- If cardiovascular disease is the second leading cause of death after cancer in France, it is the leading cause among women.
- Cardiovascular diseases are diseases that affect the heart and all blood vessels (heart rhythm disturbances, atherosclerosis, heart attack, hypertension, stroke, etc.).
Cardiovascular diseases are the first cause of death in the world and the second in France. Most of them can be avoided by modifying one’s lifestyle to eliminate risk factors such as a sedentary lifestyle, alcohol abuse, junk food, obesity or smoking.
Certain gestures, good for heart health, are sometimes simple to integrate into daily life. Questioned by our colleagues from Best Lifecardiologist Dr. Kaustubh Dabhadkar has detailed 6 surprising ways to improve heart health.
Don’t skip breakfast
A varied and balanced diet is the key to good cardiovascular health. You need to make sure you have menus that give pride of place to fruits and vegetables, not to mention whole grains. Instead, it is preferable to avoid red meat and cooked dishes, all of which are very high in fat, and focus on other protein sources (nuts, soy, white meat, etc.) and home-cooked dishes (low in salt). You also need to avoid junk food that promotes inflammation and cholesterol (fried foods, hamburgers, sodas, etc.). The way to avoid temptations? “Eat breakfast, says Dr. Dabhadkar. It’s the most important meal of the day and keeps you going. I’m more likely to eat junk food if I skip breakfast”.
Laugh very regularly
Regular laughter is an easy (and fun) way to keep your heart healthy. Many studies have examined the benefits of a good laugh. Combats the effects of stress by reducing cortisol production, stabilizing heart rate and lowering blood pressure. Furthermore, the virtues of laughter go beyond cardiovascular health. Increases the amount of ventilated air and improves blood oxygenation. It is also beneficial for the immune system, sleep, digestion, tension or even libido.
write a diary
The American cardiologist also suggests keeping a diary. A study, conducted at the University of Cambridge in 2005, revealed that people who write between 15 and 20 minutes 3 to 5 times a week are less stressed than those who don’t. And minimizing tension and anxiety is good for the heart.
To help your heart stay healthy, you need to be active. However, you don’t have to spend your days in the gym. “Even 20-30 minutes of moderate exercise each day reduces your future risk of heart disease”says Dr. Dabhadkar.
Tip to maximize the effect: move in the morning. According to an article in The European Journal of Preventive Cardiology last November, people who exercise in the morning were 16% less likely to suffer from coronary heart disease while their risk of stroke was reduced by 17%.
“Stress plays a key role in lifestyle diseases (hypertension, diabetes, obesity)“, explains the cardiologist. However, these favor cardiovascular pathologies such as heart attacks or strokes. It is therefore essential to combat stress. “Meditation helps manage stress”assures the expert.
Both smoking and secondhand smoke are bad for the heart. “Smoking damages almost every organ in the body, including the heart.”warns the American Lung Association on its website. “Smoking can cause blockages and narrowing of arteries, which means less blood and oxygen flow to the heart.“, adds the organization. It is therefore recommended to stay away from tobacco, and to quit if you are a smoker.