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Posts Tagged ‘Heart’

While heart disease, at slightly more than 23 percent, remains the number one cause of death in the United States, cancer with 22.5 percent of deaths, leads the way in mortality we can help prevent by behavior. According to the American Institute on Cancer Research (AICR), nearly 50 percent of the most common cancers can be prevented. February is “Cancer Prevention Month.” What are we doing to help thwart one of these cancers?

Image result for free clip art cancer preventionUp to 90,000 cases of cancer per year are thought to relate to obesity. Those most prevalent include colorectal, breast, endometrial, esophageal, gallbladder, kidney, liver, lung, pancreatic, prostate, stomach, and ovarian. Diet in general affects our risk. If this is an area we need to address, the AICR recommends several steps for cancer prevention.

  • Avoid underweight. While many facts are known regarding the problems of too much weight, underweight is not the answer. The wise will remain within a recommended weight range.
  • Avoid components in foods that can hamper weight loss or a healthy diet. Some of these include too much added sugar, especially sugary drinks and high calorie foods, excessive salt/sodium in the diet, and processed foods.
  • Avoid too much red meats and choose fish or white meats such as chicken.
  • Do exercise or remain physically active for a minimum of 30 minutes per day.
  • Do eat a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes. Several of these foods are high in antioxidants that are known to fight cancer. A few of those include the following:
    • Apple antioxidants come from several phytochemicals, namely quercetin, epicatechin, and anthocyanins. The peels have additional antioxidants.
    • Blueberries, one of the highest fruits in antioxidants, also contribute high levels of vitamins C and K, manganese, and dietary fiber.
    • Legumes, in addition to antioxidants, contain lignans (plant-based substances that may act like human estrogen) and saponins (health-promoting complex compounds) and other substances that may protect against cancer.
    • Dark green vegetables such as spinach, kale, romaine, mustard greens, collard greens and others provide excellent sources of carotenoids including lutein and zeaxanthin plus saponins and flavonoids. These chemicals may possibly protect against cancers of the mouth, pharynx, and larynx, plus slow growth of certain cell types associated with breast, skin, lung, and stomach cancers.

No one can guarantee you will not get cancer, but how you treat your body can make a difference. Think about the foods in your diet that may contribute to your susceptibility to cancer. Then consider ways you can add or remove foods that may protect you from this dreaded disease. It’s no guarantee, but isn’t it worth a try?

Image result for free clip art cancer prevention

 

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February brings to mind Valentine hearts of love, but when it comes to the human heart, the month is so much more. In 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson declared February as American Heart Month. At the time, nearly half of deaths in America resulted from cardiovascular disease (CVD). Although today that number has decreased to about one in four, CVD claims 17.9 million lives worldwide each year. About 2,300 Americans die of CVD each day for an average of one death every 38 seconds.

While medical advances improve quality of life, heart disease continues to be a threat. For 2018 the focus is on younger adults ages 35 to 64. In many areas, deaths rates from heart disease in this age range are increasing, perhaps as a result of soaring risk factors. Lifestyle changes can alter these statistics. Several situations, both medical and environmental, influence the risk of CVD including:

  • Obesity: More than two-thirds of the American population are overweight with at least half of those considered as obese. Extra weight puts stress on the heart.
  • Diabetes: Sugar (glucose) build up in the blood can damage blood vessels and nerves that help control the heart.
  • Physical Exercise: Sufficient activity keeps heart and blood vessels healthy. Physical exercise is a natural mood lifter and enhances body fitness. It helps to lower blood pressure, boost HDL (good) cholesterol, improve circulation, keep weight under control, and prevent bone loss (osteoporosis). Only about 20 percent of Americans meet recommended guidelines of 150 minutes of exercise per week.
  • Healthier eating habits: Not only do Americans eat too much resulting in weight problems, most continue to make poor choices in their selection of foods. Foods high in sugar, salt, and trans and saturated fats can contribute to CVD.
  • Smoking: While a known culprit for lung disease, smoking directly damages blood vessels and impacts conditions contributing to CVD. While progress has been made in helping to reduce smoking among Americans, more than 37 million U. S. adults continue to use this unhealthy substance. Even worse, thousands of young people each day take up the habit.
  • Blood pressure: Uncontrolled blood pressure is one of the biggest risk factors for CVD. Because nearly three-fourths of individuals are unaware they have hypertension, it is often referred to as the silent killer. Approximately half the people with diagnosed hypertension fail to sustain a normal blood pressure. Adhering to heart medications prescribed by your physician more readily assures a healthy heart.

Many deaths from CVD could be prevented through education and action. Make the 2018 American Heart Month the time to change to a healthier lifestyle and prevent becoming the next CVD statistic.

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Who doesn’t enjoy a thoughtful remembrance from that special someone on Valentine’s Day? Sure, we’re delighted with red roses or drool over Godiva’s, but what better gift could you give your significant other than a healthy heart—your healthy heart?

February is American Heart Month. According to the American Heart Association, a healthy diet and lifestyle are the best weapons against cardiovascular disease. They recommend the following simple steps for optimum physical well-being.

  • Choose a variety of foods from all food groups each day in the following quantities (based on a 2000 calorie diet).
    • 6-8       Grains with at least half from whole grain sources
    • 4-5       Vegetables—including sufficient green and yellow varieties
    • 4-5       Fruits—especially those with high vitamin C levels
    • 2-3       Cooked lean meat, poultry, or seafood
    • 2-3       Fats/oils
    • Nuts, seeds, legumes, 4-5 servings per week.
  • Watch serving size. Many consume too many calories because they eat excessive amounts. Consider the following as a guide to portion control.
    • Grains:            dinner roll—Yo-yo; cereal—baseball; pasta—tennis ball
    • Vegetables:     green salad—baseball; cooked vegetable—small fist; potato—computer mouse
    • Fruits:              light bulb
    • Meats:              three ounces poultry, beef, or pork—deck of cards; fish—checkbook
    • Fats/oils:        1 tablespoon tub margarine—three thumb tips; two tablespoons salad dressing—shot glass
    • Nuts:               one-ounce—cupped palm of medium-sized hand
  • Curb the amount of nutrient-poor foods.
    • Choose less fatty or fried foods
    • Drink smaller amounts of beverages with added sugar
    • Strive to limit sodium to no more than 1,500 mgs per day
    • Reduce intake of trans-fats and partially hydrogenated vegetable oils
    • Choose fat-free dairy products
  • Use as many calories as you take in. Remember that the only way to lose weight is to take in fewer calories than you use. To maintain a healthy weight, balance the amount of calories you eat with appropriate activity to burn up those calories.

You have only one heart. Use these suggestions to help assure yours will be healthier to celebrate Valentines 2013.

 

http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/Nutrition-Center_UCM_001188_SubHomePage.jsp

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