Charlotte's Kenneth Haas on Heart HealthFeb 02, 2021 02:04PM ● By Kenneth Haas
February is American Heart Month, and here are a few facts to keep in mind about cardiovascular risk factors.
1. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the U.S.
2. Symptoms of a heart attack can present differently in men and women (see image below).
3. There are foods and spices that help improve the cardiovascular system.
4. Understanding what lab values mean can help determine cardiovascular risk.
5. Several clinics offer a stroke assessment or cardiovascular screening/assessment.
6. It is never too early to start prevention.
According to the Centers for Disease Control only 27 percent of the general public is aware of all the symptoms of a heart attack. Knowing the signs can help reduce the 610,000 people that die each year from a cardiovascular event by calling 911 sooner and seeking medical intervention quickly. Risk factors for a heart event include diabetes, obesity, lack of physical exercise, poor diet and excessive alcohol consumption.
Food groups that help with improved cardiovascular function include salmon, herring, trout, almonds, walnuts, berries, carrots, sweet potatoes, red peppers, acorn squash, spinach, asparagus, tomatoes, broccoli, arugula, turmeric, cayenne pepper, black pepper and garlic. These are all great ingredients to have on hand when whipping up a heart healthy meal.
Processed foods (anything in a box, bag, or handed out a window is generally filled with saturated fats, food additives, artificial flavoring and preservatives) should be limited to one serving per week at most. Other foods to be limited include grains, corn, potatoes and oats to avoid unnecessary calories, and they also tend to be over-processed and devoid of nutritional value.
When having an annual checkup, take note of cardiovascular risk indicators and compare them each time blood work is evaluated for trends. Starting this practice in our early 20s and continuing throughout the years can really help determine how the body is functioning.
Some values to look for:
· CRP (c-reactive protein)
· Triglycerides, HDL, LDL
· Overall Red Blood Cell Count
· White Blood Cell Count
If one of these numbers starts to elevate or decline accompanied by weight gain, fatigue, less sleep, increased stress or workload, it is time to reassess our health and work toward managing prevention factors such as what we eat, our level of exercise and getting adequate sleep each night.
Kenneth Haas, DC, CCSP, is the founder of Haas Wellness Center, located at 3315 Springbank Ln., Ste. 102, in Charlotte. For more information, call 704-837-2420, email [email protected] or visit HaasWellnessCenters.com.
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