February 25, 2024

Heart Health: Do You Have a Heart-Healthy Lifestyle?

Heart disease is the number one cause of death worldwide. Nearly 18.6 million people died from cardiovascular disease in 2019, yet most cases are preventable. Along with Type 2 Diabetes, cancer, and obesity, heart disease is one of a growing number of non-communicable diseases that can be prevented through diet and lifestyle changes.

Here at Eat Burn Sleep we firmly believe in the power of an anti-inflammatory lifestyle and the benefits it has for heart health. But do you have a heart-healthy lifestyle?

 

What is heart disease?

Heart disease or cardiovascular disease as it is better known is the collective name for conditions that affect the heart and circulatory system. Some of these conditions are congenital and people are born with them, while others can be triggered by diet, stress, and lifestyle.

Heart disease includes:

  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Coronary Artery Disease: This includes arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and atherosclerosis, where arteries are blocked by fatty deposits.
  • Cardiomyopathy – weakening of the heart muscle
  • Stroke
  • Irregular heartbeats (arrhythmias)
  • Angina
  • Heart failure

 

How do I know if I am at risk of heart disease?

Heart health research reveals 5 major risks for cardiovascular disease:

Chronic inflammation: We all need to have some level of inflammatory response to illness and injury as this is part of a normal and healthy immune reaction. However, chronic or systemic inflammation is harmful to health and linked with a wide range of conditions including heart disease.

Metabolic issues like obesity, insulin resistance, Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and poor cholesterol balance (too much LDL cholesterol and not enough HDL cholesterol).

Smoking.

Lack of physical activity.

Diets that are low in fiber, good fats, fruits, and vegetables, and high in Ultra Processed Foods, refined sugar,  and unhealthy fats.

Genetic predispositions – remember though that genes can be “switched on” by lifestyle factors and inflammation.

 

Menopause and heart health

The risk of heart disease increases greatly after menopause when estrogen levels are much lower. This is because estrogen supports heart health in several ways (Ryczkowska et al, 2022):

  • Keeps blood vessels supple and flexible so they can respond to changes in blood pressure.
  • Regulates cholesterol levels.
  • Decreases the risk of blood clots.
  • Provides antioxidant protection against inflammation.
  • Supports energy production in heart muscle cells.

 

The earlier menopause occurs, the greater the risk of developing heart disease.  This is important for women who go through menopause before the age of 40 and for Black and Hispanic women as research shows they may reach menopause earlier than white, Japanese, and Chinese women (Harlow et al, 2022).

But no matter what your age or ethnicity, there is so much you can do with an anti-inflammatory diet and lifestyle to mitigate this risk! To find out more see my Perimenopause and Menopause video where I explain in detail how the EBS approach can help manage the effects of menopause.

 

What is Heart-Healthy Living?

Heart-healthy living involves recognizing and understanding your risk of heart disease and taking positive steps to reduce this and improve your health and well-being.

The idea of heart-healthy living is built into everything we do at EBS. Tackling chronic inflammation with diet and lifestyle changes addresses several key risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

Diet

The EBS Food Lists and meal plans are built around colorful, tasty, anti-inflammatory foods. They support gut health and a healthy immune response and address the nutritional imbalances that are at the root of metabolic issues like Type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance – key risk factors for heart disease.

Specific fruits and vegetables are part of our Food Lists for two very important reasons. Firstly, they contain natural anti-inflammatory phytochemicals, and secondly, they are natural modulators of proinflammatory gene expression (Zhu et al, 2017). This means they can influence gene expression and literally “turn off” pro-inflammatory genes.

To help you incorporate these foods into your daily life we have meal plans and over 330+ recipes to choose from.

 

Physical activity

At EBS we believe movement is key to healthy longevity. We have a library of 180+ different anti-inflammatory movement videos designed to fit into even the most hectic of lifestyles. These videos help with healthy circulation, body composition, weight balance, physical strength, and mental resilience. Above all, they are the perfect antidote to a sedentary lifestyle!

And it’s not just food and movement. Mental well-being and stress management are crucial for managing inflammation and living a heart-healthy lifestyle. In EBS you will find guided meditations for mental health and a series of Masterclass sessions to inform and inspire.

Remember, conscious effort combined with science is powerfully effective in the fight against heart disease.

Want to know more about Eat Burn Sleep? Take a sneak peek around the platform and check out our membership options here.

 

And you might also like to read:

How Do You Reduce Your Cholesterol?

The Anti-inflammatory Diet and Lifestyle

10 Reasons to Walk

 

From my heart to yours,

Yalda x

Author

Eat. Burn. Subscribe.

Join the Eat Burn Sleep email newsletter and be the first to hear about new tips, and recipes!

Continue Reading

The Irritable Bowel Syndrome Self-Care Diet

Does Cortisol Cause Weight Gain?

Can Diet Help Relieve Hay Fever?