World Heart Day - 29th September 2019
Are you looking after your heart?
World Heart Day was launched in 2000 by the World Heart Federation and has become an annual event that takes place on the last Sunday of September each year. This day aims to draw people’s attention towards the importance of heart health and promote preventative steps we can take to avoid cardiovascular diseases, such as heart attacks, heart failures and strokes.
Disease is one of the main vascular diseases, and on average over 17 million people die from heart related illnesses every year.
Most cases of cardiovascular disease are preventable which means no matter our age, we all need to think about looking after our heart. Here are a few points to help you gain control over your heart health:
Reduce Salt Intake
A diet high in salt can lead to high blood pressure, increasing our risk of developing a heart related illness. We should be aiming to eat foods less than 1.5g salt or 0.6g sodium per 100g to avoid hitting the maximum daily intake of no more than 6g per day. Try using alternatives to salt such as herbs and spices to add some flavour to your meals. Herbs and spices also offer a range of health benefits so it’s definitely a change worth thinking about.
Even small movements throughout the day like tapping your foot when you are sitting at a desk for long periods of time or going for a brisk walk during your lunch will all add up towards keeping active. On average we should be getting at least 150 minutes of moderate activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity a week, or a combination of both. Whether we want to split this up into smaller time slots it is important to keep this in mind when making simple daily decisions like whether to take the stairs or the elevator.
Drink More Water
Ideally, we should be drinking 1-2 litres of water a day which is equivalent to 7-8 glasses. When we don’t drink enough, we become dehydrated and over a long period of time this can make our blood thicker causing a resistance in blood flow and an increase in blood pressure. Sports bottles are available to buy in local shops which you can refill throughout the day to make sure you are getting your full daily intake.
Control Your Cholesterol
The best way to control cholesterol levels is to avoid foods high in saturated fats such as red meat, margarine and butter products and sweets. However, there are also many natural ways to help lower our cholesterol such as drinking green teas. Green teas have an amazing substance called epigallocatechin gallate which helps the blood to clear the toxins and bad cholesterol present in the blood. Herbs such as turmeric also help lowers cholesterol level, cleans the blood and kills the build-up of plaque on the walls of the arteries. So, make sure to have a good think about what exactly you are eating, whether that’s by looking at the packaging or making sure you fill your meals with healthy nutritious food over food high in fat.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
The key to maintaining a healthy weight is all about balance. We must consider the foods we intake compared to the energy we produce throughout the day. We must eat a healthy balanced diet and exercise the right amount so that our energy stored is being used. It is also important to get enough sleep at night and to eat a good breakfast in the morning to kick start our metabolism as well as a healthy lunch and dinner to avoid unnecessary snacking throughout the day. If you are stuck for healthy meal ideas, our Kingsbridge Kitchen Recipe Book has a variety of healthy meals from starters to desserts. A few are already up on our blog page but watch out for more on our social media platforms.
If you have a concern about your diet, lifestyle, stress levels or family history or you would like to talk to a consultant about how you can take preventative steps towards a healthy and happy heart, Kingsbridge Private Hospital can offer you the opportunity to have your heart disease risk assessed and can provide a comprehensive range of services such as disease prevention strategies which give you control of your cardiac health.
Visit our website for further information or contact 028 9066 7878 to book an appointment today.