In South Africa, women are specifically at risk of heart disease. This is due to genetically inherited high cholesterol, overweight, and smoking. Fortunately, there are ways to help prevent heart disease in women.
According to the Heart Foundation, one in every four women is at risk of heart disease before the age of 60.
To find out how to help prevent heart disease in women â?? read on!
1. Determine your genetic link to heart disease.
There is a higher risk of heart disease in people who have family members who have previously been diagnosed with heart disease. Family members who develop the condition by age 55 raise the risk for heart disease in children and siblings.
Inform your health practitioner about your family history of heart disease in order to receive early effective treatment.
2. Maintain a healthy weight throughout your life to help prevent heart disease
South African women have extremely high levels of obesity. However, excess kilos increase the likelihood of diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease which increase the risk of heart disease. Women are typically considered overweight if their waistlines exceed 87cms.
3. Eat natural whole foods and avoid processed- and fast-foods
Eating natural whole foods, large amounts of fresh fruit and vegetables, some white meat and dairy will help prevent heart disease in women. Always try to eat organic, and avoid processed- and fast-foods â?? many of which contain transfats that increase the risk of heart disease in women.
Omega-3 oils lower cholesterol levels in some patients. This has a positive impact on preventing heart disease in women. Common sources of omega-3 oils are tuna, salmon, walnuts and flax seeds. Supplements are also available.
Whilst too much alcohol can increase blood pressure and triglycerides, one glass of red wine a day is thought to contain enough antioxidants to help prevent heart disease in women. Fresh red veggies, fruits, and berries like raspberries and blueberries are all high in antioxidants.
4. Do not smoke or use any other tobacco product
Few factors increase your odds of developing heart disease more than the smoking habit. Tobacco use increases blood pressure and makes blood more prone to clot, which can result in a heart attack or stroke.
Women who kick the smoking habit decrease their chances of developing heart disease by 50 per cent within the first year of quitting.
5. Commit to physical activity most days of the week
Women can prevent heart disease by committing to a half-hour of exercise five or six days a week. Take a brisk walk, ride a bike, swim or attend a dance class.
6. See your doctor for regular health check-ups
Many chronic conditions, like diabetes and high blood pressure, increase your risk of heart disease. See your doctor for regular health check-ups.
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