World Heart Day happens on 29 September every year and since it is around the corner, we wanted to give our heart a little love and attention.
We're All Set To Win Your Heart
It’s said, “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach”. There’s actually plenty of truth in this saying - and it applies to ALL Hearts!
The foods that we choose to feed ourselves with can actually have a huge effect on our heart health – when we choose foods that are healthy and great for our heart,
this offers an immense boost to our heart health. The reverse applies too,
when we consistently consume foods that clog up our arteries, making it harder for our heart to pump blood and nutrients through to the rest of our body,
we’re really taxing our heart in a big way!
In this issue, we’re looking at some of the key factors when it comes to “winning over HEARTS” – we’re talking TLC for our hearts, so you’ll want to pay extra attention and make sure to snap up all our heart friendly tips!
Let’s take a closer look at the foods that your heart LOVES
Leafy Green Vegetables
Leafy green vegetables such as spinach and kale are a great source of Vitamin K which protects your arteries and promote proper blood clotting.1 They are also high in dietary nitrates which can help reduce blood pressure and improve arterial function.2 Studies have shown that increasing leafy green vegetable intake is associated with a lower risk of heart problems.3
Healthy Fatty Food
Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel and sardines are packed with omega-3 fatty acids which are lauded for their heart-health benefits and can help to prevent and/or alleviate heart-related conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol level and stroke.
Whole grains such as brown rice, oats, rye, barley, buckwheat and quinoa are high in fiber that can help reduce the ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol. Accumulation of ‘bad’ cholesterol can lead to build-up of plaque deposit in arteries, causing them to harden and become constricted, increasing the likelihood of heart attacks, stroke and even death.
Nuts and Seeds
Here are some heart-friendly nuts and seeds that are packed with nutrients that are oh-so-good for your heart!
Walnuts: Loaded with Omega-3, healthy fats and fiber, walnuts can help reduce cholesterol and protect against arteries inflammation.
Almond: Almonds are high in fiber and monounsaturated fats that have been linked to reductions in cholesterol and belly fat.
Chia Seeds and Flax Seeds: Both of these seeds are great sources of fibre and omega-3 fatty acids.
Avocado lovers, dark chocolate aficionados and green tea drinkers will be HEARTENED to learn that these foods are pretty great for your overall heart health too. Garlic, Red Yeast Rice and Japanese natto make our list of heart friendly foods too!
Now we know what foods are great for our hearts, let’s look at those that are less heart friendly…
We’re not advocating cutting these foods out entirely from your diet but we’ll recommend consuming these foods in moderation or to save as treats for special occasions…
Many of us love our bacon, sausages, ham and other deli meats, but these contain high levels of salt and preservatives which could impact blood pressure. Wherever possible, limit your intake to no more than 2 servings per week.4
Refined grains and carbohydrates
It’s hard to resist a loaf of cottony soft freshly baked white bread and a bowl of steaming hot rice to go with our favorite Tze Char dishes; but these carbs are highly processed, that also means that a whole lot of the original nutrients that might have been in the grain and rice have been stripped during the process – resulting in less nutritious end product. With mass commercial baked goods, there’s a high likelihood that the baked good contains less-healthy ingredients such as trans fat, added sugar and sodium.
Again a tall task, but try to limit your consumption of these foods to no more than 7 servings per week.4
Soft drinks and other sugar-laden drinks
It takes a mighty lot of self-discipline and an iron will to cut down on sugary beverages – especially if you’re someone with a sweet tooth and crave your daily bubble tea fix. But by now, most of us are aware of the risks that come with excessive dietary sugar, not to mention how they tend to sit pretty around our waist. Where possible, opt for low sugar or no sugar added beverages, your figure and your health will be grateful to say the least.
3 Amazing Facts About The Heart!
#1 The heart has its own electrical impulse that helps pump blood through to the entire body and the heart can continue to beat even when it is detached from the body - as long as it has enough oxygen supply!
#2 There are 96,561km of blood vessels in your body. If we lined up all the arteries, veins and capillaries in a person, their combined length is long enough to encircle the world TWICE!
#3 The female heart weighs approximately 2 ounces less than the male heart. To make up for its smaller size, the average woman’s heart beats faster at 78 beats per minute versus an average man’s heart that works at 70 beats per minute.
For everything and more that our hearts do for us, (including pumping away tirelessly even when we are asleep) our hearts deserve more than the occasional spot of TLC. In addition to eating right and adopting a Heart-Centric lifestyle, you can further show your love for your heart with our specially curated range of “heartwarming” supplement this May.
1Honeymoon stage in a relationship: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4566462/