Heart disease describes a range of conditions that affect your heart. And, according to American Heart Association, heart diseases are a leading cause of death in the US.
What even worse is that heart diseases are responsible for the death of one-third of the population across the globe.
Other scary thing is that various heart diseases claimed more than 17 million lives from the world last year. The report goes on to estimate by 2030 they will be claiming 23.6 million lives annually, so it means that the numbers will significantly increase.
Signs and causes of heart attack
Cardiovascular disease is caused by narrowed, blocked or stiffened blood vessels that prevent your heart, brain or other parts of your body from receiving enough blood. Over time, a coronary artery can narrow from the buildup of various substances, including cholesterol (atherosclerosis). This condition, known as coronary artery disease, causes most heart attacks.
Another cause of a heart attack is a spasm of a coronary artery that shuts down blood flow to part of the heart muscle. Use of tobacco and of illicit drugs, such as cocaine, can cause a life-threatening spasm. Also, a heart attack can occur due to a tear in the heart artery (spontaneous coronary artery dissection).
So what can be done to prevent heart disease and keep your heart healthy? The good news is that 79 to 90 percent of heart attacks could be avoided with only 5 simple lifestyle changes.
5 lifestyle changes that could prevent nearly 80 percent of heart attacks
It was found by a study from Karolinska Institute that developing the following five healthy habits could prevent nearly 80 percent of first-time heart attacks.
1. Being physical active
2. A healthy diet
3. No smoking
4. Healthy waist circumference
5. Moderate alcohol consumption
The key is the physical activity
Living a sedentary life is not good for overall health and increases the risk of heart disease, but it is a risk that can be avoided.
The Department of Cardiovascular Diseases at the Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans examined the outcomes of using cardiac rehabilitation as well as physical activity as not only a secondary prevention method but as the primary.
The study revealed much more than the positive heart health effects of physical activity.
Exercise was shown to reduce plasma lipid levels and correct obesity indices. Also, it improved glucose metabolism, reduced inflammation, and enhanced the psychological health of CHD patients.
The investigation demonstrated a 20 to 25 percent reduction in chief CV mortality and morbidity. The most important finding perhaps was the fact that this method is overlooked and underused.
It is known and recommended by many specialists and doctors that the healthy eating helps in improving overall health. So, eating a heart-conscious diet may be one of the most important things you can do to ward off a heart attack.
Eating foods that are high in fiber, low in trans fat, and contain adequate levels of nutrients like vitamins and minerals can help your whole body be healthier – including your heart.
A diet high in fruits and vegetables, lean protein, healthy fat (such as from nuts, seeds, and avocado) and low in processed food can help your heart keep beating for a long time to come.
Avoiding alcohol consumption and cigarettes
In many studies it was found that those who limited alcohol consumption experience the most heart health benefits of all, and other things beside that.
Too much alcohol can increase your blood pressure and triglyceride levels, and also adds extra calories, which may cause weight gain.
Also, it was found that smoking cigarettes significantly increases the risks of developing hypertension, stroke, peripheral vascular disorders, and coronary artery disease.
Lifestyle choices to promote heart health
– Start with some sort of physical activity, such as walking or running, at least, 30 minutes every alternate day.
– Avoid all types of tobacco smoke.
– Eat fresh organic foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains with the least amount of processing possible.
– Avoid saturated fats, trans-fats, processed sugars, and enriched grains.
– Always look for lean meats and fish which are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids.
– Incorporate superfoods such as avocados, nuts, seeds, and legumes into the routine dietary intake.