As we celebrate Black History Month, let's also focus on keeping our hearts healthy and strong. African Americans and people of African descent have the highest prevalence of heart disease in Montgomery County, and nationwide. American Heart Month features a wealth of information and tips about how Black people can prevent and manage high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes—conditions associated with heart disease.To keep your heart healthy, incorporate the following lifestyle habits:
- Do not smoke or use tobacco - Tobacco use is one of the most common risk factors for heart disease, as well as many other diseases. Chemicals in tobacco can narrow your arteries with plaque, ultimately leading to a heart attack.
- Exercise – Physical activity not only helps you control your weight, it can also help you regulate your blood pressure by providing stress relief.
- Eat a heart-healthy diet – A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains gives your body the minerals, protein, and other nutrients it needs to stay healthy. Nutrient-rich foods help you control your weight, cholesterol, and blood pressure. Limit your intake of foods high in sodium, sugar, and fat.