Vicki's Blog

  • 10 Things to Know About Heart Disease

    Heart disease is a major cause of death in both men and women. Heart attacks are most frequently caused by plaque buildup in the arteries, which leads to blockage of blood and oxygen flow to heart muscle. So it is imperative to address warning signs as soon as possible in order to prevent further complications with your heart healthy.
    Make sure you know your family history. 
    If anyone in your immediate family has faced hear problems, your risk can increase so make sure your doctor knows about your family history.
    Engaging in stress-reducing activities is one of the most natural ways to improve heart health. 
    Snoring can be a sign of a heart problem.
    Don't ignore your snoring, sleep apnea is a common medical condition that increases the risk of developing heart problems. 
    Not all fat is bad.

    We need fat in our diets in order for our bodies to function well. The healthiest type of fat is unsaturated - it can actually help reduce cholesterol levels. Sources of unsaturated fats include olive oil, canola oil, peanut oil, salmon, sardines, and flaxseed. Healthy fats are also found in avocados and certain nuts (e.g., almonds, pistachios).

     

     

     

     

    Men aren't the only ones who get heart disease.

     

    Although women are less likely than men to have heart disease before menopause, the playing field evens out when women reach menopause. Men over 55 years of age and women who have gone through menopause have the highest risk of heart disease.

     

     

     

     

    Exercise.

     

    The more physically active you are, the lower your risk of heart disease. Exercise can raise HDL levels, lower triglycerides, and ease inflammation, changes that are especially important for women. It also helps relieve mental stress—a risk factor for high blood pressure and thus heart problems.
    One drink a day can strengthen your heart. 
    You may have heard that drinking one glass of red wine a day can help improve heart health because it is rich in antioxidants that help protect the heart's blood vessels and may lower cholesterol. But did you know beer helps, too? Beer contains high levels of vitamin B6, which fights against the buildup of homocysteine, a damaging chemical linked to heart disease. Just be careful not to overdo it; too much alcohol can cause high blood pressure.
    Laugh as much as possible. 
    Laughter is the best medicine, and your body responds to laughter by lowering the levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which leads to decreasing our blood pressure and help boost our mood and immunity. 
    Losing weight.
    Weight does matter and your waistline can be an indicator of your heart health. Women with waistlines over 35 inches and men whose waistlines measure over 40 inches are at increased risk of heart disease. Studies show that losing even just 5 to 10% of your weight can significantly improve your heart health. 
    7 to 8 hours of sleep protects your heart.
    People who sleep less than six hours a night show two times the risk of developing heart disease than those who get 7 to 8 hours. Sleep helps to regulate insulin activity, and lack of sleep causes your cells to be more resistant to insulin, which results in higher blood sugars and may contribute to weight gain and heart disease. 
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