Staying Heart-Healthy Can Reduce Cancer Risk

Taking care of your heart is important for so many reasons. A healthy heart, after all, is vital for your overall health. Needless to say, maintaining your cardiac heart can lower your risk of high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke. But there's one more reason to keep your heart in good shape, and it may surprise you. According to recent research, heart health is capable of reducing the risk of cancer.
Heart-Healthy, Cancer risk, hear exercise
The study, published Journal of the American College of Cardiologyexternal, found that maintaining a heart-healthy lifestyle can help keep cancer at bay.
“We found an association between a heart-healthy lifestyle and a lower risk of cancer, and the opposite is true: that a less heart-healthy lifestyle is also associated with a higher risk of cancer,” according to Emily Lau, a researcher who participated in the study.
The findings also indicate that the risk factors that cause cardiovascular disease can also result in cancer. Hence, adopting a heart-healthy way of living is doubly important. 

A healthy heart = reduced risk of cancer

The researchers studied 20,305 middle-aged adults for about 15 years. The participants had no history of cancer at the beginning of the study. During those 15 years, 2,548 of the participants developed cancer. The team found that age, sex, and a history of smoking provided clues for cancer risk. 

Heart-Healthy, Cancer risk, diet and exercise

Furthermore, it was also found that participants with the most natriuretic peptides - substances made by the heart that can suggest stress on the heart - had a 40 percent higher chance of developing cancer. Meanwhile, the participants who followed a heart-healthy lifestyle had a lower risk of developing cancer. Another key point the researchers pointed out was that some risk factors for both cardiovascular disease and cancer - such as old age - were beyond people’s control.

In general, these findings suggest that while there might not be a direct link between cardiovascular heart disease and cancer, the risks or habits that lead to heart disease can also cause cancer.

Another key point raised in the study was that one possible link at the root of both conditions can be inflammation. This isn’t surprising because research has previously found a connection between inflammation and colorectal cancer. Moreover, chronic inflammation resulting from obesity and smoking cigarettes - two big causes of cardiovascular disease - can also increase cancer risk, according to health experts.

If there is a lot of inflammation in the body, it gets harder for it to fight off various diseases, including different cancers. Therefore, try and include fruits and vegetables that are loaded with antioxidants and other vital nutrients in your diet as that can help fight inflammation. 

Maintaining a heart-healthy lifestyle can have a huge effect on your overall health

Heart-Healthy, Cancer risk, heart-healthy lifestyle

While the findings of this new study are important to take note of, it doesn’t mean that simply adhering to a heart-healthy lifestyle can nullify one's risks of getting cancer or heart disease. These diseases are, of course, complicated and depend on a variety of factors. 

One last noteworthy observation made in the study is that people with cardiovascular disease tend to have worse issues if they get cancer. People with this disease generally have poor sleeping habits and a sedentary lifestyle, which puts them at a greater risk of getting cancer. So, you can see why keeping your heart in good shape is so essential.

Some expert-recommended ways to manage a heart-healthy lifestyle include:

* Eating good foods and keeping a balanced diet. This will help manage your cholesterol levels. 

* Exercising regularly. At least, make sure that you do 20 minutes of moderate activity a day, such as brisk walking, jogging, or cycling. 

* Getting adequate sleep to tackle the day’s stress.

* Doing activities that help reduce your stress. This should keep your blood pressure in check. 

* Quitting smoking.

See Also: Not Just Cardio: 6 Activities That Boost Heart Health

Following these heart-healthy lifestyle habits will certainly help reduce your risk of heart disease. At the same time, as the new study suggests, they can also lower your chances of developing cancer. So you have everything to gain by changing your lifestyle today.

Share this information with your loved ones! 

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