By Mr Rohit Shelatkar
Heart disease or cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death globally. According to medical reports, a person dies from heart-related maladies every 40 seconds all over the world. This means approximately 2200 deaths occur every day and more than 17.3 million deaths are caused by some form of cardiovascular problems annually. The most common forms of heart disease take place due to conditions and functions that cause the heart to become less effective; often due to a plaque build-up in the coronary arteries, reduction in blood flow, blockages and heart attacks. These conditions are a result of factors such as calcium build-up, cholesterol, fats and more.
While heart problems occur often, it can easily be a preventable disease. A healthy heart is the key to avoiding cardiovascular issues and the first step in this direction is by staying vigilant. Many times, heart disease can begin coming into effect without anyone recognising its symptoms. This is why it is crucial to be aware of the heart and general health and work towards a healthier lifestyle. Some of the ways one can do this are as discussed below:
How to improve heart health? Change food habits!
A healthy heart is a result of good eating habits. The BMI index of the body has a direct relation with the risk of cardiovascular diseases – an increase in the BMI index can lead to an elevated risk of these diseases. This risk is also associated with a high waist girth and subsequent increase in visceral fat, making low carbohydrate diets an important ally in reducing said risk, as opposed to a low-fat diet.
Switch to a heart healthy diet plan!
In fact, according to a study conducted on patients with Type-2 diabetes, a low carbohydrate diet yielded an 11% visceral fat loss, in comparison to a low-fat diet yielding only a 1% decrease in visceral fat. Including foods such as avocadoes, mixed berries, celery, salmon, mackerel, dark chocolate, a moderate amount of red wine and nuts like pistachios, almonds and walnuts in the daily diet is the key to a happier heart.
Wondering what foods prevent heart attacks?
Here are other food habits that must be followed such as:
Keep a check on blood pressure levels
As the blood pressure levels in the body rise, the coronary arteries serving the heart become clogged with plaque, causing a heart attack. It is important to keep track of these levels and make lifestyle changes as per requirement. Keeping the level of blood pressure stable is a process that requires frequent monitoring, and this is a procedure that should be put into effect as soon as possible.
Be on the move!
A diseased heart is a result of unhealthy lifestyle habits, and this can be resolved at least in part by getting in shape. Obesity is a leading cause of heart disease, so it is imperative to adopt exercise as a daily routine. Just 30 minutes of running, swimming, yoga or other cardio exercises will help in making the heart a lot healthier.
Adopt healthy habits
Cardiovascular disease is the result of unhealthy behaviour which is why it is important to make changes in the lifestyle for the better. Reducing dependence on alcohol and tobacco, keeping good dental hygiene, managing stress well and improving posture are some of the ways heart disease can be avoided.
Drink enough water
Dehydration causes damaging effect to the body’s organs. When there is inadequacy of water in the body, the blood volume decreases. The heart has to pump faster and harder to provide the required amount of blood to the other organs, putting immense strain on it. Thus, drinking enough water will keep the blood circulating well and will keep the heart beating at the required tempo.
(Rohit Shelatkar is VP at Vitabiotics Ltd. Views expressed are the author’s own.)