Do you know the signs?
F.A.S.T. stands for:
- Face drooping,
- Arms heavy,
- Slurred speech,
- Time to call (is critical…act FAST!)
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death. A stroke occurs when blood supply to the brain is blocked. Brain cells start to die causing disability and often death. That’s the bad news, the good news is that this can be prevented!
There are factors such as age and heredity that are not in your control but the things that are in your control are weight, diet, exercise and life style – such as don’t smoke, keep alcohol consumption to a minimum and try to reduce stress as much as possible.
It goes without saying that poor diet is a key factor in heart disease, reducing life expectancy by up to 7 years! Diets low in fibre and high in sodium are a recipe for disaster!
Tips for a heart friendly diet:
- Increase fibre by consuming more fruits & veggies – Mother was right when she made you eat your veggies! Now that the warmer weather is upon us have raw veggies on hand to snack on, eat more salads and incorporate as many vegetables as you can. They not only contain fibre that is good for heart health by reducing cholesterol but antioxidants that fight cancer.
- Consume grains like oatmeal and quinoa – they help to lower blood pressure
- Read food labels – cut out trans fats! Cookies, pastries, etc all have trans fats – better yet limit the amount of food products that actually have a label and stick to whole foods
- Watch your sodium! Again read labels, do a comparison – if you have a no salt option always choose that one and for heaven’s sake don’t keep the salt shaker on the dinner table. Taste your food before randomly adding to it.
- Portion control: use smaller plates if you have to, if you are one of those who needs to load up the plate then make sure half the portion is vegetables.
- When cooking opt to steam, bake or grill instead of frying
- Keep restaurant visits to a minimum, save eating out for special occasions. Restaurant meals are high in fat and sodium. You would be shocked at how much sodium is in a seemingly healthy lunch at your favorite coffee franchise. Soups average around 600 mg with chili having 1180 mg, sandwiches range from 500 – 2000 mg! The recommended daily total is 1200-1300 mg!
- For the tech savvy senior look into the newest apps for your smart phone or tablet to help keep track of the content of your meals, count the steps you walk in a day, and even monitor your sleep habits. Or you can even wear it on your wrist disguised as a watch. The latest innovation for home health is the health espresso app that reminds you to take your medicine, attend doctors’ appointments and can measure your blood pressure among other real-time body trackers! A secondary user can provide the oversight necessary to promote prevention before treatment is needed.
- To further prevent heart disease look for a supplement that has arterial cleansing properties in it. These products help dissolve arterial plaque that can lead to heart disease and stroke. Taken as a daily multi vitamin this is an excellent preventative measure.
Tie up your sneakers, put on your wrist monitor and get outside now that the weather is good. Exercise is the next critical component to keeping heart disease at bay!
If you, a family member or someone you know suffered a stroke and needs care at home, talk to us to explore available home healthcare services. Our care plans are customized to suit individual needs.