Heart disease is the leading cause of death amongst people of colour. Your lifestyle choices can greatly influence your heart health. Lifestyle changes can greatly reduce your chances of having heart disease.
Things to do to prevent heart disease
Eat a healthy diet
A plant-based diet is an example of an eating plan that can help you lower your cholesterol and blood pressure levels, thus preventing heart disease. A plant-based diet is high in fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes and whole grains. Always avoid foods high in hydrogenated oils, salt, sugar, saturated fats and alcholic drinks.
Maintain a healthy weight
Being overweight and obese can increase your risk for heart disease. This is mostly because obesity and being overweight are linked to other heart disease risk factors, including high blood pressure and diabetes. Controlling your weight and limiting your consumption of junk-fatty foods can help lower your chances of getting heart disease.
Lowering your blood pressure
High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease. You can lower or control your blood pressure through a plant-based diet, regular exercise and through a weight loss regimen. Limiting your consumption of oils, added sugars, salt and alcoholic beverages can also help lower your blood pressure. It is very important to get your blood pressure checked regularly- at least five times a year for most adults, and more often if you have high blood pressure.
Do not smoke
Smoking is indeed one of the leading risk factors for heart disease, It raises your blood pressure and puts you at a higher risk of stroke and heart attack. Smoking causes a buildup of plaque, a fatty substance in the arteries, which ends up hardening your arteries, damaging your lungs and other organs of the body. If you smoke, quitting will lower your risk of heart disease.
Limit your alcohol consumption
Drinking too much alcohol can damage your liver and raise your blood pressure. It also adds extra calories, which may cause weight gain and obesity.
Diabetes can affect multiple organs in the body when left untreated and it can double your risk of having diabetic heart disease, stroke and other complications. High blood sugar can damage your blood vessels, so it is important to get tested for diabetes and get regular checkups if you have it. Eating a healthy plant-based diet and exercising can help control and limit your chances of having diabetes.
Extreme stress can cause heart disease. Stress can cause your heart to overwork thus, raising your blood pressure. It can cause headaches, heart attack, pains, sleeplessness, and exhaust the body. Overeating, excessive drinking and smoking are bad for your overall health and can never help you cope with stress. Spending more time with friends and family, listening to your favourite music, meditation and yoga are perfect for managing stress.
According to the Mayo Clinic, experts recommend getting at least 30 minutes of exercise per day. Exercise is beneficial in many ways, including lowering your cholesterol and blood levels, improving your blood circulation, maintaining a healthy weight and strengthening your heart.
Get enough sleep
Sleeping is good for your body system, as it helps you to relax. Lack of sleep leaves you tired and worn out. If you do not get enough sleep, you are at risk of having high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity. Many adults need 7-8 hours of good sleep per night. Make sure you have good sleeping habits.
Keep your cholesterol and triglyceride levels under control
A plant-based diet and a change in lifestyle can help lower your cholesterol levels. High levels of cholesterol can clog your arteries, and triglycerides are another type of fat in the blood. High levels of triglycerides, can raise your risk of coronary heart disease and heart attack, both in men and women.