The heart is the body’s most important organ. When the heart stops… it’s over.
An extremely hard worker, the heart pumps about 23,000 liters of
blood around the body, and beats an estimated 100,000 times each day- no
breaks or vacations!
As such, we should be doing everything in our power to help our
hearts do their job, instead of making it more difficult with poor
habits and lifestyles.
Here are a few things you should know about your heart:
1. Eating too much salt raises your blood pressure,
putting extra strain on the arteries leading to the heart and damaging
them over time. Reducing the sodium in your diet is best for your heart.
Adults should consume no more than 6g of salt per day. Most of the
sodium we consume comes from processed foods, so always check labels.
2. Eating just two bananas in a day can lower your
blood pressure by 10%. This is thanks to the potassium in bananas, which
helps your body reduce its sodium levels.
3. Women become more susceptible to heart disease in
menopause and are four times more likely to die from heart disease than
from breast cancer.
4. If you’re overweight, reducing your weight by
just 10% percent will lower your risk of dying from heart disease by a
5. Excess weight around your waist puts you at
greater risk of heart disease than bum or thigh fat. As a man, your
waist should measure no more than 1m. For women, any measurement beyond
89cm is dangerous.
6. There’s a very important reason cigarette ads
include warnings from the Federal Ministry of Health like “Tobacco
smoking is dangerous to health” and “Smokers are liable to die young”.
Death resulting from coronary heart disease is 50% higher in smokers
than in those who do not smoke.
7. Living with a smoker can increase your risk of heart disease by 23%, even when you’re a nonsmoker.
8. The importance of exercise to heart health cannot
be overemphasized. Just 30 minutes of moderate exercise 5 times a week
can help keep your heart strong and reduce your risk of heart disease by
9. Omega-3 fatty acids are great for heart health as
they reduce excess levels of blood fats, prevent clots in the arteries,
and help keep your heartbeat regular. Our bodies don’t produce Omega-3,
so you need to include them in your diet by incorporating lots of oily
fish like mackerel, salmon, and Titus fish. You can also buy Omega-3
10. Eating 5 portions of fruit and vegetables daily reduces your risk of heart disease by 30%. Now that’s huge!
Remember, one heart attack can permanently damage a heart, so once
you hit 40 you should see a doctor for a heart health assessment. If you
have any risk factors like diabetes, high blood pressure or high
cholesterol, don’t wait till then. The same goes for people with a
strong family history of heart disease. Have your heart checked right
away, and be sure to adhere to your doctor’s instructions.