We’re all aware of how important it is to stay attuned to our heart health, at any age. However, as we grow older, we increase the risk of developing something called an aortic valve calcification, or a calcium buildup in the heart. According to the Mayo Clinic, this nasty condition generally appears in individuals over the age of 65. In an aortic valve calcification, calcium deposits form on the aorta, narrowing the opening of the valve and reducing blood flow. It’s dangerous, and if not treated properly, can increase your risk of heart disease and other life-threatening medical dilemmas. Luckily, there are ways to treat a calcification naturally and lower your risk of developing any further heart conditions. Read on for two lifestyle and dietary changes you could incorporate to start reversing a calcification.
First, what are your symptoms?
First thing’s first: Be aware of the signs. Do you have a heart murmur or an abnormal heartbeat? Do you have any chest pain or tightness? Have you been feeling faint or dizzy with physical activity? If so, reach out to your doctor immediately. While the following lifestyle and dietary changes can be helpful in preventing and treating an aortic calcification, these changes shouldn’t replace professional medical treatment. If you think you recognize any of these symptoms, get checked!
Lifestyle change: Get regular physical activity
Not surprising, right? As with anything related to heart health, adopting a lifestyle that includes daily activity is a major factor. Exercise is key in keeping your aortic arteries clean, helping to sweep out any possible buildup and reduce your risk of developing a calcification. It also maintains flexibility in your arteries, preventing stiffness and allowing your blood to flow freely to your organs and tissues. According to the Mayo Clinic, you should aim for about 30 minutes of physical activity per day. Even if that means tuning into a podcast and taking a brisk walk — anything that gets the heart pumping will suffice!
Dietary change: Eat a heart-healthy diet
Right next to regular exercise, a healthy diet is vital in regulating heart health. Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables, five to nine servings per day, will help you keep your arteries clean and prevent a calcium backlog. Making simple changes in the kitchen, like swapping your white bread for whole grain and limiting your sugar and salt intake could help reverse the calcium deposits in your heart. Also, try to avoid saturated and trans fats in your diet; stick to heart-healthy fats, like those in olive oil, nuts and avocados.