Cardiovascular disease or heart disease has been the leading killer disease in women in US as declared by the American Heart Association. About 5 million women die from cardiovascular diseases every year.
Cardiovascular diseases in women encompass high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, angina pectoris, heart attacks, heart failure and cardiac arrhythmias. Though the statistics present a grim situation, but cardiovascular diseases can be prevented appreciably by following a heart healthy lifestyle.
People impart little attention to their lifestyle and food habits unknowingly placing themselves at high risks of developing cardiovascular diseases. Cardiovascular diseases can be hereditary, but few simple preventive measures can protect women from developing these diseases in the future.
Ways To Prevent Cardiovascular Disease In Women
The following steps are very effective in preventing cardiovascular diseases without any medication or expensive surgical interventions.
Give Up Smoking
Quit smoking immediately as this unhealthy habit will raise your blood pressure levels elevating the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Smoking reduces the oxygen content of the blood exerting excessive pressure on the heart and arteries. Blood tends to form clots, which may ultimately result in massive heart attacks and strokes.
Drink In Moderation
If you are fond of wine, be careful to restrict its intake. Drinking a glass of wine may be beneficial for your heart but over consumption may be disastrous. It is better to give up wine and other alcoholic beverages to prevent cardiovascular diseases in the future. Hypertensive women should stay away from drinking strictly.
Maintain Your Waistline
Women tend to add pounds around their waist with aging. This increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Women suffering from hypertension and hypertensive heart diseases should be extra cautious about their waist line.
Excessive abdominal fat releases unhealthy fatty acids in the blood stream clogging the arteries and paving a way for cardiovascular diseases. Try to maintain your waist length below 30 inches to be at the safe side.
This should be the most important activity of your daily life to prevent cardiovascular diseases. There is no limit to exercising. You can walk, sprint, jog or take up other cardiovascular exercises to keep your heart beating for long.
Physical exercises keep your body weight in check, lower blood sugar and blood cholesterol levels, improve blood circulation and maintain the normal pumping action of your heart. The more you exercise the healthier is your heart.
Cut Down The Intake Of Saturated Fats And Trans Fats
Too much intake of saturated and trans- fats are no less dangerous for your heart than smoking or drinking. Give up the habit of munching chips, cookies and French fries in between meals. This is another vital step to prevent cardiovascular disease.
These fats get deposited on the arterial walls as bad cholesterol restricting the normal blood circulation. As a result, your heart works more and becomes vulnerable to heart attacks. Try to maintain your total blood cholesterol level below 200mg/dl.
Include More Fish In Your Diet
This must be an essential dietary inclusion to prevent cardiovascular disease. Salmon, tuna, mackerel and trout are rich in essential fatty acids like omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for your heart. Have two servings of fish at least 2-3 days a week to maintain a healthy heart.
Add Colorful Food Items In Your Diet
Pack your shopping bag with colorful fruits and veggies. These are rich in fiber and antioxidants that prevent cardiovascular diseases to a great extent. Antioxidants like beta carotene and flavonoids present in such food items destroy the harmful free radicals formed in the body and protect your heart from cardiovascular diseases.
Carrot, spinach, tomatoes, watermelon, berries and peaches are some colorful food items that you should look for. Natural food items are the best sources of Vitamins and antioxidants than the supplements available in stores.
Change Your Cooking Medium
Your cooking medium should contain high amounts of monounsaturated fatty acids, which are good for your heart. Commonly used cooking oils or hydrogenated oils contain high amounts of saturated fats, which are dangerous for your heart.
Opt for olive oil and canola oil as these contain high amounts of mono unsaturated fatty acids and antioxidants. These oils lower the bad cholesterol level in blood and prevent cardiovascular diseases effectively.
Watch Your Biological Clock
Women should be extra cautious about their health post menopause as the risk of cardiovascular diseases increases by several times at this stage. Monitor your blood pressure levels regularly. Check your blood sugar and blood cholesterol levels and plan your diet and lifestyle accordingly.