According to the Heart Foundation, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in Australia with over 45,000 deaths attributed to this disease in 2011.
Cardiovascular disease, or CVD, is the term used to describe diseases of the heat and blood vessels and includes (but not limited to):
- Coronary heart disease – when the heart’s blood supply is reduced due to fatty deposits accumulating in arteries
- Stroke – when the blood supply to your brain is reduced, for example by a blood clot
- Heart attack – when the blood supply to the heart is blocked
On a physical level, the heart is the essential component to keeping us alive by pumping oxygenated blood around our bodies. On a sensual level, the heart represents the centre of love within us and emotionally we connect the heart to love and happiness.
To keep feeling the love whilst being living a vibrant energetic life free from the constraints of cardiovascular disease, you need to honestly assess your lifestyle and current condition. Those who are overweight, smoke, drink, have diabetes, high cholesterol or are not very physically active, are at greater risk of developing CVD.
Take a positive step in disease prevention by looking at what you eat, and whilst following a healthy eating plan, boost your intake of the following foods –
Beetroot – Is rich in iron and very cleansing for the blood, just look at the colour of it! Roast it, juice it or grate it in to salads! Always try to choose fresh over tinned.
Onions and Garlic – Both are rich specific flavonoids which protect the heart and blood vessels whilst enhancing cell membranes and promoting heart health.
Tomatoes – The next time you make a salad, chop a tomato in half and notice that it has four chambers and is red, just like your heart. Tomatoes are packed for of antioxidants which promote a healthy heart and cardiovascular system.
Oats – Their high fibre content helps to bind with unwanted cholesterol and remove it from the body so there is not a build-up in the arterial wall.
Chillies – These powerful heat generating pods of goodness promote healthy circulation, from the fingers to the toes!
It is important to discuss with your GP any concern that you may have about being at risk of developing any of the above mentioned health issues and associated risk factors.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR – CJ (Claire Johnson)
CJ is a nutrition and exercise specialist with over 10 years experience in the health and fitness industries in both the UK and Australia with a wide range of skills including personal training, group exercise, health club management, nutrition prescription and disease prevention. CJ is passionate about creating a disease free world through healthy eating and exercise and is on a mission to inspire others to make easy changes so they can live energised and excited about life. CJ is an experienced figure competitor and it was her love for this sport that provided the inspiration for her first book, The Winning Physique. CJfigureworks.com – Facebook.com/CJFigureworks