Heart diseases account for a range of diseases that occur when there is a build-up of fatty plaques in your arteries. There are many types of heart diseases such as coronary artery disease, heart rhythm problems, heart valve disease, and heart infection.
Some of the heart diseases are birth defects like congenital heart defects. Except for congenital heart defects, many heart diseases can be prevented by following a healthy diet and lifestyle.
How Do They Affect You?
Heart diseases affect the quality of life. They cause chest pain as enough oxygen isn’t being supplied. The affected heart makes the rest of the body short on oxygen too.
This makes you feel tired quickly, and you experience chest pains when you exercise or do heavy labor. Without enough oxygen, your cells won’t work to their optimum capacity.
In severe cases, there will be swellings in the legs, feet, or ankles restricting your movements. Not to mention the treatment expenses of the said diseases and the mental exhaustion it causes.
How To Prevent Them Naturally?
- Don’t smoke or chew tobacco
It is known that the chemicals in tobacco damage the heart muscles and the heart valves. Even second-hand smoke is harmful to the heart muscles. Cigarette smoke reduces the oxygen in your blood which increases the work capacity of the heart as it needs to pump harder to supply oxygen to the rest of the body and the brain. If you are a smoker now would be the time to quit to prevent any further damage to the heart.
- Limit alcohol consumption
Drinking too much can result in weight gain and add extra calories. This will sit as plaque in your arteries ultimately clogging them and triggering a heart attack.
- Exercise regularly
Regular exercise or physical activity can reduce the risk of heart diseases. It also helps in reducing stress and inflammation in the body thereby reducing the strain on your heart muscles. Even simple physical activities like gardening, housekeeping, climbing the stairs bring you benefits and keep your heart muscles strong.
- Eat a heart-healthy diet
Eat a healthy diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables. Opt for whole grains instead of processed or packaged foods. Indulge in beans and other legumes and incorporate healthy fats in your diet which is found in avocados, nuts or olive oil.
- Maintain a healthy weight
Being overweight or obese especially around your middle near the waist increases your risk of heart diseases. Maintaining an optimum weight cuts the unnecessary load on the heart to drive blood to all parts of the body. Even small weight loss can be beneficial. Reducing your weight can decrease the triglycerides in your blood, lower your blood sugar level and decrease the overall cholesterol level.
- Get good quality of sleep
Good sleep is required for all the muscles in the body to rejuvenate including the heart muscles (cardiac muscles). Lack of sleep results in a host of problems including gaining weight, increasing the risk of becoming overweight, developing high blood pressure, depression, etc. all of which have a bearing on your cardiac muscles.
- Manage stress
Managing stress is really important as this has a direct bearing on the heart muscles. People also cope with stress in unhealthy ways like smoking, overeating, drinking, etc. which again impacts the heart in a negative way. Managing stress in a healthy matter like meditating, sleeping, or indulging in physical activities, or taking up a sport can have a positive effect on the heart.
- Get regular health check-ups done
Getting regular check-ups done is necessary. Yearly medical screenings will tell you about your health and keep you aware of what is going on in your body. Yearly screening help in the early detection and diagnosis of heart diseases if necessary. This is very important and should not be skipped.
So, in conclusion, it can be said that heart diseases, especially heart attacks can be prevented naturally. Practicing good habits, opting for a healthy lifestyle, cooking at home instead of dining out are also some of the ways in which you can keep your heart healthy and strong. It is good on your wallet too. The importance of a good diet and exercise can never be understated.