We sure seem to hear a lot about cancer here in Canada. There are tons of recommendations made by scientists and your neighbourhood “expert,” and when bacon isn’t the new cause of cancer, it’s palm oil. But despite our nation’s almost singular focus on cancer, the majority of Canadians will actually die from heart failure. So for our valentine’s day post, we thought we’d write about how to keep your (sweet) heart healthy!
Foods to Seek Out!
Unless you’re brand new to the healthy food kick, you probably know just how great fish (and omega 3 fatty acid!) is for your body. Omega 3 has an anti-clotting effect that helps to keep your blood moving perfectly. We recommend salmon which is delicious, high in omega 3, and low in mercury.
Another great mineral for your heart is potassium. For Canadians with high blood pressure, potassium is extra good since it seems to have a low blood pressure. Try to get your potassium without added fats or sugars! We recommend bananas, oranges, or potatoes.
A heart superfood that both lowers blood pressure and has anti-clotting effects? Dark chocolate! Make sure to choose chocolates that are at least 70% cocoa to see any benefits.
Food to Avoid.
There are so many delicious foods on this list that we’re going to apologize in advance. To start off, basically anything fried and salted is going to be a source of saturated (bad) fats that can potentially clog arteries and harm your heart. Salty foods also raise blood pressure. Things like french fries, chips, and chinese take-out are particularly bad. Other foods that are high in fat and salt (but not necessarily deep fried) include pizza, which should also be avoided. We know! We’re sorry!
The other “food” you should be avoiding at all costs — not just for your heart, but also for your teeth and literally everything else — soda pop. Just put the carbonated syrup-water down. And if you’re a nestea or brisk tea drinker chuckling to yourself as you sip your non-carbonated beverage, don’t think you’re off the hook! Store bought lemonade, fruit punch, and ice teas are no better.
Strength training is great, but when it comes to the heart, it’s all about the cardio! Interval training that allows you to achieve a very high heart rate, to then cool down, and then to bring your heart rate up again is considered the best. Talk to your doctor or fitness specialist if you’re looking for fun idea to get your heart rate up.
This February, remember to take great care of both your sweetheart and your heart-heart! You only get one heart, so it’s important that you take care of it, so it can take care of you! If you have any questions about how you can achieve your health goals, the experts at Health Risk can help. We can set you up with a comprehensive health plan that includes access to fitness and health experts, so you can make the best informed decisions about your body.