Did you know February is American Heart Month sponsored by the American Heart Association? Heart month is a time to educate people on what we can do to prevent heart problems and live heart-healthy lives.
Heart disease is a major problem for both men and women in the United States. Every year, about 715,000 Americans suffer a heart attack. About 1 out of every 4 deaths is a result of heart disease, the leading cause of death for men and women in the US.
The good news? Heart disease is preventable. Improving your overall health will greatly reduce your risk of heart disease. Did you know having sufficient vitamin D levels may help?
Research has shown that vitamin D deficiency can actually increase your risk of heart disease. A recent Norwegian study found that people with the lowest vitamin D levels had a 32% greater risk of mortality from cardiovascular disease than those with the highest vitamin D levels.
Some lifestyle habits can put you at an increased risk for developing heart disease. Here are some useful tips to help you improve your heath and manage any existing medical conditions you may have.
- Eat a healthy diet– Eating a diet full rich with fruits and vegetables can help you avoid heart disease and many complications associated with the disease. Also, eat foots low in saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, and sodium.
- Maintain a healthy weight– Being overweight or obese can increase your risk for heart disease. If you know your height and weight, you can calculate your body mass index (BMI) here.
- Exercise regularly– Regular physical activity can help you achieve or maintain a healthy weight.
- Don’t smoke– Smoking cigarettes greatly increases your risk for heart disease. We’ve all heart it a million times, but if you don’t smoke, don’t start, and if you do, quit ASAP!
- Limit alcohol use– Avoid drinking too much alcohol, as it can increase your blood pressure.
- Have your cholesterol checked– Your doctor should test your cholesterol levels at least once every 5 years.
- Manage your diabetes– If you have diabetes, monitor your blood sugar closely.
- And of course, make sure your vitamin D levels are sufficient! The Vitamin D Council recommends healthy adults supplement with 5,000 IU/day vitamin D3.
Take a look at our Heart Health infographic for some quick info on vitamin D and heart health. Remember to share with friends and family! View the infographic on Facebook to share online.