Ways & How

how to reduce heart disease

how to reduce heart disease

According to Dr. James Rouse, N.D. on life.gaiam.com, “the number one killer in America (for both men and women) is heart disease.” The most common heart disease is coronary artery disease, medically termed as atherosclerosis. This disease sets in when the arterial walls are overrun with cholesterol fat deposits and harmful elements. The accumulated plaque causes the arterial walls to narrow, disrupting the flow of blood to the heart. Hence, knowing how to reduce heart disease becomes necessary. Heart disease involves many risk factors. Some of these factors, such as family history, sex and age, are inherent and unavoidable. However, other factors, like poor eating habits and living a sedentary life, can be remedied. Self-discipline, proper diet and exercise are the keywords to achieving a healthy heart. In order to keep your heart vigorous and healthy, follow the tips below.

  1. Stop smoking. The harmful chemicals found in a single stick of cigarette are nicotine, tar and carbon monoxide. Smokers and those who are exposed to second-hand smoke have high platelet counts and fibrinogen levels, which make the blood more sticky and difficult to flow through the blood vessels.



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    On one hand, nicotine can damage the artery walls of the heart, causing it to constrict and disrupt the natural blood flow. Once the arteries become narrow, the heart rate goes up because the heart will have to work hard to pump up the blood and oxygen for circulation. In effect, the heart gets strained and will eventually fail. Tar, on the other hand, causes damage to the lung’s arteries, thereby producing low oxygen in the blood. The low oxygen supply causes the right ventricle of the heart to contract, which can also lead to heart failure.

  2. Exercise and lose weight. Obesity can lead to other diseases, such as diabetes and hypertension. The best approach to reduce these risk factors is exercise. Cardiovascular exercises, such as walking, jogging, biking and swimming, can lower LDL cholesterol and increase HDL cholesterol. Once the LDL cholesterol levels in the blood are within the normal range, the risk of hypertension of the heart is lessened.

  3. Engage in a low-fat and cholesterol-free diet. Fatty and salty foods can increase LDL levels in the blood. According to Lauren Brunelle on healthtree.com, “researchers believe foods high in salt and fat may impair the artery’s ability to widen by interfering with the functioning of the blood vessel’s lining.” Thus, eating foods that are low in salt and fat will keep the heart healthy and far from hypertension.

  4. Use olive oil. Make it a habit to use olive oil or any cholesterol-free cooking oil when frying or cooking foods. Olive oil contains monounsaturated fatty acids, which help reduce LDL cholesterol in the blood.

  5. Manage stress. Stress is always around and it is just a matter of managing it properly. As explained by Rachel Martin on hearthealthyonline.com, stress greatly affects the cardiovascular system in many ways, like by speeding up of heart rate and blood flow. Keeping your life stress-free is one of the ideal ways to achieve a healthy heart.

  6. Take vitamins that are good for the heart. Take Vitamin E, folate, Vitamin B6 and B12. B vitamins and folic acid are known to bring down high levels of homocysteine to the normal range. Vitamin E protects polyunsaturated fats, white blood cells and red blood cells from becoming oxidized. When a cell is oxidized, it will degenerate. Since Vitamin E is an antioxidant, it can fight the oxidative molecules that are harmful to the cells.

  7. Eat more fish than red meat. Fish that are rich in omega-3 fatty acid, including mackerel, tuna, sardines and fresh wild salmons, are good for the heart. Omega-3 fatty acids reduce abnormal heartbeats and can also bring down triglyceride levels. They can also slow down the accumulation of plague in the arterial walls of the heart. Also, although fish is rich in protein, its saturated fat content is not high, unlike red meat.

These are just a few of the many ways of how to reduce heart disease. As long as you observe self-discipline, you can keep your heart healthy. At any rate, it is recommended that you consult your doctor first before taking any medication or supplements for the heart.

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