The number of factors influence the incidence of heart disease. Ones you cannot change include your family history; your are at increased risk if there is heart disease in your family. Factors that can be reduced or eliminated include high blood cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, smoking, diabetes, and being overweight and physically inactive.
Common Risk Factors
The lower your cholesterol level the more you reduce your risk of heart disease. If you already have heat disease or are at a high risk of developing it, you may already be taking something natural from or prescription medication from your doctor to modify you cholesterol levels. The benefits of these are significant and their effect is enhanced by a healthy diet
High Blood Pressure
If you have high blood pressure, this adds to the workload of your heart, causing it to enlarge. As you age, your arteries harden and become less elastic, and high blood pressure speeds up this process.
Diabetes type 1 and 2
People with diabetes are at risk of heart disease, stoke and peripheral vascular disease. If you have diabetes, you should follow a healthy lifestyle and use appropriate therapy.
Diana Moran’s Healthy Heart Recipe
Walnut and Banana Sunrise Smoothie
1 orange segmented
1 banana, peeled
150ml of soya/rice or skimmed
150g (5 oz) soya yogurt or natural yogurt
25g (1 oz) walnuts
3 teaspoons of natural honey
(For extra protein in this smoothie, or if you don’t have soya, you can add some natural vanilla whey protein – a natural product.
Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and frothy. Pour into two glasses.
Smoothies are great way to increase your intake of soya protein. Make the recipe with soya milk and soya yogurt to give you 10 g of soya protein.
Heart health helpers
One of the most remarkable dietary discoveries in recent years has bee the role fish can play in preventing heat disease. People, who eat fish and shellfish regularly, such as the Japanese and Greenland Inuit, have fewer heart attacks than non-fish-eaters. Oily fish is the richest source of the polyunsaturated fatty acids EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids.
Omega-3 fatty acids are acids play an important part in blood clotting mechanisms, making the blood less sticky and reducing the risk of thrombosis. They also reduce irregular and potentially fatal arrhythmias.
The Mediterranean-style diet is high is fruit and vegetables, which are rich in vitamins and minerals, essential fatty acids and antioxidants.
There are about 600 antioxidants and these include the ACE vitamins, (beta-carotene, which is converted to vitamin A in the body, vitamin C and vitamin E), minerals (selenium and zinc) and various other compounds that give fruit and vegetables their fabulous colours (flavonoids and phenols). Red wine and green tea is also known to be good sources of antioxidants.
Eat healthy – Avoid eating too much saturated fat and instead eat plenty of fish, poultry, fruit and vegetables, and maintain a healthy bodyweight.
Be more active – Half an hour every day is enough to make a difference and it is easy to build into your daily routine. Start off gently and gradually build up.
Be smoke-free – From the moment you stop smoking, your risk of a heart attach starts to fall and is halved within one year of giving up.
Reduce you alcohol intake – Binge drinking increases your risk of having a heart attack
Minimise stress– Find alternative ways you can relax and unwind, your local health food store will have relaxation CD’s, essential oil sprays and flower remedies that you can use to help with relaxation when needed.