Top tips for Heart Health
Tips on how to keep a Healthy Heart
Tips from Stephen Forsythe, Supervising Pharmacist in LloydsPharmacy Finglas, for good gut health.
Heart disease and stroke is one of the leading causes of death in Ireland. According to the Irish Heart Foundation, some 80% of premature heart disease and stroke is preventable and throughout this article we will offer advice and tips on how you can change your lifestyle for a healthier heart. Keeping a healthy blood pressure level and lowering bad cholesterol are important factors in maintaining a healthy heart. We’ve also included some helpful product recommendations that can all be found in your local LloydsPharmacy.
A normal Blood Pressure reading in a healthy adult may be around 120 over 80. If your blood pressure is higher, we would recommend that you make some positive changes to your lifestyle to help reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. We also advise to contact your GP.
Cholesterol is essential for making cell membranes, synthesising vital hormones and vitamin D. It also creates bile in the liver which aids the digestion of fatty foods and the absorption of fatty acids.
High cholesterol can cause fatty deposits to build up in our blood vessels, this can eventually create plaque which narrows these blood vessels, making it difficult for our blood to flow smoothly around the heart, brain and the rest of our body.
How can I reduce my Blood Pressure & lower my Cholesterol?
Reduce your intake of bad fats
Limit the amount of cream, butter or margarine. Keep takeaways, processed food & sugary treats to minimum. Cutting the fat off your meat is also a good tip.
Enhance your intake of good fats
Eating nuts like almonds and walnuts, oily fish like salmon, mackerel and tuna which are high in Omega 3, healthy oils such as olive oil can all help to prevent high cholesterol.
Add more fibre & whole grains to your diet
Eating foods like oatmeal or porridge, at least 2 servings of fruit and 5 servings of vegetables each day can be extremely beneficial. Soluble fibre can reduce the absorption of cholesterol.
Increase your levels of physical activity, whether it be walking, cycling, swimming etc, exercise will help you to keep a healthy heart. It also helps to reduce stress which is also a contributing factor to heart disease.
Maintain a healthy weight, especially around the waistline
Belly fat can be linked to higher blood pressure levels. If you put the above tips into action you should be able to manage your waistline and in doing so, reduce the risk of heart disease.
There are many reasons to quit smoking, reducing your risk of heart disease is just one of many. Check out last week’s blog which focuses on our tips for helping you to quit for good.
Drink less alcohol
We all enjoy a drink now and then and that’s ok. If you can limit your alcohol consumption and drink in moderation it will go a long way to reducing your risk of heart disease.