February isn’t just a month for couples look forward to, or be dreaded by those of us who are single, or simply don’t care about the hype that the mass media creates. There’s something that everyone should be aware of – your heart. It’s important to know the risks that Canadians (both male and female) face since 9 in 10 will have at least one risk factor for heart disease and stroke. You definitely look at life in a different way when you do find out of a particular heart condition. But whether you have a condition or not, it’s essential to keep your heart healthy for a long and happy life.
Things to remember for a healthy heart:
- quit smoking (will be beneficial for you and those around you)
- exercise (if you have a heart condition, remember to talk with your doctor to see what kinds of exercises are right for you)
- eating a healthy balanced diet
- reduce stress levels (yoga is great!)
- go for regular checkups (a bit tough to do in Canada…hard to get hold of doctors here!)
There has been studies which showed that participants who had 270mg of magnesium daily had a 30% lower risk of stroke. (recommended daily does of magnesium is 280-500mg). You can get magnesium from eating spinach, nuts, yogurt, soybeans, bananas and much more.
Most people today are consuming two or even three times the recommended amount of salt. The Heart and Stroke Foundation suggests that Canadians use no more than 1 tsp (5 mL) of salt a day (2,300 mg). This includes salt that you actually sprinkle on your food to sodium in processed and packaged foods. Too much salt in the system can increase the amount of blood in the arteries, raising blood pressure and increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Reduce taking in too much salt by:
- cutting down on prepared and processed foods
- eating more fresh vegetables and fruit
- reduce the amount of salt you add while cooking/eating
- use other seasonings (ie. garlic, lemon juice and herbs instead)
Look for the Health Check™ symbol on foods.
Health Check is the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s food information program, based on Canada’s Food Guide.
Let’s keep our hearts happy! Love the heart!!
References from 24 Hours, Heart and Stroke Foundation, and Choices Newsletter