We all know that cigarette smoking causes breathing problems and lung cancer. But did you know it also makes you more likely to have a heart attack?
Cigarette smoke contains thousands of chemicals like nicotine, carbon monoxide, tar, etc. These Chemicals in cigarette smoke cause the cells that line blood vessels to become swollen and inflamed. This can narrow the blood vessels and can lead to many cardiovascular conditions. Also, breathing other people’s smoke (second-hand smoke) is harmful to smokers and non-smokers.
Smoking damages the heart and blood vessels very quickly. But the good news is that when you stop smoking, your risk for heart disease and stroke can be cut in half just one year later and continues to decline until it’s as low as a non smoker’s risk.
Tips for Healthier Heart:
- Lose weight if overweight or obese.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Have small frequent meals and never skip any meal.
- Increase the intake of fruits, vegetables and choose complex carbs like whole grains, oats, brown rice, etc over refined products.
- Choose low fat dairy products over the high fat dairy products. E.g low fat yogurt, skimmed milk, etc.
- Eat heart healthy fats like Omega-3. E.g fish, walnuts, flax seeds, etc.
- Include lean protein like fish, lean chicken, legumes, nuts. Prefer baked, boiled or grilled.
- Exercise regularly for at least 30-45 mins.
- Quit smoking.
- Don’t drink alcohol.
- Limit the salt intake in your diet.
- Use herbs, lemon, spices instead of salt in your meal preparation.
- Avoid fried, sugary and processed foods.
- Avoid saturated fats like cream, butter, fatty meats, etc.
- Don’t stress. Try Yoga.
It’s time to take action and fight for your health, and the health of the women you love.