February is celebrated worldwide as the month of love. Love is an emotion that is believed to emanate from the heart, a vital body organ that holds our very lives. The heart undoubtedly can be cared for through proper nutrition thus, the relationship between a healthy diet and heart cannot be underestimated. The heart can be kept functioning properly with good insight into nutrition and other activities that are healthy for the heart.
Watching our total fat intake, keeping saturated fats low, monitoring how much salt we eat and eating more fibre rich food – like beans and oatmeal are sure ways to a healthy heart.
In Ghana, Herbalife Nutrition is a health and wellness company committed to championing the cause of heart health. Herbalife seeks to lead the way to healthy lifestyles through public education. As a health and wellness brand, it offers high-quality, science-backed products, most of which are produced in Company-operated facilities, one-on-one coaching with a Herbalife Nutrition independent member, and a supportive community approach that inspires customers to embrace a healthier, more active lifestyle.
In times past, medical-dietary advice had two main messages: saturated fats were bad and polyunsaturated fats were good. Polyunsaturated fats are considered better as they keep blood cholesterol within a normal range. Currently, the focus is on consuming the right combination of Omega 3 and Omega 6 as none of them is inherently bad. Being referred to as ‘essential’ fatty acids, we get them from the foods we eat. Although in small amounts, essential fatty acids serve important functions in our body like supporting blood circulation, vision and brain function 2. Locally, omega 3 can be sourced from salmon, herrings, tuna and eggs whereas avocado and coconut are sources of Omega 6.
Commenting on keeping a healthy heart, Country Director for Herbalife Ghana, Clarence Amenyah, gave insight into ways of maintaining a healthy heart.
“The heart is the engine of the human body so it very necessary we nourish it through proper nutrition. Championing the cause of a healthy heart in this month of love comes just in good time; a time when cardiovascular diseases are on the rise, even among the youth. This, therefore, provides the right time to drive home the message of keeping a healthy heart.”
He added that one of the best ways to get more Omega 3s is by eating more fish meals in the week, to increase our healthy eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) levels.
“EPA and DHA contribute to the normal function of the heart as well as to the maintenance of normal blood triglyceride levels and normal blood pressure. Fresh fish is great in the bid to increase one’s Omega 3 consumption, but canned fish is easy and convenient! If you don’t like eating fish, you can also take fish oil supplements.” he mentioned.
Do these to keep your heart alive:
- Eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and beans as they deliver vitamins, minerals, fibre and antioxidants.
- Keep total and saturated fat intakes under control by eating healthy low-fat proteins.
- Eat unsaturated fatty acids from foods like fish, nuts, avocado and olive oil.
- Choose non-fat or low-fat dairy products, poultry breast, and lean cuts of red meat and plant protein sources like beans and. groundnuts.
- Limit added fats for example by reducing dressings, spreads, sauces and fried foods.
- Avoid high-processed foods.
- Eat more fibre-rich foods (sweet potatoes, berries, plums, broccoli and carrots) 4
When it comes to matters of the heart, it’s so much more than just the people we love. Remember to take extra care of the heart that matters most: yours!
Herbalife Nutrition is a global nutrition company whose purpose is to make the world healthier and happier. The Company has been on a mission for nutrition – changing people’s lives with great nutrition products and programs – since 1980. Herbalife Nutrition’s targeted nutrition, weight-management, energy and fitness and personal care products are available exclusively to and through its independent members in more than 90 countries. Through its corporate social responsibility efforts, Herbalife Nutrition supports the Herbalife Nutrition Foundation (HNF) and its Casa Herbalife programmes to help bring good nutrition to children in need. Herbalife Nutrition is also proud to sponsor more than 190 world-class athletes, teams and events around the globe.