by Sinead Bradbury, Performance Nutritionist SENr.
1 in 2 Irish women will die from cardiovascular related disease.
This is very stark statistic and one that needs to be highlighted more often when it comes to women’s health and preventing our risk of developing this disease. The good news is that 80% of heart is preventable. Diet and lifestyle habits play a huge part in reducing our risk. Exercise has a massive role to play. The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends 150 minutes of exercise each week. This equates to 30 minutes of aerobic exercise Monday to Friday to help prevent heart disease. Running, walking, jogging, swimming will all support your heart health. Regular exercise will also improve your mood, reduce stress and inflammation in the body and support a healthy weight.
Be mindful of food that can be harmful to your heart health like high sodium foods, processed and packaged meats, high sugar content foods. Quit smoking and reduce alcohol to greatly reduce your risk of developing heart disease.
Include lots of omega rich foods in your diet such as oily fish like salmon, trout, mackerel. Include 25g of fibre each day. Add flaxseeds to your porridge, eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Not only for the high fibre content but also for an abundant source of antioxidants. Antioxidants, mop up free radicals in the body and have been shown to have a preventative effect on developing heart disease. Finally, consider including CoenzymeQ10 rich foods in your diet. CoenzymeQ10 is a vitamin like substance found in every cell in the body and can also be found in food sources like chicken, sardines, liver, kidney, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus. It acts like an antioxidant and has been shown to have a positive benefit for people with cardiovascular disease (Sharma et al., 2016)
The power of these recommendations is the execution of small consistent changes that add up to having a powerfully positive effect over time. Heart health is important at every age. Do what you can today, for a healthier tomorrow.
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Source: Coenzyme Q10 and Heart Failure: A State-of-the-Art Review - PubMed (nih.gov)