Guard Your Heart. It's Heart Awareness Month

Guard Your Heart. It's Heart Awareness Month

February 15, 2021

Guard your heart above all else,
    for it determines the course of your life.
The Bible
 

This proverb from The Bible was not referring to our literal heart but I think it still applies equally well.

Did you know that Heart Disease is the number one cause of death worldwide? So it definitely deserves our attention. Did you know that Heart Disease is largely preventable?

Prevention of any chronic disease is best begun early in life, not once there is a problem. Damage to our bodies, particularly at the cellular level builds up over time. This cellular level damage is unseen and unfelt, until one day that cellular damage starts to affect us negatively.  However, upon saying that, making healthy changes to our lifestyle is beneficial at any age.  Prevention is also much easier than cure and has no side effects like medications often do.  

It is what we do on a daily basis (or most days) that is the key to prevention. Don’t stress out about special occasions such as Christmas or birthdays but settle back to your regular healthy eating as soon as you can.

So how can we “guard our heart”?

Eat well

Exercise

Maintain a healthy weight

Avoid smoking

Manage stress

Get plenty of sleep (and get sleep apnoea treated)

Manage or prevent diabetes

 

How do we eat well to “guard our heart”?

  • Cut out sugar, refined carbs, ultra-processed foods
  • Don’t over consume alcohol.
  • Choose whole foods or foods based on whole foods
  • Look for foods with a short ingredient list made up of ingredients you recognise.
  • Increase consumption of anti-inflammatory foods such as dark coloured berries, turmeric, ginger, nuts and seeds, avocado, green tea.
  • Increase consumption of prebiotics and probiotics

Probiotics. These are live bacteria found in certain foods or supplements.. Examples: Yoghurt, Sauerkraut, Miso, Kombucha

Prebiotics. These substances come mostly from fibre (that humans can’t digest). The beneficial bacteria in your gut eat this fiber. Examples: Linseeds, apples, whole oats, barley, onions/leeks, psyllium.

  • Increase intake of essential fatty acids, in particular omega 3. Examples: Canned sardines, Salmon, Kahawai or plant sources such as walnuts and linseeds.

 All the foods we make at Snack Pack will help you introduce more heart-healthy foods to your diet. Amazeballs are full of nuts and seeds, The Vegery Vitality Wraps are full of linseeds, avocado oil, turmeric and psyllium husk and I Am Vital popcorn is an unrefined, real food healthy snack option. Check out our ready-to-eat healthy foods here.

 

Here are the articles I read when writing this blog:

Ultra-processed food intake and risk of cardiovascular disease: prospective cohort study (NutriNet-Santé)
BMJ 2019;365:l1451

Dietary Inflammatory Potential and Risk of Cardiovascular Disease Among Men and Women in the U.S.
J Am Coll Cardiol. 2020 Nov, 76 (19) 2181–2193

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnut.2017.00052/full

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320233
 

 

 



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