What are 8 ways to reduce your risk factors for heart disease without medication? Let’s talk about it.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death around the world. In the United States, one person dies every 34 seconds from cardiovascular disease.
Here are 8 ways you can lower your risk of heart disease:
#1 Learn Stress Reduction Techniques
People with stressful jobs have a much higher rate of heart disease. When you’re under stress, you’re producing lots of adrenaline, but you’re also producing lots of cortisol and all that extra cortisol is releasing stored sugar which raises insulin levels. If you’re not actually utilizing that sugar to fuel fight or flight, all that extra sugar and insulin creates inflammation in your arteries and can lead to plaque.
Stress also raises cholesterol. There was an interesting case study of a woman who just had a fasting cholesterol drawn but when she left her physician’s office she got into an accident. At the ER, her blood was taken again and her cholesterol was highly elevated, especially her triglycerides. The stress of the accident triggered her HPA axis to produce a ton of cortisol which immediately increased her cholesterol.
Stress reduction techniques can help you handle stress better which will reduce cardiovascular inflammation. Learning deep breathing techniques, practicing meditation, and getting therapy can help lower your stress and reduce your risk of heart disease.
#2 Eat a Heart-Healthy Diet
Heart disease is much more common in people who eat highly processed foods – lots of sugar and trans fats. Eating a plant-based diet can help reduce heart disease. The benefits of the Mediterranean diet for the primary prevention of cardiovascular diseases are well-researched. Heart-healthy monounsaturated extra virgin olive oil is key to reducing inflammatory metabolites which contribute to heart failure.
The Mediterranean diet is effective and easy to follow. It provides enough protein to maintain your lean body mass. And it’s based on a colorful variety of antioxidant rich fruits and vegetables. Whole grains, nuts, seeds and legumes round out a heart protective diet.
#3 Lose Weight
If you’re overweight, losing that extra fat can help reduce your risk for heart disease. Body mass index which compares your weight to your height is not as accurate as measuring body fat. Women under 50 should strive for a body fat under 27% and women over 50 under 33%. A healthy body fat for young men is under 20% and if over 50, under 25%.
In terms of heart disease, body fat that is carried around your middle is the most risky as it may reflect visceral fat around your internal organs which is highly inflammatory. Losing body fat through limiting carbohydrates and regular exercise can help lower your risk for .
#4 Exercise Regularly
Aerobic exercise is great for your heart. It helps to keep your blood vessels more elastic. It helps to make your heart stronger. Aerobic exercise means you get your heart rate up fast enough that you can’t talk or sing while you’re doing the activity. You can be running, hiking, cycling, rowing, swimming, you just need to go fast enough for at least 20 to 30 minutes three to five days a week. Weight resistance exercises a couple times a week can also help strengthen the heart
Being sedentary is as dangerous as smoking. Keep moving!
#5 Get Enough Sleep
If you’re not getting an adequate amount of sleep for your age, you’re putting your body under more stress. During a natural sleep cycle, your hypothalamus directs the clean up of inflammation in your body and blood vessels. Lack of sleep increases your risk for heart attack and stroke. I have some great videos on how to sleep better and more deeply.
#6 Stop Smoking and Vaping
Smoking and vaping not only cause lung disease, they cause heart disease. Using nicotine products in any form, even the patch or gum, increases your risk for cardiovascular disease. Nicotine is a stimulant and mimics adrenaline, which can increase your cortisol, inflammation, and blood pressure. So stop smoking!
#7 Moderate Your Use of Caffeine and Alcohol
Studies have shown that high levels of caffeine use can raise your blood pressure, which will increase your risk for heart disease. Yet coffee and tea can be very heart healthy if consumed in moderation. Alcohol can also have a great anti-inflammatory effect on the cardiovascular system. But excessive alcohol consumption can increase your risk for heart disease. No more than one to two servings daily according to your gender. Polyphenol rich red wine has incredible heart benefits.
#8 Support Your Hypothalamus
Supporting your hypothalamus nutraceutically with Genesis Gold® can reduce cardiovascular inflammation by improving sleep, increasing metabolic activity, balancing hormones to prevent high levels of cortisol, and reducing insulin resistance. Since your hypothalamus controls your autonomic nervous system, my patients who take Genesis Gold® tend to have a more balanced sympathetic to parasympathetic response which keeps their body in a more calm state and their arteries more elastic and less inflamed.
If you have any questions about heart health, please join me in my Hormone Support Group. You can access it by signing up for my free Hormone Reboot Training.
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.govPercent body fat is a better predictor of cardiovascular risk factors than …