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The number one killer in the world is heart disease. Two huge health risks that can lead to serious heart conditions are high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Both can be prevented.
Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance called a lipid that is found inside cells and blood. It is produced naturally in the liver, but some of the ‘bad' cholesterol comes from the food we eat, mainly in animal fats. While too much cholesterol can be harmful, a certain amount is necessary for bodily functions, such as making cell walls and acting as a building block to produce various hormones, bile acids, and Vitamin D.
Having too much cholesterol can block blood flow, resulting in a thickening and hardening of artery walls, a disorder called arteriosclerosis. Since this also narrows the arteries, blood flow can be slowed down, or even blocked. With less blood, the heart therefore gets less oxygen. That can result in chest pain, heart attack, or something as drastic as death. Lowering your blood cholesterol level is one of the best ways you can decrease your risk of heart disease. And, even if your cholesterol is close to the desirable range, 200 milligrams per deciliter of blood, you can lower it and reduce your risk of heart disease.
With all this thickening going on, water can play a very important role. Drinking water can actually thin the blood, making in a natural way to help the blood pump more smoothly. Drinking plenty of water will keep your blood vessels clean! Exercise, along with a healthy diet, is an important contributor to the lowering of cholesterol. However, water needs to be drunk in order to replenish what was lost during exercise. In fact, consumption of water until you are fully hydrated can increase your metabolic rate!
Let's move on to high blood pressure, also known as hypertension. Blood pressure refers to the force of blood pushing against artery walls as it makes its way through the body. Just like air in a tire, blood fills arteries to a certain capacity, and anything over that capacity can have damaging effects. Just like high cholesterol, high blood pressure can threaten healthy arteries and lead to life-threatening conditions such as heart disease and stroke. Moreover, what is scary is that there are not any real symptoms before the disease or stroke occurs. That is why high blood pressure is known as the silent killer.
Water can help lower blood pressure, as blood is mainly comprised of water. When water levels drop it can affect your blood pressure. Drinking a healthy amount of water each day can maintain a healthy heart. In addition, the kidneys clean the blood. If blood flow is restricted to the kidneys because of lack of water or high blood pressure, it will think the body is low on water, and react by telling the brain to constrict veins and arteries, which will make the blood pressure even higher.