In May, we are focusing on Women’s Health. There are several diseases that are more common among women and because of this, women should be aware of their increased risk. Take the preventative measures and make the lifestyle changes now before it is too late. Scroll down to learn more.
Women are often surprised to learn that they are at an increased risk for heart disease. About 27% of female deaths are because of heart disease; it actually kills more women a year than cancer. The best ways to prevent heart disease are healthy lifestyle changes such as:
- Stop smoking
- Consume a heart-healthy
- Be physically active.
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The two most common cancers among women are lung and breast cancers. Cancer is the second leading cause of death with 22% of all female deaths. Major lifestyle changes can help prevent cancers, such as diet changes and incorporating more exercise. Some healthy diet tips include:
- Keep a healthy weight
- Limit high calorie, low nutrient foods
- Eat vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes
- Focus on plant proteins
- Limit alcohol
The leading cause of long-term disability for women is stroke. Be sure to eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Eating foods low in saturated fats, trans fat, and cholesterol, and high in fiber can help prevent high cholesterol. Limiting salt (sodium) in your diet can also lower your blood pressure. It is important to learn the signs and call 911 immediately if someone is experiencing:
- Numbness or weakness in face, arm or leg
- Sudden confusion
- Trouble speaking or understanding
- Sudden difficulty seeing
- Dizziness or loss of balance
- Abrupt, severe headache
Osteoporosis causes bones to become brittle and weak, and can break easily. It is most commonly found in the wrist, hip and spine. All women should be tested and take precautionary measures, but the group that is at the highest risks are white and Asian women that are past menopause. There are several ways to prevent or slow the onset of osteoporosis such as medications, a healthy diet and performing weight bearing exercise. The food that you eat can affect your bones. Learning about the foods that are rich in calcium, vitamin D and other nutrients that are important for your bone health and overall health.
Calcium containing foods include: Collard greens, turnip greens, kale, okra, Chinese cabbage, dandelion greens, mustard greens, broccoli, dairy products, canned sardines and salmon (with bones).
Vitamin D containing foods: Fatty fish varieties such as salmon, mackerel, tuna and sardines.
Look for fortified foods; calcium and vitamin D are sometimes added to certain brands of juices, breakfast foods, soy milk, rice milk, cereals, snacks and breads.