Parkridge Health System - February 22, 2019

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 610,000 Americans die of heart disease every year, making it the leading cause of death in both men and women.

But the good news is, there are plenty of steps you can take to protect your heart health.

Eat a Heart-healthy Diet

Do you seem to choose fast food over home-cooked meals, or soda over water? There's no better time than now to start making healthier choices!

Fill your plate with plenty of fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and low-fat dairy. Limit your intake of sodium, sugar and unhealthy fats.

Visit Your Dentist Twice a Year

Think your oral health has nothing to do with your heart? Think again. In fact, some research has linked periodontal disease with heart disease.

Make sure you are keeping your teeth in excellent shape by brushing and flossing every day, as well as visiting your dentist for recommended cleanings every six months.

Get a Good Night's Sleep

Did you know that people who sleep less than six hours a night are more likely to have heart disease than those who get between seven and nine hours of sleep every night?

If you have trouble sleeping, make sure to speak with a physician who can help you figure out how to get better sleep at night.

You can start with some basic sleep hygiene principles — keep the bedroom temperature cooler, turn off electronic devices an hour or so before bed, and use the bedroom only for sleep.

Quit Smoking

While smoking can increase your risk of lung cancer, it also places you at a higher risk of a cardiovascular event, such as a stroke or heart attack.

Protect your heart by quitting smoking as soon as possible. Although some smokers are able to quit cold turkey, other people might need the assistance of nicotine patches or counseling to help stop.

Either way, you have options available to become a non-smoker sooner rather than later!

Are you worried about your risk of heart disease? Visit Parkridge Health to learn about the heart and vascular care services we provide.