31 TIPS TO CARE FOR YOUR HEART

31 TIPS TO CARE FOR YOUR HEART

IN THE MONTH OF THE HEART, CARDIOSMILE GIVES YOU 31 TIPS TO EASILY TAKE CARE OF YOUR HEART. DISCOVER THEM IN THIS ARTICLE.

Tip 1. Avoid sugary drinks

Consumption of sugary drinks such as carbonated drinks, juices or any liquid with added sugar has been linked to an increase in cardiovascular disease, obesity, Type 2 Diabetes and metabolic syndrome.

Prefer water to hydrate, it is healthier, natural and cheap.

Tip 2. Eat more vegetables

Eating vegetables will provide you with vitamins, water and fiber and thus it will also help your digestion and your heart. Do not forget to add them to your lunch and dinner. You can also include  them in snacks and as healthy additions to your bread.

Tip 3. Rest

It has been proven that sleep is increasingly important for good health and a strong heart. Experts recommend that you get 7 to 9 hours per night of quality sleep. To ensure that your sleep is optimal, do not drink alcohol or caffeine 4 to 6 hours before bedtime, create a cool, dark environment and limit screen time approximately one hour before going to sleep.

Tip 4: More green

To have a variety of colours on your dinner plate is a sign of balanced nutrition. Don’t be scared and dare to add more fruit and vegetables to your diet. Try to eat an additional fruit or vegetable each day. Fruits and vegetables are cheap, they taste good and they are good for everything from the brain to the intestines.

Tip 5. Take a walk

If you do not exercise at all, a short 10-minute walk is a great way to start. Don’t think too much about it, take a walk around your neighborhood. It’s undoubtedly a good way to add more exercise to your day.

Tip 6. A good breakfast to start the day

Nothing is better than starting the day with a good breakfast. Do check that it is balanced and contains fruits and some protein.This way you will not go hungry until snack time and you will have a better performance in the morning. 

If you add cardiosmile to your breakfast you will be contributing to lower your cholesterol in a natural way.

Tip 7. Avoid added sugars

Nowadays, most ultraprocessed products have a considerable amount of refined sugars added. As a consequence, the increase in obesity and chronic diseases is now a worlwide problem.

If you crave something sweet, consider first a fruit, then we recommend cooking or baking something at home, choosing sweeteners like dates or stevia. This way you may satisfy your craving in a healthy way.

Tip 8. Reduce salt intake

The WHO recommends an adult consumption of less than 5 grams of salt, as  an excessive intake of sodium is one of the main risk factors for cardiovascular diseases.

To reduce sodium intake we recommend removing the salt shaker from the table, reduce the amount of salt when preparing food, season with different spices to improve food taste and reduce the consumption of ultra-processed foods.

Tip 9. Avoid consumption of ultra-processed foods

We have already mentioned these foods throughout the post, but we think it is necessary to emphasize them so that you definitely stop considering them an option when eating.

By decreasing the consumption of ultra-processed food, you will be immediately reducing your intake of sodium, added sugars, trans and saturated fats, additives and preservatives.

Take care of your body and change your habits. This way you will have a better quality of life.

Tip 10. Avoid a sedentary lifestyle! Become active again

We already gave you a tip to start moving more, but we can’t stop delving into this topic. Did you know that the sedentary lifestyle in our country reaches 86.7%? No doubt, it is an alarming figure.

That’s why we recommend you not to take “comfortable shortcuts” and keep your body moving. We assure you that at the end of the day you will notice the difference in your quality of life, energy, performance, sleep better at night, etc.

We already told you how to start: a short walk in the park, go running with your pet, prefer to walk, take the stairs and organize family activities. It’s simpler than you thought, right? Follow these simple tips and you’ll be more active!

Now, if you want to go for more, start doing a physical activity that you like, return to practice that sport that you loved or start with something new, whatever you choose to do will be excellent for your health and mood.

Tip 11. Rest and sleep well

We already commented on the importance of rest, but we want to add some details related to “sleeping”, rather than “resting”.

It has been proven that sleep is an important factor for good health but the key is that it also helps you have a strong heart. 

As we mentioned before, it is important to follow the advice of the experts, who recommend sleeping an average of 7 to 9 hours per night. But attention: 7 to 9 hours of sleep, not of lying down checking your phone until you fall asleep.

So, to ensure that your sleep is optimal, make sure you do not drink alcohol or caffeine 4 to 6 hours before bedtime. A detail we had not mentioned: create your own ritual. Sleeping is not simply lying down and closing your eyes, to rest optimally and wake up the next day renewed, you must create a suitable sleeping environment. 

As a first step, create a cool and dark environment. If you prefer you can do some breathing exercises to get any thoughts out of your head. Comfort is essential. Obviously, we hope that when you get into  bed you have left your phone and any screen that can scare away your sleep. This you must do at least 1 hour before going to sleep.

Remember that studies have shown that decreasing sleep hours could increase the prevalence of some diseases such as depression and obesity.

Tip 12. Hydrate! But with water.

Hydration is essential for the proper functioning of our body and to avoid discomforts like headaches, digestive problems, dizziness, etc.

We advise you to always carry a bottle with you so you can hydrate whenever your body needs it. It’s important to prefer water, avoid fizzy drinks (even if they are light or zero) and do not wait until you are very thirsty to drink.

Water is essential for your body to stay healthy and remember that it also absorbs water from your meals. So there’s one more reason for you to pay attention to your diet.

Tip 13. Energy to start your day right

We know that sometimes it is difficult to get out of bed to get into action and start a new day. But don’t give in, extremes are bad and we told you that it is essential that you move. So, start your day with a good attitude, get up happy, energized and you’ll see that the rest of the day will be incredible.

Your mood is very important to carry out your tasks and goals, and it is also important to lead a healthy life. Get up eager to start your day and prepare a rich and balanced breakfast. Attitude is fundamental.

Do not forget to add 1 daily sachet of Cardiosmile to the food of your choice. It is very easy to take and does not alter the taste or smell of meals. Take care to start your day well and Cardiosmile will help reduce your cholesterol naturally.

Tip 14. Choose your food conscientiously

We know that sometimes you are in a hurry because you got stuck in  traffic has failed, you have a meeting ahead of you, you must study and a thousand other things. But do not sacrifice your diet to accomplish the rest. Remember that a good diet will give you the energy you need to have an excellent performance in your day to day, so pay attention to what you put in your mouth.

Currently most ultraprocessed foods have a considerable amount  of added refined sugars that are harmful for your body. Change your habits and go for a fruit, a sallad or, if you are in a hurry, have a healthy snack – like dates or nuts- to keep you going until you have enough time to enjoy a balanced meal.

Tip 15. Increase your consumption of legumes

Legumes are known for their high fiber content, a very good trait because it helps your body and increases satiety. But that’s not all! Legumes play a very important role in stabilizing sugar and insulin levels in the blood, reducing the peaks that occur after eating. Additionally, this improves insulin resistance and their fiber content contributes to lower cholesterol.

Take care of your heart and eat legumes at least twice a week. Nowadays there are many different recipes avaliable to enjoy them; whether in soups, stews, hummus or dips.

Tip 16. Make an Active Pause at work

If you spend much of your day working sitting down, you may begin to experience fatigue, discomfort in your back, neck, shoulders and legs, among other things. Therefore, if you have been sitting for a long time, we recommend you to take the famous “active pauses” before you go get muscle cramps. They will not take much time and you’ll feel their benefits.

The first thing you should do is look for a moment of the day to make an active pause in your workplace. There are several exercises you can do such as elongation, exercises with your hands (even better if you have an anti-stress ball or an elastic band) and may also do some exercises with your co-workers. You will see that a minute of relaxation and distraction will help you to finish your day without so much fatigue.

Keep in mind that when you do active pauses, your breathing should be as deep, slow and rhythmic as possible. The idea is to relax and focus on the movement of your muscles and joints while you exercise. This way you will help your blood circulation and improve your concentration.

 

Tip 17. Relax and enjoy life

We know that a healthy lifestyle includes a balanced diet. But it is also very important to maintain good mental health, reduce stress and enjoy the simple things in life. We recommend you to give yourself a few minutes a day to step away from daily chores and routines. Leave aside your worries, stress and enjoy a moment of peace. Take advantage of a few minutes to care for your mental health, meditate, quiet your mind and relax your body. You’ll see how your day changes and you’ll feel much better.

Tip 18. Add chia seeds to your diet

Chia seeds became popular a while ago, and it makes sense, as they are rich in nutrients such as proteins, omega 3 fatty acids, minerals, fibers and antioxidants. No doubt it is a very complete food that will help you stay healthy … and it also helps to make you feel satiated.

Go ahead and try it!

Tip 19. Keep and eye on the oils

The use of oils when cooking is part of the process, but the key is knowing how to choose the one that gives the most benefits to your health.

So, our first advice is to avoid using refined oils when cooking, and, if possible, do not consume fried foods in general.

Now, returning to the oils in particular, we recommend you always choose extra virgin olive oil. By adding it to your diet you will be eating a good quality fat, which in turn helps your heart.

Tip 20. Prefer whole grains

Nowadays, refined foods and white flours abound, which is why making a good choice of foods is key to adding more fiber into our diet. Fiber helps keep insulin more stable during the day, improves digestion and provides satiety.

Therefore, the best thing you can do on a daily basis is to put aside refined products that damage your body and choose those that give you more benefits … such as whole grains that are rich in fiber.

Tip 21. Don’t smoke

Chronic Noncommunicable Diseases (NCDs) are the epidemic of the 21st century: cancer, Diabetes, cardiovascular and respiratory diseases.

But what do all these diseases have in common? Well … tobacco A risk factor that we can observe daily.

If you want to feel better, with more energy and to reduce considerably the risk of cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, do not smoke.

Seriously, smoking has no benefit. Quitting tobacco is one of the best decisions you can make for your health.

Tip 22. Add yellow and orange to your day!

Yeallow and orange fruits and vegetables mainly provide carotene, a substance that favours the formation of vitamin A and has an antioxidant effect. 

This group is also a good source of vitamin C, folic acid and some minerals. What else can life be asked for? Start incorporating them into your meals.

And remember to eat fresh fruits and vegetables!

Tip 23. Onion, Garlic and Mushrooms

White-coloured fruits and vegetables contain sulfur compounds, starches and B-complex vitamins. They also have minerals such as potassium, magnesium. Above all, they have a remarkable anticarcinogenic effect and stimulate the immune system. 

But that’s not all as these vegetables contain fiber, which we already know that it helps to maintain adequate cholesterol levels.

Tip 24. Eggplant Purple?

Eggplants are known for their purple color, which is owed to a substance called anthocyanin that has an antioxidant effect. 

Eggplants contain minerals such as potassium, magnesium, B vitamins and some vitamin C. They provide phytoestrogens, polyphenols and help in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases.

What are your waiting for to add them to your diet?

Tip 25. Eat  Red Today

Red-coloured fruits and vegetables of are great source of carotenoids, vitamins A, C, folic acid and other vitamins of the B complex. They also have high amounts of potassium. They are very low in sodium and have a protective effect in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases.

Do you see how red takes care of your heart?

Tip 26: Include antioxidants in your diet.

In case you didn’t know, our bodies are continuously oxidizing. This is due to the free radicals that we produce and other oxidizing factors (such as solar radiation, tobacco smoke and various environmental toxins).

That’s why we recommend that you add antioxidant-rich foods to your diet. And you do not have to search far as these are easily available.

Yes, to increase your antioxidant intake you only have to eat fruits and vegetables on a daily basis. The recommended daily amount is at least 5 servings, this will help fight the free radicals that oxidize your body.

Tip 27. What and how much?

If you buy packaged food, remember to check its ingredients and nutritional table and whether

it is labeled with any health warnings. 

With this in mind, compare the product with another if necessary. What matters is that you choose foods that contain less saturated fats, no added sugars and that are low in sodium.

Now, if you do not want to worry about labels and all that,  choose fresh, unpackaged foods.

Tip 28. Get an appointment with your doctor

Knowing with certainty how we are healthwise is fundamental to organize ourselves and make changes in our diet and routine. Therefore, we recommend that you visit your doctor to have a general check-up at least once or twice a year. This way you will know if your body is doing well, if you developed any diseases or if your cholesterol or triglycerides have gone up.

Doctors and nutritionists can help you according to your requirements.

Tip 29. What can be done about meats?

Eating meat is common in our country, there are all kinds of it and a variety of preparations. But if you want to lead a healthier life and take care of your body, we recommend to replace red meats with white meats such as chicken or turkey, and don’t forget to add fish to your diet.

Regarding cooking methods, choose to cook meat in the oven or on the grill, thus avoiding frying and the addition of oils.

Tip 30. Live a healthier life

Most cardiovascular diseases can be prevented. It’s fundamental to lead a healthy life and to exercise regularly. Make good decisions to have a better quality of life. If you read this far, you’ve learned a lot about good decisions, right?

Do it for yourself and your family.

Tip 31. Fiber is your ally!

Dietary fiber has numerous benefits, it is known to have a protective effect on your cardiovascular system, a beneficial effect on hypercholesterolemia, Type 2 Diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, metabolic syndrome and C-reactive protein as inflammation marker. 

To add more fiber to our diet, we must replace refined cereals with whole grain cereals and increase the intake of vegetables, fruits and legumes.

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¿HOW IS THE CHILEAN POPULATION’S HEALTH?

¿HOW IS THE CHILEAN POPULATION’S HEALTH?

Recently the National Health Survey’s 2016-2017 results have been made public and the data is not auspicious. A sustained increase in obesity in the population, low fruit consumption and lack of knowledge of important indicators such as Cholesterol are just some indications that the Chilean population is far from reaching a healthy optimum.

Times are changing, and with them people’s lifestyle habits. The sustained increase in the supply of fast food and its low prices, together with lack of time due to the fast pace of life, is a global trend that includes Chile as well.

What are the consequences of this? The last Health Survey shows that 74.2% of the population is overweight. In 2010 this percentage was 66.8%, while in 2003 it reached 61%. That is, in only 14 years, obesity in the Chilean population has increased by 13.2%, and an exponential and sustained rise is observed.

Table: Comparison of overweight, National Health Survey 2003, 2010,2017 

2003 2010 2017
Total Overweight Population  61% 66,8% 74,2%
Overweight 37,8% 39,4% 39,8%
Obesity 21,9% 25,1% 31,2%
Morbid obesity 1,3% 2,3% 3,2%

 

On the other hand, we can see that national cholesterol prevalence results fell from 38.5% in the 2010 National Health Survey to 27.8%. This is a significant decrease of 10.7%. However, that does not mean you do not have to worry about it.

Total cholesterol less than 200 mg/dl
LDL cholesterol less or equal to 160 mg/dl
HDL cholesterol more than 40 mg/dl (men)
more than 50 mg/dl (women)

The survey also indicates that a high percentage of the population has no knowledge of their blood cholesterol levels. Thus the apparent decrease of this percentage may not be such.

Therefore, it is important to start working on prevention and control. This way, effective actions can be planned to help the population lead a healthier lifestyle.

Optimal cholesterol levels can be seen in the following table:  

Another relevant point is the low consumption of fruits and vegetables by a majority of the population. Only 15% state they eat at least 5 portions every day, the WHO’s optimal intake recommendation.

Fruit and Vegetable Consumption- Chileb

It can be seen that men have increased their consumption, but women have decreased it. The importance of eating the recommended portions of fruits and vegetables is paramount, since it is a protective factor for the cardiovascular system.

 A healthy lifestyle is based on the principles of nutrition and physical activity:

  • Eat 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day
  • Eat legumes at least once a week
  • Reduce the consumption of red meat
  • Eat grilled or cooked (not fried) fish at least once a week. 
  • Reduce the consumption of fried foods, refined flours and sugars
  • Increase the intake of water
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle and avoid being sedentary
  • Reduce the intake of alcohol

Discover more tips on our Facebook and Instagram pages. 

By Antonieta Latorre, Nutritionist

GINGER: WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT IT?

GINGER: WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT IT?

Ginger, currently widely used in world cuisine, gives that spicy flavor to our meals but, what do we know about it?

Originary from Southeast Asia, it was introduced in South America and several countries of the African continent. The underground stem or rhizome of this plant has been used as traditional Asian, Indian and Arab medicine since ancient times.

What are its benefits?

  • Reduces total cholesterol
  • Decreases cold symptoms
  • Reduces throat pain
  • Decreases coughing
  • Some studies mention that it was used for the treatment of arthritis in ancient medicines
  • Anti-diarrheal effect
  • Antimicrobial action
  • Antiemetic
  • Some components of ginger have cancer-preventive effects.
  • Anti-inflammatory properties 

Different scientific studies have reported its benefits, all based on regular consumption and in different amounts for each pathology but, how can we add it to our daily diet? Very easy, it can be added to a rich homemade pumpkin soup or in a rich lemonade with mint, keeping in mind that now in winter, there’s nothing more delicious than an infusion of lemon or orange with ginger, it’s ideal for colds and flu.

By Antonieta Latorre, Nutritionist

GET TO KNOW EVERYTHING ABOUT FIBER

GET TO KNOW EVERYTHING ABOUT FIBER

We hear that we need more protein, more or less carbohydrates, more or less fat, or vitamin supplements. Some of last years’ concerns about diet revolve around these concepts. But what about Fiber? This nutrient is essential for the prevention of hypercholesterolemia, Type 2 Diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure, among others. Therefore, it deserves a central place in the discussion about a healthy diet. What is Fiber?

It is the part of food, especially of vegetable origin, that is made of non-digestible polysaccharides and lignin, or polysaccharides other than starch and lignin. Its peculiarity is that it is not hydrolyzed by the enzymes of the human digestive tract.

This non-digestible nutrient reaches the large intestine where it softens the consistency of the stool and increases its weight. Therefore, it contributes to increasing the frequency of defecation. This can help prevent important disorders of the large intestine, such as constipation, diverticulitis and cancer.

In addition, food or dietary fiber has numerous health benefits. Among them we can highlight its cardiovascular protective effect, especially regarding soluble fiber. This is supported by large clinical and epidemiological studies.

These studies show the beneficial effect of dietary fiber on hypercholesterolemia, Type 2 Diabetes, obesity, hypertension, metabolic syndrome and C-reactive protein as inflammation marker. According to these findings it is advisable to keep a diet rich in dietary fiber.

 

How much fiber should we eat?

 

The daily recommended dose of dietary fiber is currently around 28 g/day for women and 36 g/day for men. These doses are based on the levels of fiber consumption that offer the greatest protection against cardiovascular disease as observed in clinical studies.

 

How can fiber consumption be increased?

 

The typical modern diet tends to be low in fiber as the consumption of fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains is limited. According to the latest National Health Survey, only 15% of the Chilean population eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day.

Therefore, as a primary preventive measure against cardiovascular disease, it is considered highly advisable to keep a diet rich in fiber. Increase your consumption of fruits, legumes and nuts. Substitute refined grains for whole grains and reduce daily consumption of refined flours, fried foods, pastries and sugary drinks.

Let’s go back to eating natural foods, let’s feed ourselves well and nourish our bodies with good quality food.

In the table below we can see various food’s dietary fiber content:

Name Total dietary fiber per 100 grams Dietary fiber per serving
Raw Chard 1,8 1,5
Chicory, Succory 0,8 0,6
Garlic 1,7 0,1
Artichoke 8,0 6,4
Celery 1,7 1,3
Eggplant 3,8 3,0
Beet 1,6 1,3
Broccoli 2,6 2,1
Raw onion 1,6 1,3
Mushrooms 1,3 1,0
Durvilaea Antarctica (Chilean seaweed) 6,9 5,5
Cauliflower 2,2 1,8
Endive 0,9 0,7
Asparagus 1,7 1,3
Spinach 3,3 2,7
Lettuce 1,8 1,4
Porphyra 8,8 7,0
Cucumber 1,0 0,8
Tomato 0,9 0,7
Green beans 2,6 2,1
Carrot 3,2 2,6
Blueberry 2,4 1,9
Apricot 1,9 1,5
Raspberry 6,2 5,0
Strawberry 2,6 2,1
Kiwi 3,4 2,7
Apple 2,4 1,9
Orange 2,1 1,7
Avocado 9,6 7,7
Pear 3,8 3,0
Pineapple 1,2 1,0
Banana 1,6 1,3

 

By Antonieta Latorre, Nutritionist