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4 Steps to Help Prevent Heart Disease

This disease directly affects millions of people every year. A study by the American Heart Association says that in a recent year 37.1 percent of Americans suffered some type of cardiovascular disease!

From coronary disease to strokes, the American Heart Association reported in 2010 that approx. 850,000 Americans died of a cardiovascular disease the year of 2006 – which breaks down to nearly 450,000 female and over 400,000 male deaths! Approx. 40% of Americans age 40+ were affected by heart disease, and in age 60+ the number climbed to over 73%.

In view of these staggering health findings, what can you do today to prevent heart disease?

Sometimes this condition is genetic, sometimes it is triggered by unhealthy habits, and sometimes it just strikes without warning.

4 Steps to Lower Your Chances of Heart Disease

1. Quit Smoking

The Mayo Clinic suggests avoiding tobacco products and smoking altogether, as smoking is one of the most significant risk factors for developing heart disease. Tobacco smoke contains thousands of chemicals which can damage your heart by narrowing your blood vessels, possibly leading to heart attack due to these narrowed arteries. Mayo Clinic also reports that nicotine damages the heart by increasing blood pressure, forcing it to work much harder. Furthermore, carbon monoxide from tobacco smoke replaces some of the oxygen in the blood, and the heart has to pump even harder to supply enough oxygen to make up for this loss.

2. Watch What You Eat

The Mayo Clinic suggests limiting the cholesterol, fat and salt in your diet, all which can increase your health risk of coronary artery disease. Cut back on foods with high levels of cholesterol, fat, and salt, replacing these with whole grains, fruits, vegetables and fish to lower your blood pressure and to reduce the risk of heart attack.

3. Watch Your Weight

Since weight gain in adults is mostly fat, effort should be made to keep this at a minimum. Excess weight can lead to high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes, the Mayo Clinic reports. Incorporating healthy activity into your lifestyle can keep this problem at bay.

4. Maintain Oral Health!

Most people might not think of a toothbrush as the way to someone’s heart, but studies show good oral hygiene may actually help prevent heart problems. A recent New York Times article mentions several studies reporting that infected gums can release bacteria throughout your arteries, leading to inflammation in other parts of the body. The Times also mentioned that plaque can clog some your brain arteries, increasing your health risk of stroke. Such studies indicate a possible link between taking care of your teeth and preventing this condition.

Follow these 4 crucial health steps to lower your chances of heart disease before it happens. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help ensure a healthy heart for life!

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