My heart is full of love for you, quote the poets. Our heart has symbolised, love and nurturing for centuries; but how much do you take care of your own? Your heart is the very essence of life and blood. Red with passion and beating with the rhythm of life.
With such importance, should we not be paying some attention to our hearts?
Heart disease or (CVD) cardiovascular disease is still heading at the top of the list of major causes of death in the world. Yet we do not seem to take it seriously until we start suffering from the symptoms. Today there is enough evidence around to tell you, that coronary heart disease can start in our younger years. You may think you are invincible, you feel fit and have loads of energy, but please pay attention. We want to keep our hearts beating longer, embracing the lifestyle we love and hopefully extending our life span.
Heart disease creeps up upon us and we tend to think it is mostly older men, overweight, drinkers, smokers; yes, yes, all that is true. We have all seen heart attacks on TV. Actors suddenly gripping their chests following the announcement of bad news, and then BOOM! they are on the floor and an ambulance can be heard in the distance. Of course, you think you will never get to that stage, life is not Hollywood. We watch the movie slouched on our sofas, we finish the Pizza and tub of Pringles. We do not give it a moments thought. Our arteries do not clog up overnight. Act now and we can address the problem before it happens.
Our western dietary patterns over the last 25 years have a lot to answer for. According to The World Health Organisation, 17.9 million people now die every year from (CVD) or cardiovascular-related illnesses. The effectiveness of healthy lifestyles shows that our hearts benefit. If we take action now we can avoid problems later. I said that in the last paragraph, I cannot stop saying it. Act now.
When it comes to modifying our diets and there are many opinions out there that can be conflicting. Find what suits you. Some people will adopt a vegan or vegetarian diet, you do not have to be extreme, just remember that adopting a healthier lifestyle is a lifetime process, not a quick fix.
I changed my lifestyle three years ago, I lost 22k and started to exercise more, taking up Yoga and walking on a regular schedule. I have slipped a little lately due to catching Covid and then fracturing my ankle. I have just had some surgery and looking at all my blood reports, everything seems to be in good order. So different from three years ago when my blood analysis report said I was bordering on diabetes and suffering from osteoarthritis. My diet and lifestyle sorted all that out. I firmly believe we can make a difference in the quality of our lives by making some healthy changes. Throw the fags in the bin. (That is a message to my son who will not listen to me) I know, Nag! Nag! It’s what mothers do. We have kind hearts.
Two years ago on a trip to San Antonio in Texas, I was horrified at the lack of places on the outskirts of the town where I could buy some healthy snacks. I was staying in a small motel for two weeks and I needed some non-restaurant food. I wanted some fresh fruit, yoghurts, hummus, things I could nibble on. There was nowhere to buy anything fresh, not unless I hopped in a cab and took a journey across town to a supermarket. Whilst walking around the district, I noticed on almost every street there were clinics, private clinics, specialising in heart problems, diabetes and obesity. The problem was staring at the community. Big Pharma was in control here and it worried me. I felt sorry for the townsfolk. You could visit a farmers market but not a corner shop that sold you an apple.
I love my heart, and I place my hand on it to feel it beating. It has a big job to do. Why make it difficult. Loving your heart is showing gratitude to the organ that allows your blood to pump and flow freely.
CVD is associated with unhealthy dietary patterns (i.e., excessive intake of sodium and processed foods; added sugars; unhealthy fats; low intake of fruit and vegetables, whole grains, fiber, legumes, fish, and nuts), together with a lack of exercise, overweight and obesity, stress, alcohol consumption, or a smoking habit.
US National Library of Medicine
National Institutes of Health
British Heart Foundation https://www.bhf.org.uk/
Prevent and Reverse Heart disease programme http://www.dresselstyn.com/site/
Everything you need to know about heart https://www.healthline.com/health/heart-disease?ref=global
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