Love your heart this Valentine’s Day

By Ava Harte Nutrition News   |   13th Feb 2020

Ava Harte, nutrition student at IT Sligo, looks at the top five ways to love your heart this Valentine’s Day.

1. Eat the Mediterranean Way

Research has shown that people who eat the Mediterranean way have a reduced risk of developing conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and raised cholesterol, all of which are risk factors for heart disease. However, the Mediterranean diet is not just a diet, it also includes a number of lifestyle factors such as, increased physical activity and smoking cessation, all of which have also been shown to be important in reducing the risk of chronic disease. Remember it is the overall dietary pattern of the Mediterranean diet that makes it a heart healthy way to eat, rather than individual dietary components.

2. How to eat the Mediterranean way:

2. Get Active

Regular physical activity improves your emotional and physical well-being. It also reduces your risk of high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke. So, this Valentine’s day, why not get your heart active and take a walk with your loved ones at your local Slí na Sláinte route? It’s recommended that adults should be getting at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity five days a week.

" People who eat the Mediterranean way have a reduced risk of developing conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and raised cholesterol, all of which are risk factors for heart disease,"

Eva Harte, Nutrition Student , IT Sligo

3. Quit smoking if you smoke

Smoking is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, including heart attack and stroke. One in every two smokers will die of a tobacco-related disease. After one year of not smoking, your risk of a heart attack is half of that of a smoker’s. For expert help and support on quitting smoking, freephone the National Smokers’ Quitline on Tel: 1800 201 203 or visit www.quit.ie.

4. Less is more approach when it comes to alcohol

When it comes to alcohol, less is more. If you drink it is important to try to drink no more than 17 standard drinks a week if you’re a man and 11 standard drinks a week if you’re a woman, with at least three alcohol free days a week to allow your liver to recover and repair. One standard drink is equal to a small glass (100ml) of wine, ½ pint of beer or one pub measure of spirits. For more information and tips, visit askaboutalcohol.ie

5. Sleep

Sleep is vital for our physical and mental health. Experts recommend getting between 7-9 hours a night. Sticking to a regular sleep schedule, reducing screen time before bed, avoiding food and drink a few hours before bedtime and getting enough physical activity throughout the day; all of which can help you get a good night’s sleep.

Go Red

This Valentine’s Day the Irish Heart Foundation is urging the public to keep women’s hearts beating with a donation. Go Red for Women is the Irish Heart Foundation’s national fundraising campaign, in support of women across Ireland – one quarter of whom will die from cardiovascular disease.

For more information or to donate please see here.

Thank you

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dietitian heart healthy love love your heart nutrition St Valentine's Day valentine's day

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