It’s important for both men and women to be aware of their health. According to the World Health Organization, 2019, non-communicable diseases account for 66% of total adult deaths in India. and cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death due to NCDs (WHO, 2019). The Global Burden of Disease study estimates age-standardised death from CVD as 272/lakh among Indians
However, The British Heart Foundation (2022), estimates that globally more post-menopausal women (290 million) suffer from heart disease compared to men (260 million). Women often have different symptoms of heart disease than men and must look for the signs and symptoms carefully. They are exposed to more hormonal changes than men and they need to take care of their heart health more effectively and efficiently.
As women, we don many hats – from being working professionals to being a mother, women are the centre of everyone’s world. While multitasking we often tend to neglect to look after our health. Be it physically or emotionally, we miss out on putting ourselves first. But with today’s fast-paced environment, we need to ensure we are doing our best, it is crucial that we look after ourselves in a much better way.
If you are a working professional or a stay-at-home mother, you need to be aware of your heart health. Here are some tips for women to help improve and maintain their heart health.
How do you know if your heart is healthy?
There are several ways to check if your heart is okay as a woman. Here are 5 key points to keep in mind:
- Monitor your blood pressure: High blood pressure is a significant risk factor for heart disease. It’s important to have your blood pressure checked regularly and work with your healthcare provider to manage it if it is high.
- Track your cholesterol levels: High levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol and low levels of HDL (good) cholesterol can increase your risk of heart disease. Have your cholesterol levels checked regularly and work with your healthcare provider to manage them if they are abnormal.
- Manage stress: Chronic stress can increase your risk of heart disease. Practice stress-reducing activities such as meditation, yoga, or deep breathing exercises.
- Hormonal changes: Hormonal changes that occur during menopause can increase a woman’s risk of heart disease. Women should speak with their healthcare provider about managing their heart health during menopause.
- Nutrient deficiencies: Women are sometimes at higher risk of certain nutrient deficiencies that can impact heart health. Due to menstruation, they lose out on iron stores. It’s hence, important to eat a balanced diet and speak with your healthcare provider about any necessary supplements.
In addition to the above factors, age also plays a role in heart health. As women age, their risk of heart disease increases. Regular check-ups with a healthcare provider and appropriate management of any risk factors can help maintain heart health as you age.
Warning signs of a silent heart attack in women
A silent heart attack, also known as a silent myocardial infarction (MI), is a heart attack that does not cause any noticeable symptoms. Silent MIs are more common in women and older adults, and they can be just as serious as heart attacks that cause symptoms.
Some warning signs of a silent heart attack in women may include
- Unusual fatigue: A silent heart attack may cause a feeling of extreme fatigue or tiredness that is not relieved by rest.
- Dizziness or light-headedness: Some women may feel dizzy or lightheaded during a silent heart attack.
How can you make your heart healthier?
- Exercise Regularly:
Regular physical activity can help improve heart health by lowering blood pressure, total and LDL cholesterol and reducing stress. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercises, such as brisk walking, most days of the week. You can check out some of the Yoga asanas that help improves your heart health.
- Reduce smoking:
Smoking is a major risk factor for heart disease, so it’s important to quit if you currently smoke. There are many resources available to help you quit, including medications, support groups, and online resources.
- Maintain a healthy diet:
A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein can help lower the risk of heart disease. Avoid foods including oils that are high in saturated and trans fats, as well as added sugars and sodium. You can opt for Saffola Gold, a blended oil with antioxidants and a good balance of MUFA and PUFA which can help on your journey for a healthy heart.
Which foods are good for women’s heart health
- Fresh Fruits and vegetables: These s are high in fibre, vitamins, and minerals and can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol.
- Whole grains: These include whole wheat flour, oats, quinoa, brown rice and millets like jowar, bajra etc. They are high in fibre and can help lower cholesterol.
- Lean proteins: These include chicken, fish, tofu, and beans. They are low in saturated fat and can help lower cholesterol.
- Healthy fats: These include avocados, nuts, and seeds. You can also consume MUFA- PUFA-rich oil like rice bran oil, sunflower oil, olive oil or a multisource edible oil like Saffola Gold. They can help improve heart health.
These are some of the foods that help prevent heart attacks in women.
Quick Heart Health Home Remedies for Women
- Garlic: Garlic contains allicin that has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and may help lower blood pressure and cholesterol.
- Turmeric: Turmeric contains curcumin, which has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It may help lower cholesterol and reduce inflammation.
- Ginger: Ginger contains gingerols that have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and may help lower blood pressure and reduce inflammation.
- Green tea: Green tea contains antioxidants called catechins that may help lower cholesterol and improve heart health.
3 Ayurvedic Remedies for Women’s Heart Health
- Ashwagandha: Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herb that can help reduce stress and anxiety. It has also been shown to improve heart function and reduce inflammation in the body.
- Arjuna:: Arjuna is a herb commonly used in Ayurveda for heart health. It is believed to support healthy cholesterol levels, improve heart function, and promote healthy blood flow. (source)The bark of the arjuna tree is typically used to make supplements or teas. It can be taken regularly as a preventative measure or as directed by a healthcare provider.
- Hawthorn: Hawthorn is a herb that has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries to support heart health. (source)It can help improve blood flow, reduce inflammation, and lower blood pressure. Hawthorn can be taken as a supplement or in tea form.
These home remedies to manage heart disease along with a heart-healthy diet plan and exercise can help you look after your heart health efficiently.
Note: It is important to note that these tips should be used in addition to, not as a replacement for, medical treatment for heart disease.
If you have heart disease or are at a risk for heart disease, it is important to see a healthcare provider for proper diagnosis and medical treatment. By following these tips and being proactive about your heart health, you can reduce your risk of heart disease and improve your overall health and well-being.
To know more tips about women’s heart health you can read on to – Heart Health Tips for Women.