Are you living for a healthy heart? 80% of heart disease can be prevented!

Eating well and following a healthy diet can reduce the risk of heart disease.
Eating well and following a healthy diet can reduce the risk of heart disease.

Performing 80 beats per minute, 4 800 beats per hour and 115 200 beats per day to keep the average adult up and running, it’s no surprise that the heart is the hardest-working organ. With every cell in the body depending on it, living for a healthy heart is not only valuable but vital!

In light of World Heart Day on the 29th of September, there’s no better time than now to reassess whether you’re living for a healthy heart. Created by the World Heart Federation, World Heart Day informs people around the world that cardiovascular disease is the world’s leading cause of death claiming 17.9 million lives each year. In Sub-Saharan Africa, cardiovascular diseases like heart disease and stroke account for approximately 13% of all deaths in the region.

However, it’s not all doom and gloom, because the good news is that 80% of heart diseases that happen before the age of 65 years can be prevented, according to the Heart & Stroke Foundation South Africa (HSFSA). From powering up your morning Oats to saying goodbye to cigarettes for good, here are three lifestyle choices you can make to boost your heart’s health.

1. Eat well

A healthy diet is the best way to protect your heart against cardiovascular disease. To make shopping for heart-healthy foods easier, South Africans can look out for the HSFSA’s Heart Mark logo on products which they endorse. “The Heart Mark is not a diet but a guaranteed way to buy food lower in salt, lower in sugar, lower in saturated fats, and higher in fibre,” according to HSFSA.

Some products on this list include South African staples like Jungle Oats, Tiger Large Oats Flakes, Jungle Oat Bran, Jungle Instant Oats and Jungle Plus High Protein Porridge. Breakfast cereals like Oats contain Beta-Glucan which has proven to lower cholesterol and keep hearts well as part of a heart healthy diet. Kick-starting your day with a hearty bowl of Jungle Oats can be a great way to help reduce the risk of heart disease.

For the full list of products with the Heart Mark logo, click here.

2. Keep active

Your heart is a muscle and like any other muscle in the body, it needs exercise. Being active not only helps you to maintain a healthy weight, but it also lowers your risk of cardiovascular disease. Any activity that makes the heart pump faster and leaves you slightly out of breath is great for your heart, according to the University of Stellenbosch. Walking, cycling, jogging, running, gym classes, soccer, swimming, dancing or even gardening can all be excellent ways to get some cardio in.

The World Health Organisation recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week for adults. Break this up into 30 minutes of exercise five times a week and your heart will be skipping to the beat in no time.

3. Quit smoking

Smoking increases your risk of developing heart disease significantly. In fact, research has found that smokers are two to four times more likely to develop heart disease than non-smokers. This, according to the John Hopkins Medicine Centre, is because smoking causes a rise in blood pressure, an increase in heart rate and reduces blood flow from the heart to the rest of the body. Parting ways with your cigarettes is like walking out of a toxic relationship – it may be difficult at first, but your heart will heal.

Taking care of your heart’s health can be as easy as 1, 2, 3. With World Heart Day around the corner, be sure to read more about how you can live for a healthy heart or as Jungle would say #DoLifeWithHeart. For more information and tips on heart-healthy diet options, visit Jungle.  

This post was sponsored by Jungle and produced by BrandStudio24.

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