February is American Heart Month. Cancer survivors reportedly have a higher risk of heart disease than people who have never had cancer. According to the CDC, “On average, men’s predicted heart age is 8.5 years older than their actual age, and women’s predicted heart age is 6.5 years older.”
Here are some ways cancer survivors can lower their risk for heart disease:
- Adopt a plant-based diet: The nutrients, plant compounds (phytochemicals) and dietary fiber found naturally in most fruit, vegetables, beans, nuts, and whole grains can help reduce inflammation and insulin resistance, as well as prevent and repair cellular damage. Additionally, a plant-based diet can promote weight loss and maintenance, which is significant because excess body fat can lay the groundwork for the development of cardiovascular disease and many types of cancer.
- Limit your consumption of processed meats: Even very lean cuts of meat contain vast amounts of sodium, which can cause your blood pressure to skyrocket.
- Avoid empty calories: Consuming food and beverages that are low in nutrients and high in sugar can lead to both weight gain and nutritional deficiencies. In particular, drinking soda and other sweetened beverages can easily lead to an excessive consumption of sugar. For a refreshing alternative, add a slice of fresh fruit to a glass of cold water.
Gilda’s Club Westchester offers a range of healthy living workshops and activities including yoga and Pilates, stress reduction, mindfulness, and art, as well as workshops on nutrition and healthy cooking all geared toward living your most healthful life. Class offerings include: Meditation with Liz, Mondays at 2pm, Walking with Essie, Wednesdays at 9:45am and Yoga, Wednesdays at 6pm. For more information on all the programs we offer visit our website https://gildasclubwestchester.org or call us at (914)-644-8844.