Heart disease remains number one killer for men and women. Risk factors for heart disease include genetic risk factors, diabetes, obesity, sedentary lifestyle, extreme stress, depression, environmental risk factors such as smoking, air pollution.
Here’s what you can do –
Adopt Mediterranean diet – Lyon diet heart study divided participants in two groups control group was placed on reduced total fat and cholesterol diet, intervention group was placed on Mediterranean diet. Mediterranean diet consisted of vegetables, fruits, nuts, olive oil and reduction in red meats. Results 75% reduction in cardiovascular events after 5 year.
Optimize your Vitamin D levels – Not only Vit D helps tolerate drugs like statins it has also been known to regulate arterial function. Ideal levels should be greater than 30 ng/ml however some integrative physicians push for 70 ng/ml.
Increase consumption natural sources of folic acid – Folic acid and other b vitamins are involved in the metabolism of homo-cysteine. Increased homo-cysteine levels are associated with cardiovascular disease and stroke. Interestingly trial such as Norwegian Vitamin (NORVIT), Heart Outcomes Prevention Evaluation -2 (HOPE-2) failed to show any benefits of folic acid supplementation. However foods rich in folic acid such as green leafy vegetables have been beneficial.
Reduce stress – Increased levels of emotional stress drive catecholamine levels. Catecholamines are known to increase cardiac work by increasing heart rate and blood pressure. Mind – body therapies such as meditation practice, living with deep meaning and purpose, having meaningful relationships, spending time with nature have all been shown to reduce stress and improve cardiovascular function.
Limit alcohol intake – Increased alcohol consumption (more than 2 drinks per day) is linked to breast cancer, prostate cancer, cardiovascular disease.
Dr. H. Grewal