(Natural News) Many people are terrified by the idea of having a heart attack, and it’s a reasonable fear when you consider the fact that heart disease is currently the leading cause of death around the world. However, it’s how this fear prompts you to act that can make the biggest difference in whether or not your nightmare becomes a reality. Lots of people have a knee-jerk reaction to finding out they’re at a higher risk, popping all manner of pills and taking on the associated side effects in hopes of avoiding becoming a statistic, when all many of them had to do was simply make some lifestyle changes that address the true causes of heart disease.
It’s easy to see how your heart is so vulnerable. As the central organ in your body, it’s intricately involved in your circulation. When something goes wrong, like your arteries become clogged, your heart has to work a lot harder to circulate your blood, putting stress on it and possibly causing it to fail eventually.
However, it’s this same central nature that makes it possible to address heart health through lifestyle changes that don’t seem quite as heart-specific as, say, taking statins. If you want to conquer the true causes of heart disease – inflammation, nutritional deficiencies, and stress – here are some approaches to consider.
Years of bad lifestyle choices can cause chronic inflammation in your body that leads not only to heart disease but also problems like cancer and depression. The first thing you should do is cut out foods that promote inflammation, like trans fats, processed sugar, and refined grains. Consider adding turmeric to your diet or using supplements; turmeric is a strong anti-inflammatory that has demonstrated its ability to protect from cardiovascular disease in studies.
Nearly everyone you ask will tell you that they feel stress, and chronic stress puts many people on the path to poor heart health. Those under chronic stress often eat a lot of junk and processed food, for example, and turn to habits like alcohol and smoking to cope. Look for healthy ways to deal with stress instead, such as meditation, spending time in nature, yoga, art, and music therapy so you’ll be able to stay strong in the face of unhealthy temptations. It sounds like trite advice, but one study found that meditating for just 20 minutes a day was as much as 11 times more effective than statins when it came to reducing heart disease.
There are lots of nutrients your body needs, but to make it simple, you should focus on antioxidants if heart health is a concern. Foods like blackberries, strawberries, artichokes, blueberries, and dark chocolate are particularly rich in antioxidants. Watch out for excessive sodium and make sure you’re consuming fruit and vegetables that are high in potassium. Low levels of vitamin D have also been linked to heart problems in studies. The best way to ensure your body is producing enough of this vitamin is by spending more time outdoors in the sun.
Although heart disease is quite common, it’s still a condition over which you have a lot of control. Be conscious of your lifestyle choices and how they can impact your health not just today but later on in life. If you eat a clean and nutritious diet, get plenty of exercise, and deal with stress in healthy ways, you can keep your risk of heart disease down.
Sources for this article include: