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It is not just the skin or eye color that you inherit through your genes, it is also the chances of you having a heart attack. It has been proven beyond doubt that if heart diseases run in your family, then you are very likely to develop them too. Another worrying factor is that there are a whole lot of heart diseases which are hereditary, not just an isolated condition. Whether it is congenital heart disease (which is present at birth) to atherosclerotic (which is usually associated with ageing), all of them are hereditary.
If that worried you, there is good news. A family history definitely puts you at risk of developing heart disease, but it is all in your hands to overcome this risk and even completely eliminate it. Read on to know more!
- Eat right: A healthy diet is the single most important contributor to your health. If your diet is rich in fiber (whole grains, vegetables, fruits), rich in omega-3 fatty acids, reduced hydrogenated and trans fat, it works wonders for your heart. Stay away from processed and packaged foods and eat fresh as much as possible. Eating seasonal fruits, taking vitamin supplements if required, using olive oil, and drinking green tea goes a long way in improving heart health. While these are good options for anybody, if you have a family history of heart disease, these become almost mandatory.
- Exercise: In addition to the processed and junk foods, lack of exercise is another accelerator for heart disease. Pick up a form of exercise you enjoy and see the difference. Be it walking, cycling, jogging, or hitting the gym, work out a regimen that suits you and consistently work at it to see the best results.
- Smoking: Smoking is one habit which damages the body in multiple ways. If there is a family history of heart disease, this accelerates the onset very rapidly. So, quit smoking, or at least reduce to prevent the onset of heart disease.
- Alcohol: This gives a quick high, but damages your life in the long run. In addition to the alcohol per se, the accompanying foods are also a major culprit (fried and oily). Moderate alcohol consumption is definitely advised if your family has a history of heart attacks.
- Stress Management: Stress is believed to the accelerator for heart disease, so if there is a family history too, it definitely needs to be managed. Unwind and see the difference. Meditation or music, exercise or enjoying with friends and family, pick your way to unwind.
So, while you may have inherited the chances of developing a heart disease, the above measures can help you prolong onset, and if done religiously, prevent heart disease too. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Cardiologist.