The Perfect Gift
Dr. Dov Jay Berkowitz | We are in the month of February, which means that it is National Heart Month. Love is leaping in the air and people like to share what’s in their hearts with those they care most about every single Valentine’s Day. Let this year be the year to give the gift of a healthy heart, the most perfect gift which continually gives to others.
The heart is the most valuable organ in the body, yet it is often the most mistreated. Heart disease is the number one killer disease in the United States. It is a silent killer that has extreme consequences, such as heart attack and stroke. Clogged arteries and stress on the body can create high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure, which are attributed to coronary heart disease, coronary artery disease and cardiovascular disease. These diseases all have one thing in common, they kill your heart.
Love Takes Action
The causes of heart disease are fairly common, detectable and most importantly are adjustable. Most people do not change their lifestyle until it is too late because heart attacks and stroke don’t always happen to young people. However, the causes of heart disease can now be detected early on and doctors are finding them in patients at much younger age. Heart attacks in older adults can be prevented if action is taken now.
Dr. Dov Jay Berkowitz – Listed below are the common causes, as well as helpful tips, for getting the hearts of Americans on the right track.
We all know how bad smoking is for our lungs, but not so much about the damage it does to our hearts. Smoking causes blood pressure to rise and increases the risk of blood clots, a sure way of developing heart disease. The first and foremost way to help make better choices about heart health is to start here. If you refuse to put down a “cancer stick”, you’re more likely not going to make good choices about the other causes listed below.
Drinking too much alcohol raises triglycerides (fat levels in blood), as well as leads to conditions such as high blood pressure, heart failure and obesity. Alcohol also toxifies the liver, which slows metabolism and does not work the heart as well for burning fat. Fat can clog the arteries, which can also destroy the heart. Try exercising instead of drinking. Aerobic exercise will give the same good feeling and strengthen your heart without the use of bad habits that work against your vital organs.
Studies have shown that increased levels of stress in individuals resulted in heart attacks in some age groups. It is also clear that stress can lead to the development of bad behaviors, such as the two causes mentioned above. Getting more sleep at night will significantly reduce the amount of stress on the heart, as well as exercise, instead of relying on other bad behaviors such as excessive drinking or smoking. Try listening to soothing music without words. Many of our thoughts alone can clutter our thinking and can lead to stress. Sometimes we need to relax and start the process of dealing with these thoughts in a more productive way.
The strongest muscle in your body is your heart. Just like the rest of your body needs to be worked, your heart is the leader overall and needs your attention. Regular exercise can lower your LOL (bad cholesterol) and blood pressure. As mentioned before, exercise will also help reduce stress which will in turn put the focus on healthy habits that are good for your heart. Regular exercise will also help promote a good night’s sleep.
Not getting enough sleep at night causes a buildup of plaque in the arteries, which also raises levels of a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol leads to inflammation and causes plaque to break apart that travels to the heart and brain, which causes heart attack and stroke. Getting at least eight hours of sleep per night not only helps reduce plaque buildup but reduces stress that leads to unhealthy habits.
Diet by Dr. Dov Jay Berkowitz
America is the most obese country in the world, which is no wonder why we are the forerunners of heart disease. High salt content, high saturated fat and Trans fats are a common place in the restaurant business for Americans and a growing number around the world. Eating a high salt content can lead to high blood pressure and heart disease. High saturated fats will clog the arteries if they are not healthy saturated fats such as nuts, olive oil or avocados. Trans fats are man-made fats and are very bad for your health. They are used for frying in many fast food and fine dining restaurants. Try eating fruits and vegetables before every meal, as this will help create healthy habits and be a reminder of how much value you place on your health. In time dangerous foods will no longer be second nature but become a back burner.