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Diet & Nutrition

National Heart Week

National Heart Week

Your Heart: What is it Hungry for?

May 3rd marks the beginning of National Heart Week - a good time to think about looking after our hearts so that we can enjoy a happier, healthier life. Most of us know the things to avoid for a healthy heart, like saturated fat and smoking. But what about the things we can include? What is it that our hearts are really hungry for?

Protective Foods

There are some key superfoods that have been shown to be very heart protective. These include nuts, particularly almonds, foods high in soluble fibre like oats, fruits and vegetables and soy foods. In fact, research published in the highly respected American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that replacing red meat with soy foods in an otherwise healthy diet offered a significant improvement in key risk factors for heart disease, including waist circumference, cholesterol, triglycerides, blood pressure and blood sugar control.

Healthy Activity

Our hearts crave physical activity. People who do moderate physical activity on most days of the week, are half as likely to develop heart disease than those who are not physically active.

Happy Relationships

There is strong and consistent evidence that close relationships are protective for heart disease. And, according to a University of Utah study released in 2006, it is not just having close relationships but the quality of those close relationships that determines our risk of developing heart disease.

Our Tips:

  • ENJOY A HEART PROTECTIVE DIET:Include soy foods like tofu and soy milk, snack on a handful of almonds each day, focus the majority of your diet on fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes, and avoid highly processed foods and foods high in saturated fat and sugar.
  • GET ACTIVE:Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate activity on most days of the week. If this seems like a lot of time to find in your already busy schedule, start by making small changes to your regular routine to make it as active as possible. Walk to the local shops instead of taking the car, park the car a few blocks away from your destination or take a brisk walk in your lunch break.
  • PUT TIME INTO YOUR RELATIONSHIPS:Good quality relationships take energy and care. Spend time with your family and friends and think about the way you communicate with each other. Relationships based on mutual respect, trust and love are not only good for our hearts, they are good for our whole being, the people around us, and our wider community.YOUR SAY: What do you do to keep your heart healthy? Tell us below...
Include soy foods like tofu and soy milk, snack on a handful of almonds each day, focus the majority of your diet on fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes, and avoid highly processed foods and foods high in saturated fat and sugar.
Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate activity on most days of the week. If this seems like a lot of time to find in your already busy schedule, start by making small changes to your regular routine to make it as active as possible. Walk to the local shops instead of taking the car, park the car a few blocks away from your destination or take a brisk walk in your lunch break.
Good quality relationships take energy and care. Spend time with your family and friends and think about the way you communicate with each other. Relationships based on mutual respect, trust and love are not only good for our hearts, they are good for our whole being, the people around us, and our wider community.

YOUR SAY: What do you do to keep your heart healthy? Tell us below...

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