80% of Heart Attacks Could Be Avoided by Doing These 7 Easy Things
Although a heart attack (or cardiac arrest) may be preceded by the symptoms of heart disease, some victims of heart attack are symptomless until the day they have their first heart attack. It’s remarkable that heart attacks are extremely common and they cause so much pain, yet most of them are preventable.
Heart Attack Causes and Signs
A heart attack occurs when one or more of your coronary arteries become blocked. 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. A heart attack can also occur due to a tear in the heart artery (spontaneous coronary artery dissection).
People generally know that a crushing chest pain or sudden shooting pain in the left arm may indicate a heart problem, but many do not know that there are other signs that could mean heart trouble.
So what can be done to prevent heart disease and keep your heart healthy? Well, the good news is that 79-90% of heart attacks could be avoided with only five simple lifestyle changes.
5 Lifestyle Changes that Could Prevent Nearly 80% of Heart Attacks
- A healthy diet
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 (for vegetarians see these meat free protein sources), 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.
- No smoking
Smoking is a big health no-no, and this extends to heart health. Cigarette smoking can have a severe negative impact on heart health on top of the lung damage it may cause with COPD and lung cancer. To protect your heart, quit smoking cigarettes. If you can’t do it “cold turkey,” consider using natural remedies to help you along the path to wellness.
- Being physical active (walking/bicycling more than 40 min/day and exercising more than 1 hour per week)
Being a “couch potato” is bad for you, and can contribute to health problems—in particular heart problems. Your body was designed to be used, and the recent study talks about walking/bicycling more than 40 minutes a day and exercising more than one hour per week. So make sure to regularly exercise. It can make a huge difference for heart-related wellness (and the rest of your body, too!). According to the National Heart, Blood and Lung institute, everyone should try to participate in moderate-intensity exercise at least 2 hours and 30 minutes per week, or vigorous exercise for 1 hour and 15 minutes per week. The more active you are, the more you will benefit.
- Healthy waist circumference (<95 cm)
The belly fat factor
People with visceral fat (fatty organs) often show fat in their abdominal area, manifesting as a “barrel belly.” This abdominal fat that is so dangerous to heart health, may feel solid to the touch or soft to the touch, but in either case, could be just as deadly. So, what’s healthy for the waistline? According to the recent study a waist circumference smaller than 95 cm is ideal. The key thing here is fat in the internal organs, or viscera, though. Take steps to reduce visceral fat (and belly fat) to ensure a long-lived heart.
- Moderate alcohol consumption (10 to 30 g/day)
Limit alcohol consumption
It’s found that those who limit alcohol consumption (those who drink 10-30 grams per day of alcohol) experience the most heart health benefits of all. Too much alcohol can raise your blood pressure and triglyceride levels, and can also add extra calories, which may cause weight gain.
- Get stress under control
Chronic (long-term) and acute (short-term, but intense) stress can both have an awful effect on your health. Some of the ways that people deal with stress is by bad habits such as excessive drinking, smoking or overeating. Extreme stress or emotionally upsetting event were also found to trigger heart attack.
Learn how to manage stress and relax your mind. You can try stress-reducing activities, such as meditation, yoga, exercising, engaging in a favorite hobby or talking to a close family member or a supportive friend. You can also use certain essential oils for stress and anxiety.
- Manage diabetes and high blood pressure
Other risk factors such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol, smoking, obesity, and lack of physical activity can greatly increase a diabetic person’s risk of developing cardiovascular disease. If you suffer from diabetes, you can control your blood sugar level by eating healthy foods, spices and herbs as well as consuming apple cider vinegar (ACV) and okra water.
Remember – Your lifestyle choices are your best defense against heart disease and heart attack, and they are also under your responsibility.