Risk Factors for Heart Disease and How to Avoid Them
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Risk Factors for Heart Disease and How to Avoid Them

It is important to know the risk factors for heart disease. It is possible to make simple changes to diet and lifestyle to promote cardiovascular heart and prevent heart attacks.

Our hearts are responsible for pumping blood through 60,000 miles of arteries and veins and beating 100,000 times a day. When plaque or arteriosclerosis, which is defined as hardening of the arteries, block our blood vessels, there is an impediment to the flow of blood to the heart muscle and thus coronary heart disease or ischemic heart disease may occur. It is very important to maintain a healthy lifestyle in order to prevent these risks. These may encompass diet, exercise and appropriate supplementation. It is important to be aware of the risks of cardiovascular disease. These fall into the following categories:

Familial risk factors

These may include a father who has suffered a heart attack before the age of fifty or a mother who had a heart attack before the age of 65

Personal health

High blood pressure is an indicator of possible heart disease. A high body mass index triples the risk of the disease and a waist to hip ratio of more than 0.8 is a warning that you should lose weight. Gum disease can contain the bacteria found in arterial plaque. A diagonal crease on the earlobe has been linked to heart disease.

Lifestyle choices

Smoking will increase the risk of heart disease three to five times. More than two drinks a day are considered excessive while one glass of red wine a day is considered protective. Lack of exercise is very detrimental to heart health especially if you are overweight. Excess stress and a high-pressure lifestyle will increase the probability of heart attack. A diet high in animal fats and sweets or high glycemic carbohydrates will increase insulin and thus deteriorate the health of the cardiovascular system.

Environmental Threats

Heavy metals in the system, especially cadmium, lead and mercury have been linked to heart disease. Excess radiation from X-rays as well as free radicals from barbecued meats have been implicated in heart attacks. Chlorinated water has been shown to create arteriosclerosis.

Lifestyle changes to prevent heart disease

These may include simple changes to ones diet. It is important to limit animal protein as these are converted to acids that increase acidity in the extracellular fluid in the blood. Educate yourself on the healthy fats you should be ingesting. Eliminate the harmful fats such as saturated fats from red meats and full fat dairy and hydrogenated and trans fats from fast foods. Increase the fiber in your food by eating more legumes, bran and fruits and vegetables such as apples, oranges, carrots, cabbage and grapes. You should also seek out fruits high in potassium such as bananas, mango, avocado and grapefruits. Include anti-inflammatory foods in your diet such as turmeric, ginger and green tea. And have cayenne on hand in tincture form in an emergency, as it will stimulate blood flow during a heart attack.

While some of the risks of heart disease are familial, with a little education and healthy changes in lifestyle and diet, you will be able prevent or ever reverse cardiovascular disease

Source:Jackson, Graham. Heart Health. London: Class, 2004. Print.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for educational purposes only. Please consult your medical doctor or professional for advice before use.

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