks in such cases can even result in sudden death.
The level of homocysteine found in the blood gets disturbed due to the presence of alcohol, thus risking blood clotting. A high level of homocysteine can induce blockage of blood vessels. Regular drinking also causes enlargement of the heart muscles affecting the heart’s ability to pump blood effectively. This causes heart failure.
The connection between obesity and heart diseases is well-known and the reason is simply logical. Being obese means excess body weight or an increased body volume which causes more amount of blood to be pumped by the heart to supply to the various body parts.
This would obviously increase the pressure on the heart since it has to put in more amount of hard work than it can actually manage. This also causes high blood pressure, which damages the arteries and gives rise to other cardiovascular disorders like hypertension, diabetes, increase in cholesterol, etc. Therefore, to reduce the risk of heart problems, a healthy body weight is essential.
The most important factor towards prevention of heart diseases is maintaining a healthy life, indulging in physical activities, avoiding smoking, staying away from drinks, etc. However, there are some other factors like avoiding hypertension, diabetes, reducing cholesterol, etc., that are vital for having a heart healthy life.
In other words, the best way to prevent heart diseases is to lead a healthy, happy life with minimum stress and maximum happiness.