A healthy, happy heart is what we should all be striving for. The human heart beats approximately 2.5 billion times over an average lifetime this action pushes gallons of blood to every part of your body. Your blood carries oxygen, hormones, other compounds, and a host of essential cells. Your heart has a never-ending workload, so your heart’s health is very important to living your best life.
The working function of your heart can be brought down due to poor diet, lack of exercise, smoking, infection, unlucky genes, and more. The most common cause is the accumulation of pockets of cholesterol-rich gunk inside the arteries called plaque. Your body naturally produces this cholesterol-rich gunk, but when you have an unhealthy lifestyle your body produces more than it needs, resulting in high cholesterol levels. This limits the blood flow that nourishes the heart. This condition is referred to as a coronary heart disease. In Australia, approximately 443 hospitalisations per day are due to coronary heart disease.
There are simple lifestyle changes you can make that will reduce your changes of heart disease. Eating healthy is a great place to start. A diet that is ‘heart healthy’ is low in saturated and trans fats, salt and added sugar. It’s rich in wholegrains, fibre, antioxidants and unsaturated fats.
EASY EATING TIPS
- Opt for wholegrain
- Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables
- Eat monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats like omega-3 and omega-6. Found in avocadoes, nuts, fish, and sunflower seeds
- Use herbs and spices instead of salt
Exercising regularly helps control common heart disease risk factors like high blood pressure, high cholesterol and being overweight. Besides decreasing those risk factors regular exercise will help you feel more energetic, happier, and more relaxed.There are a few vitamins to consider if you are looking for additional help with your heart health. Coenzymes Q10 (Co Q10) helps enzymes to protect your heart and skeletal muscles. It functions as an antioxidant which protects your body from damage caused by harmful molecules. It is naturally present in some foods like organ meats – heart, liver, kidneys, sardines, mackerel, and peanuts.
Heart health is very important to everyone no matter their age. If you are 45 years or older you should see your doctor for a Heart Health Check. The doctor will inform you if you’re at a low, moderate or high risk of heart attack in the next five years. Check-ups and working with your doctor to manage your risk factors will improve your heart health.