Healthy eating, managing your weight, exercise, trying to move more and sit less can all help support your cardiovascular health.
Smoking is not great for cardiovascular health, yet often it is one of the hardest things to change; help is out there.
Reducing your risk: a healthy lifestyle
Foods that influence cardiovascular health
Physical activity and cardiovascular health
What else can you do?
There are many places to get information on having a healthy lifestyle. You will find more general information in our healthy living webpages, the best nutrients for your health, physical activity, managing your weight and preventing weight gain. The following information is a summary of key aspects of healthy living that relate to your cardiovascular health.
Information about how to work out a healthy eating plan, good nutrition for your health and the nutrients important to cardiovascular health helps you to know what you can do for good cardiovascular health. A few small changes and a new approach can have a significant impact on your wellbeing.
Salt can affect blood pressure. It helps to have no more than 6mg (one teaspoon) of salt each day. Many packaged foods contain salt.
Eating foods that contain phytoestrogen may help prevent cardiovascular disease. Phytoestrogen foods include:
Omega-3 is a type of essential fatty acid and plays a vital role in brain function, growth and development. Research suggests omega-3 fatty acids may help to lower the risk of heart disease and may reduce blood pressure.
Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in:
It helps to eat fish twice a week to maintain omega-3.
It is quite common for women living in western countries to have low levels of vitamin D. Vitamin D has many roles in the body including cell growth, maintaining a healthy immune system and regulating the nervous system. It is not surprising then that some research has suggested that low vitamin D increases our risk of developing heart disease.
There are a number of ways to increase vitamin D levels. Your doctor can tell you if you need to take a supplement of vitamin D if your blood levels are found to be low.
Regular physical activity can lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels as well as reduce body fat. If you have already had a heart attack or stroke, physical activity may be part of your rehabilitation.
** Currently under review **
This web page is designed to be informative and educational. It is not intended to provide specific medical advice or replace advice from your health practitioner. The information above is based on current medical knowledge, evidence and practice as at January 2014.