Stress On Heart Health – A Predictor For Heart Disease

Stress can kill you. This is why managing stress and keeping it at controllable level is vital. When stress lingers long enough, it can have negative effects on the body including heart health.

A recent study published at the Lancet1 says that stress can influence heart health as a well as predictor for heart disease and stroke.

Dr. Ahmed Tawakol, lead author of the study and co-director of the cardiac PET/CT program at Massachusetts General Hospital told CNN:

The study produced several novel findings. It showed, for the first time in animal models or humans, the part of the brain — the amygdala — that links to the risk of subsequent cardiovascular disease. The amygdala is a critical component of the brain’s stress network and becomes metabolically active during times of stress.

Dr. Danny Wedding of the AUA College of Medicine explains how stress affects heart health.

In an article by Joel E. Dimsdale, MD2 he says that the link between cardiovascular responses to stress is clear. The AHA also recognizes this link.

Manage Stress with Exercise

One of the proven ways to manage stress is regular exercise, and it’s good for the heart, too.

If you’re feeling lazy and tired to do exercise, try fun physical activities such as walking, hiking along the countryside, and even jumping on a trampoline. It is also worth considering in boosting your energy as the more energy you’ve got, the easier it is to exercise.

There’s no better way to boost energy than eating the right foods. Eating a Mediterranean-type diet is a heart-friendly eating lifestyle. This diet includes nuts and healthy fats.

Heart-Friendly Foods

There’s no doubt that one of the best ways to manage stress is exercise. However, without enough and proper fuel, the energy level can be low and lead to exhaustion preventing doing exercise.

This where proper fuel through appropriate foods come into play. Among energy-boosting and heart friendly foods include nuts and seeds, healthy fats, fresh vegetables and fruits, and occasional meat.

If you’re a vegan, of course, you can skip meat. But for sure, if you’re eating a plant-based diet, you have a better advantage in keeping your stress low and enjoy a healthy heart.

Cleveland Clinic and WebMD also share their list of heart-friendly foods.

Is Stress Really That Deadly?

Acute stress is deadly. Dr. Stephen Sinatra says acute stress is the leading cause of sudden death including healthy young people who have no evidence of heart disease.

However, not all stress are deadly. UC Berkely researchers find that some stresses are actually good for us. In another article, researchers say that stress can only kill if the person believes it can.

Health psychologist Kelly McGonigal believes we can use stress to our advantage. In her book, The Upside of Stress she tells and shows the readers how to develop a mindset that embrace stress and turn it into a positive experience.

Stress Due To Jobs and Bosses

Stress can come from many sources, and do you know that your job or your boss can cause stress resulting to heart problems? Here’s an overview of the study. Although this study mainly looked at women, the tips mentioned are also applicable on men.

And, what about the bosses? Well, sure it triggers stress, too and increases risk of cardiovascular disease by over 50%. This data is based on a different study3 that looked at men this time.

Supplements For Heart Health

Aside from eating healthy and regular exercise, taking heart-friendly supplements is another thing to consider. Among the worth checking and taking supplements for heart health includes fish oil, Coenzyme Q10, Arginine and among many others.

Make sure to talk to your doctor to learn more about it. Of course, don’t forget Vitamin D. Taking male virility enhancement pills can also be helpful as it target similar function, which is improving blood flow.


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