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HEALTH INFO - Healthy Heart

A healthy heart is vital for our good health & quality of life.

However this does not stop us putting strain on it by eating the wrong foods, not taking adequate exercise & dealing with the stress of modern life.

However there is plenty we can do to look after our hearts & the circulatory system it with which it works. The circulatory system has many important functions e.g. delivering vital nutrients important for every day survival, transporting oxygen, fighting disease & carrying toxins so they can be expelled.

Heart disease comes in many forms & for many reasons e.g. atherosclerosis (furring up of the arteries), arteosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), angina (which can occur because of the previous 2 conditions), heart attack (which may also occur if any of the previous conditions are allowed to advance).

To prevent the risk of heart disease & to reduce its impact if you already have it try to follow as many of the following tips as possible.

Even better get yourself a copy of Dr Gillian Mckeiths You Are What You Eat, & change your quality of life for the better:

•  Eat cayenne pepper as often as you can. This spice is a powerful stimulant which restores the body's circulation to balance, & is a tonic to the heart. This is one of the most important things you can do.

•  Eat 2 apples a day which counteracts the build up of cholesterol in your blood.

•  Reduce saturated fats found in meat & dairy, eating more oily fish & lean white meat wherever possible.

•  Increase your intake of fibre found in fresh fruit & vegetables (especially blackcurrants, strawberries, green leafy vegetables, onions, garlic , chilli, ginger, pineapple, peas, artichokes, carrots, apricots, winter squash, sweet potatoes & red peppers) & wholegrains. So avoiding anything made with white flour is advisable, e.g. biscuits, cake, bread, pizza bases, pasta.

•  That said it is best to reduce your carbohydrate intake anyway. So that's less cake, biscuits, bread & pasta .

•  I have highlighted garlic & onions in point 4. because they thin the blood by reducing cholesterol. So eat some of either every day, & if need be get a good garlic capsule (not tablets) to help you on your way.

•  Opt for healthy sugar free, wholegrain cereals instead. As an alternative to bread, try oat biscuits, maybe with avocado which is good for your heart, or tuna.

•  Avoid salt. Check the labels of all foods you have not cooked fresh yourself.

•  Avoid sugar. Again check labels on anything you have not prepared from fresh yourself.

•  Avoid caffeine, as this over stimulates the heart putting pressure on it. There is much medical evidence to suggest this is a major dietary contributory factor in heart disease like angina.

•  Avoid grapefruit, as this may interfere with the chemical makeup of your medication.

•  Take a liquid vitamin B complex with your GP's permission as this strengthens your blood vessels.

•  Avoid alcohol, but up to 100mls or 3 ½ fl oz per week is linked to reducing the risk of stroke by half. Red wine is better & linked to a healthy heart, but no more than 1-3 glasses a day.

•  Eat plenty of sunflower, pumpkin, hemp seeds etc available in health foods shops & supermarkets as these have healthy oils good for your heart.

•  Try eating more nuts e.g. walnuts

•  Also increase your intake of wholegrain pulses like lentils, chickpeas, soybeans.

•  Grill rather than fry food.

•  Eat no more than 3 eggs a week.

•  Cut out anything you find stressful, physically or mentally, as much as possible, as this can increase cholesterol. Your fortnightly massage is a good way of managing stress.

The advice included on this site is not meant to replace any medicine or treatment you are receiving through your doctor, if you have any queries or concerns including compatibility with current treatment/medication, please contact us or speak to your GP ©2002

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