Watch Out for Migraines
If you experience headaches, have your doctor monitor you for other heart disease red flags and focus on lowering your overall risk by quitting smoking and exercising regularly. A study of 27,800 women found that migraines accompanied by visual disturbances (blind spots or flashes of light) was the number two risk factor for heart disease--second only to high blood pressure.
Load Up on Magnesium
Nearly half of us don't get our daily requirement of magnesium (about 265 milligrams for women). When combined with lifestyle changes, a diet high in magnesium helps relax blood vessels and may lower blood pressure in individuals with mild hypertension. Two good sources of magnesium are cooked spinach and pumpkin seeds.
Eat More Healthy Fats
I'm always talking about the importance of having the right ratio of good fats in the diet - a 2013 study in The New England Journal of Medicine shows that it can have a significant impact on your heart health. The diet, which is rich in omega-3 fatty acids from sources like olive oil and nuts, was shown to reduce the risk of heart problems (like heart attack or stroke) by 30 percent. The combination of nutrients from the diet's legumes, fruits, veggies, fish, and olive oil may help improve lipid levels and insulin sensitivity.
Working with your doctor
Obviously, if you’ve had a heart attack or have very high blood pressure, we’re not suggesting you throw your drugs away. Let your doctor know you want to pursue nutritional and lifestyle changes to minimise your need for medication.
This month Ask Patrick is all about heart disease click here to ask your question
To find out more visit our Heart Health page launched today. You can also dig deeper by reading Food is Better Medicine Than Drugs for all the evidence to support this approach. Also read Say No to Heart Disease.