Tag Archives: Heart disease

Are You Heart and Breast/Prostate Healthy?

Today let’s talk about some healthy strategies for heart health and cancer prevention, i.e. the “kill two birds with one stone” approach.

Okay, first thing first. Take simple, small lifestyle actions day by day, which is what will help you win the battle of fighting cancer and heart disease. Rome wasn’t conquered in a day, and probably not in a week either.

To reduce risks of cancer, you need to incorporate lifestyle changes, as WHO’s message on the World Cancer Day 2010. These changes can also benefit your heart. Simplicity_3947605103_1bb33061f9_m

Here are 9 simple, healthy strategies:

1. Eat a healthy and balanced diet. I know that ice cream is appetizing, but fresh vegetables and fruits, as well as foods low in saturated fat but high in fiber can serve as cancer-fighting and cholesterol-fighting agents.
2. Exercise regularly. Best suggestions are about 30 minutes a day. Find various ways to stay physically active, which will help you lower cholesterol, maintain healthy weight, and prevent cancer.
3. Maintain a healthy weight with a body mass index (BMI) lower than 30. Overweight and/or obesity increases your risks for heart disease and cancer. Need help? You can get a FREE diet profile here.
4. Stop cigarette smoking and avoid second-hand smoking. Cigarette smoking remains the leading preventable cause of death in the United States, causing an estimated 1 out of every 5 deaths each year, according to National Cancer Institute (NCI). Noticeably, research reveals a link between elevated CRP and obesity as well as smoking.
5. Limit alcohol intake. Alcohol consumption is linked to increased risk of various types of cancer including breast, colorectal, mouth, esophagus, larynx, and liver cancer. Drinking too much alcohol can lead to high blood pressure and heart failure.
6. Reduce inflammation and cancer-causing infection. Stay away from factors that make us susceptible to infection and inflammation, such as toxic chemicals, pollutants, stress, inadequate intake of nutrients, a diet high in sugar, fat and animal proteins. Strengthen your immune system.
7. Avoid or minimize your exposure to air pollutants. Air pollutants mediate inflammation, thereby contributing to cancer and a troubled heart. It’s difficult to control the air in our outdoor environment, but we can control the air in our homes. Pay attention to occupational hazards, take preventative measures in workplace too.
8. Relax! Reduce stress. Stress can weaken the immune system, trigger inflammation, subsequently leading to heart attack, stroke and cancer. Have a positive outlook and find your own “secret” stress reliever.
9. Know your numbers. Regular health checkup can help you monitor your blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar. Consult your physician on cancer screenings.

Finally, a Bonus for Valentine’s Day and chocolate lovers.

Substantial research suggests that flavonoid-rich food could help prevent cardiovascular disease and cancer based on its anti-inflammatory effect. Cocoa is the richest source of flavonoids, but current processing reduces its content considerably. Dark chocolate is flavonoid-rich (with at least 70% cocoa). So, what’s the catch? In comparison, milk chocolate is sugar- and fat-rich. To learn a few quick tips on how to consume chocolate wisely, check out our “Tip of the Week“.

What’s your thought on fighting cancer and heart disease? If you like this post, please share it.

Photo credit: by lrargerich

Heart Health Goes Hand in Hand with Cancer Prevention

Yesterday, my friend and I were talking about the relation between heart disease and cancer, since his father has a history of both heart disease and colon cancer. After all, heart disease and cancer are the most common causes of morbidity and mortality in the United States, actually much of the world too. And I was thinking about how to protect yourself from both heart disease and cancer at the same time. You know, it’s the “kill two birds with one stone” strategy.

Heart coronary artery saphenous vein graftsCancer_4253583419_f2fd5a7a24_mFirst, I had to ask myself, “What do heart disease and cancer have in common?

4. Heart disease and cancer all have a genetic factor. Well, that’s true, yet the genetic factor only affects small percentage of population, and is beyond our control.

3. Heart disease and cancer are associated with aging. While aging is inevitable, how you age inside and outside is really up to you nowadays.

2. Heart disease and cancer have been linked to inflammation. Accumulating evidence suggests that inflammation plays an important role in the development of heart disease and cancer. The body produces elevated level of C-reactive protein (CRP) in response to inflammation, and studies show that CRP, a marker of inflammation, is tied to risks of developing heart attack, stroke and cancer.

1. Heart disease and cancer are significantly influenced by poor lifestyle factors, including obesity, dietary, and other behavioral habits. Everybody knows that smoking can cause lung cancer, but not everybody is aware of smoking as a common causative factor of several other types of cancer. Many folks don’t know that smoking also damages your arteries — the pipelines of your life! Excess body fat contributes to ~100,000 cancer cases in U.S. each year, which we can control, we can prevent!

Are you heart-healthy and breast/prostate healthy?

Photo credits: Heart by Patrick.lynch; Cancer by GE Healthcare.