Healthy Tip: Women’s Heart Health
It’s International Women’s Day on 8th March and we want to take the opportunity to talk about women’s heart health. Heart disease is not just a man’s disease; 23,000 women die from coronary heart disease (CHD) every year in the UK, which is double the number of women who die from breast cancer. This week’s healthy tip aims to inspire women to make positive lifestyle changes to support their heart health.
Knowing your cholesterol and blood pressure levels is important for understanding your risk of CHD. Even if you feel completely healthy, it’s important to have these tested and then make healthy lifestyle changes to support your heart. If you’re aged between 40 and 74 years, you can request blood pressure and cholesterol tests as part of your free NHS health check.
As women, we often take care of everyone else and fail to look after ourselves. If you have a responsibility for caring for others, you need to be healthy to do this and it’s important to prioritise your own health and wellbeing. This might look like planning a balanced, nutritious meal for yourself rather than eating on-the-go or, if you’re a parent, filling up on the kids’ leftovers. It could look like taking some time out to do something that really relaxes you and reduces your stress levels.
A woman’s risk of CHD increases as a result of the menopause. If you’re a woman of menopausal age, pay particular attention to consuming calcium rich foods, such as low-fat milk and yoghurt, fortified plant-based milks, cheese, kale and small fish (including the bones). You can also support your cardiovascular system by consuming heart-healthy fats from unsalted nuts and seeds, olive oil, avocado and oily fish, such as salmon and sardines.
If you want to learn more about this subject, please have a look at our HER disease campaign.
For more tips on how to stay healthy, sign up for our weekly healthy tips at www.heartresearch.org.uk/healthy-tips.