Only recently getting its due recognition, womens heart health is a very important issue that should not be taken lightly. Heart disease is the number one killer of women in the United States, and unfortunately so many of us are unaware of just how serious the issue is.
FACT: It is estimated that almost 1 in 2 women will eventually die of heart disease or stroke, while only 1 in 27 dies of breast cancer!
How do you know if you are at risk?
Although you can develop heart disease at any age, a womans heart health in midlife is of utmost concern. Once a woman reaches menopause, the risk of heart disease and heart attack jump dramatically. So it is very important to first determine if you are at risk, which means going to the doctor and getting tested for the four major risk indicators of heart disease:
1. Cholesterol – The most researched and well-known indicator, high cholesterol can severely damage womens heart health. Learn more about lowering your cholesterol and heart disease here.
2. Triglycerides – Just as important as cholesterol, increased triglyceride (fat) levels are another major risk factor of heart disease for women. Read more about lowering triglycerides here.
3. Homocysteine – Caused by a B Vitamin deficiency, increased homocysteine can jeopardize a womans heart health by causing damage to the arteries. Learn how to lower homocysteine levels here.
4. C Reactive Protein – An indicator of inflammation in the blood, which is a precursor to a heart attack or stroke, C Reactive Protein can be reduced with natural anti-inflammatories. Find out more about lowering CRP levels here.
How can a woman reduce her risk of developing heart disease?
It is important for you to realize that womens heart health can be improved and you can reduce your risk of developing heart disease at any age. For a brief overview of the Top Five Ways To Lower Your Risk of Heart Disease, click here.
Taking care of your heart starts with a healthy heart diet. Simple changes to your eating habits can significantly lower your risk. Cutting down on fried food, fast food, trans fats and hydrogenated oils is key to promoting heart health. Incorporating fruits and vegetables, as well as Omega 3 fatty acids and garlic can lower cholesterol and triglycerides. Read more about a healthy heart diet here.
Another way to reduce your risk is to develop an exercise program. The American Heart Association recommends a minimum of 30 minutes, 3-4 days per week. Put simply, exercise improves a womans heart health by improving and strengthening the cardiovascular system. Blood is being circulated throughout the body, delivering much needed oxygen and nutrients to your cells. Find out more about cardiovascular disease and fitness here.
It is also very important to make lifestyle changes if you have health-endangering habits. Smoking is a major cause of heart disease, so if you smoke try to quit as soon as possible. Obesity is a major danger to womens heart health. If you are overweight, try to lose weight but do not use diet pills or carb blockers…they are dangerous. Learn about healthy, natural weight loss options..
In addition to eating right, exercising and eliminating bad habits such as smoking, it is also crucial to include healthy heart nutrients in your diet.
Due to current processing practices, many of the foods we eat are depleted or even devoid of essential nutrients. So even if you eat foods that should contain certain vitamins and minerals, there’s a good chance that these nutrients are not present.
Therefore, it is a good idea to supplement these nutrients, to make sure your body has what it needs to maintain heart health.
A. Cold water fish is often contaminated or devoid of essential Omega 3’s due to poor manufacturing and handling practices. Therefore you might want to consider a pure molecularly distilled fish oil supplement.
B. Many people are vitamin deficient, due to poor diets, or if they are elderly or sick. Therefore, supplementing vitamins is important. Specifically for the heart, the B Vitamins as well as the antioxidants Vitamin C and Vitamin E are important.
C. As we mentioned to the left, if you have high cholesterol or other heart disease precursors supplementing policosanol, CoQ10, guggulipid, green tea and other healthy minerals and herbal extracts is important.
D. There are many important nutrients for maintaining heart health as well as general health and wellbeing. There are many amino acids, minerals, enzymes and other nutrients that your body needs to function properly and efficiently, that you might not be getting enough of in your diet.