Take steps to ensure good heart health.
DID you know that your heart pumps blood through 96,000km of blood vessels? It beats at about 72 beats a minute, about 100,000 times in one day, and about 35 million times in a year. During an average lifetime, the human heart will beat more than 2.5 billion times!
Your body exists because of the heart. It is one of the most important organs in the body. It’s the first organ created when cells are dividing during the very early stages of development in the womb.
World Heart Day is globally held on the last Sunday of September each year to inform people about cardiovascular diseases, which are the world’s largest killer, claiming 17.1 million lives a year.
Risk factors for heart disease and stroke include raised blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels, smoking, inadequate intake of fruit and vegetables, being overweight, obesity and physical inactivity. How then can we prevent heart disease? We can start by arming ourselves with knowledge on how to love our heart.
Love your heart
High blood pressure is often called a silent killer because it has no symptoms. The only way to know if you have high blood pressure is to have your blood pressure checked often. Making lifestyle changes, such as eating a healthy diet, losing weight, and being active, can help lower your high blood pressure. Try to:
Cut the salt
- Minimise amount of salt when cooking. Choose a low-sodium, high-potassium salt alternative.
- Throw away your salt shaker. Don’t add salt while eating.
- Eat fewer packaged foods. That includes most canned, frozen, baked, or dried foods. They usually have lots of salt.
The US Department of Agriculture recommends:
- Healthy adults have no more than 2,300 milligrams (mg) of sodium a day (about a teaspoon).
- People aged 51 or older, and people who have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, diabetes or chronic kidney disease have no more than 1,500 mg of sodium a day.
- Lowers your blood pressure.
- Improves blood flow through the body.
- Lose weight, if you are overweight, and maintain weight loss.
Stress can damage your heart. It causes your body to release hormones, such as adrenaline. While adrenaline and other hormones can give you extra energy, they also raise your blood pressure and heart rate. If you feel stressed or tense often, your heart and other parts of your body are under constant strain. When you are relaxed, your blood pressure may go down, which lowers the strain on your heart.
Hydrosoluble Coenzyme Q10
Your heart is the motor of your body and needs an incredible amount of energy to work non-stop, pumping blood to nourish 300 trillion cells in your body. If you are feeling tired all the time, chances are that your heart is probably not getting the fuel that it needs to be strong and healthy.
This fuel is Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), which is essential for production of energy at the cellular level. Scientists have discovered that your heart contains 10 times as much CoQ10 as any other organ in your body.
Getting the energy is no problem when we are young. Your body produces all the CoQ10 your heart needs, but as we age, we produce less and less CoQ10. By the time we are in our 50s or 60s, our heart will be starving for energy. When that happens, your heart cannot work efficiently and is not able to deliver all oxygen and nutrients needed by the organs, tissues and every part of your body. You feel tired and run down.
Do you catch yourself saying “I’m so pooped, tired, exhausted or drained!” at the end of each day? Do you yearn for an afternoon nap? Or find yourself feeling dull and lethargic during the day? Wake up more tired than when you went to sleep? Can we ever recover from this low- energy crisis? Taking hydrosoluble CoQ10 is a good way to replenish our energy levels.
The biggest problem with most CoQ10 supplements is the absorption into the bloodstream. The traditional forms of CoQ10 supplements are not easily absorbed by the body. The reason is that CoQ10’s particle size is very large, insoluble in water, and poorly soluble in lipids, which makes it hard for your body to absorb.
However, an American company has developed a process which reduces the particle size from 25-70 microns to 0.3 microns – even smaller than bacteria. And hence, makes it “hydrosoluble”. With hydrosoluble CoQ10, more CoQ10 can be absorbed into the blood stream to boost the energy level in the body and especially your heart.
Five steps to prevent heart disease
- Limit unhealthy fats and cholesterol. The best way to reduce saturated and trans fats in your diet is to limit the amount of solid fats – butter, margarine and shortening – you add to food when cooking and serving. You can also reduce the amount of saturated fat in your diet by trimming fat off your meat or choosing lean meats.
- Choose low-fat protein sources. Lean meat, poultry and fish, low-fat dairy products, and egg whites or egg substitutes are some of your best sources of protein. Try to choose lower fat options, such as skim milk rather than whole milk, and skinless chicken breasts rather than fried chicken patties.
- Eat more vegetables and fruits. Vegetables and fruits are good sources of vitamins and minerals; they are low in calories and rich in dietary fibre. Vegetables and fruits also contain substances found in plants that may help prevent cardiovascular disease.
- Select whole grains. Whole grains are good sources of fibre and other nutrients that play a role in regulating blood pressure and heart health. You can increase the amount of whole grains in a heart-healthy diet by making simple substitutions for refined grain products.
- Reduce the sodium in your food. Eating a lot of sodium can contribute to high blood pressure, a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Reducing sodium is an important part of a heart-healthy diet.