Simple Lifestyle Changes
How to Fight Heart Disease Naturally
Reducing your risk for heart disease isn’t one-size-fits-all. Discover how you can create a sustainable plan for your heart health.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Furthermore, it can cause major, debilitating health concerns that can keep you from living the life you want.
Some risk factors are out of your control. But, there are a wide variety of lifestyle changes you can make to reduce your chance of suffering from heart disease.
What Heart Disease Risk Factors are Outside of Your Control?
When it comes to considering your risk for heart disease, it’s important to remember that there are some factors outside of your control. These include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Age. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) risk of heart disease increases with age. When the age factor really kicks in varies from study to study, but generally speaking, men who are 45 and older and women 55 and older are at greater risk.
- Gender. While both males and females are at risk of heart disease, males are often at greater risk. A 2017 study shows that estrogen may provide women more protection against heart disease.
- Race or Ethnicity. According to the American Heart Association, “Many racial/ethnic minority populations have higher rates of CVD and related risk factors.” African Americans suffer from heart disease more frequently than Caucasians, while Hispanic Americans are the least likely race or ethnic group to suffer from heart disease.
- Family History. If you have a close family member who has suffered heart disease, you are at greater risk of suffering from it yourself.
Natural Ways to Fight Heart Disease
While there are factors outside of your control, the good news is there are many things you can do to naturally reduce your chance of suffering from heart disease.
Keep Your Blood Pressure Under Control
Even slightly elevated blood pressure can put you at higher risk. Regularly checking your blood pressure levels and making lifestyle modifications to lower your blood pressure can help you prevent heart disease.
Limit Your Cholesterol
Cholesterol is closely linked with coronary artery disease and heart attacks. While some individuals naturally have higher cholesterol, a high cholesterol diet is the most common culprit. In many cases, this can be corrected by dietary adjustments, such as limiting the amount of fat in your diet. In extreme cases lowering your cholesterol may require a prescription medication.
Maintaining a Healthy Weight
The 2019 study, ‘Excess weight and body fat cause cardiovascular disease’, published in the European Society of Cardiology, showed that excess weight can contribute to heart disease. And it’s not just excessive excess weight warns doctors from John Hopkins Medicine, “The pounds themselves can cause heart muscle injury.”
Enjoy a Healthy Diet
Too often we see individuals conqueror fad diets like the DASH diet or intermittent fasting. And while they may shed some serious weight, the chances aren’t sustainable. Once they return to the high-sodium, high-fat, high-sugar routine they’re previously enjoyed, it’s not uncommon for them to put back on the weight and then some.
If you’re really interested in reducing your risk of heart disease, it’s important to make healthy, sustainable changes to your diet. Incorporating fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains into your regular diet can help you develop a regular routine you actually enjoy.
Exercising regularly can help you reduce your risk of heart disease for a wide variety of reasons, including:
- Improved Circulation
- Stronger Heart Muscles
- Improved Mood
- Weight Loss & Weight Control
- Appetite Control
- Mental Clarity
- Improved Sleep
- Improved Sex Life
But getting a workout in doesn’t have to be a grueling task. Even just going for a walk can help you raise your heart rate and improve your overall wellbeing.
Not only is alcohol empty calories, which can make you gain weight, it can raise your blood pressure. It’s strongly recommended that you limit your alcohol intake to reduce your risk of heart disease.
Cigarettes cause cancer, which is a relatively well-known fact. But did you know that smoking cigarettes can also raise your blood pressure? By eliminating cigarettes from your daily routine, you can greatly reduce your risk of heart disease.
Keep Stress to a Minimum
Stress raises your blood pressure. It hampers your ability to get a good night’s sleep. And, it can cause you to indulge in many dietary and lifestyle activities that also contribute to heart disease. While it’s unlikely you can eliminate all stress from your life, it’s best to keep it to a minimum. Try to eliminate or reduce common triggers. And, look for healthy coping mechanisms — like yoga or meditation.
Diabetes has been shown to increase your risk of heart disease. It can cause high blood sugar and nerve damage. Whether you suffer from Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, it’s important to keep your blood sugar under control by regularly checking your sugar levels and eating a healthy diet.
This can help you avoid extreme highs and lows in your blood sugar levels that place excess stress on your body and heart.
Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Sleep is one of the most vital things for your overall wellbeing. It’s the primary time when your body and mind are able to rest and restore themselves. By maintaining good sleep habits, like going to bed at the same time every day and getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep, you can greatly reduce your risk of heart disease.
Get Professional Support & Guidance
Making strategic changes to reduce your risk of heart disease isn’t easy. It’s no uncommon to be unsure of what changes will really make a difference and how to make lifestyle adjustments that you can truly sustain.
At Premier Integrative, our doctors help patients fight heart disease naturally. He works closely with you to learn about your health goals, identify your risk factors, and develop a plan to maximize your “healthspan.”