Unsurprisingly, cardiovascular diseases are life-threatening for patients. According to data released by the WHO (World Health Organization), they are the leading cause of death among humans in the world. They represent 16% of all deaths on the planet. And the main way to alleviate this situation is prevention.
Heart problems, mostly, are directly linked to other illnesses, such as obesity, poor diet and sedentary lifestyle. It is, in fact, a bad consequence of today’s world. People with little time and many obligations end up scrapping their food and not practicing physical activities. They become sedentary and start to get overweight. Perfect setting for the onset of hypertension, diabetes and heart problems.
To preserve health against this problem there is no other way out. It is necessary to transform the lifestyle. Dr. Aline Lamaita, a vascular surgeon who is a member of the Brazilian Society of Angiology and Vascular Surgery, and Dr. Marcella Garcez, a nutrologist, director and professor of the Brazilian Association of Nutrology helped us to better explain the three pillars of good vascular health. Check out:
1 – FOOD
Foods, when well selected, can be true natural sources of health. According to Dr. Lamaita, in a balanced diet it is possible to find vitamin C, flavonoids, polyphenols and anthocyanins. Great allies against cardiovascular disease. “These components have an important antioxidant performance and are capable of reducing cholesterol. When we eat the fruit, it is even better, because the fibers from the bagasse act to prevent the deposition of fat in the arteries. In addition, hesperidin favors the inner lining of the vessels and it helps with circulation,” says the doctor.
Other foods such as beets, ginger, rosemary, and even dark chocolate can also help preserve vascular health. “Chocolate with at least 70% cocoa has anti-inflammatory effects, antioxidant properties, antiplatelet activities, with improved vascular function. It acts against cellular DNA damage, has vasodilator action and prevents the formation of fat plaque inside the arteries,” he explains.
Already Dr. Marcella Garcez alerts to the villains of the diet. According to the specialist, care must be taken with the salt present in processed foods. “When it comes to sodium, people automatically think of salty foods and, in a large part of the population, excessive consumption is in sweets and industrialized products,” he says. “Salt favors fluid retention, causes swelling and increases pressure on blood vessels,” he adds.
2 – PHYSICAL ACTIVITIES
Regular physical activity, in addition to encouraging better blood circulation, will also help prevent causes of vascular problems. Increasing caloric expenditure with exercise is a great ally for weight control and combating sedentary lifestyle. Along with proper nutrition, they are directly responsible for preventing obesity and improving overall health.
The choice of sport is personal and should be something fun to do. It is also worth remembering that it is important to respect the limits of the body and take it easy, especially for those in a state of total sedentary lifestyle. “In moments of rest, the patient can keep the legs elevated to facilitate the venous return”, recommends Dr. Lamaita.
3 – SLEEP
Sleeping little can be the mistake of most people seeking better health. It is during sleep that the body recovers from the physical and mental strain of the active period. “Sleeping eight hours a day is essential. In addition to helping to maintain lean mass and regenerate muscle fibers, our body needs this restorative rest to maintain immune responses”, says Dr. Garcez.
“The ideal is to consistently sleep between seven and eight hours. Running away from these values is putting your health at risk. We have extensive evidence that sleeping five hours or less consistently increases the risk of adverse health conditions such as cardiovascular disease and may even decrease longevity”, adds Dr. Lamaita.