Everyone knows how essential our heart is to the daily functionality of our bodies, pumping blood through our blood vessels to the essential organs and limbs, despite this, heart disease is the largest circulatory condition in the UK according to the British Heart Foundation with a staggering 7.6 million people currently affected by it. We always will encourage people to proactively protect their future health by engaging in preventative healthcare. As such, we’d like to detail 4 obvious yet ignored methods you can use to protect your future health including some info on our simple but effective heart health cholesterol blood test.
1. Healthy Diet = Heart Health
The British Heart Foundation describe the diet for a healthy heart as a “pattern” as you don’t just focus on one type of food but what you eat over days, weeks and months. Specifically, cutting out sources of LDL (bad) cholesterol which leads to a build-up cholesterol in arteries causing plaque to appear.
What foods should we include & exclude in this pattern? Recommendations include:
- Fruit, Vegetables, Wholegrain – wholegrain cereals and bread includes more nutrients like fibre, B vitamins, Vitamin E and healthy fats
- Consuming healthy fats – monounsaturated and polyunsaturated (omega-3 & 6) fats are the best fats by far to include. These are commonly found in Avocados, nuts, fish and sunflower seeds.
- Cut out Salt – Sodium increases risks of developing high blood pressure a major risk of heart disease. Use herbs and spices instead to add healthy natural flavorings to your meals.
2. An Active Lifestyle for an Active Heart
Since we’ve discussed the bad cholesterol in our system, let’s share some love for High-density lipoprotein (HDL) or the good cholesterol. HDL cholesterol absorbs cholesterol and carries it to our liver to be flushed. This reduces risk of heart attack and stroke substantially.
What can we do to further increase these levels?
HeartUK suggests being more active can help reduce their risk of Type 2 Diabetes and lower your blood pressure. They recommend at least 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or at least 75 minutes of vigorous activity.
Certain activities or forms of exercise can be categorised as:
- Biking slower than 10mph
- Brisk walking
- Water aerobics
- Cycling 10mph or faster
- Swimming laps
- Jumping Rope
3. End that toxic relationship with Smoking
Quitting smoking is like ending a toxic relationship, it isn’t always easy but it’s possible with the right support, planning and practice. The Heart Foundation states smoking damages your blood vessels substantially making you four times as vulnerable to a heart attack or stroke.
Speaking to your loved ones for advice on where to go or talking to support lines such as Quitline can also help you substantially. If smoking inside your home, car or other enclosed places, the detrimental effects can be passed onto your friends or family.
4. Identify Risks in your Health
If you feel you or any of our loved ones are at risk of Heart/Circulatory disease, a simple cholesterol blood test is all it takes to generate a detailed picture of the health of your heart. But what if you don’t want the hassle of driving to and from a clinic to get one of these tests done? We’ve got you covered.
Randox Health believe in managing your health through testing, attack risks once detected and ultimately defend your future. We know that home is where the heart is which is why there’s the option to test from home with Heart Health Home Testing Kits. This kit ultimately acts as a HDL, LDL and Total Cholesterol blood test and monitors other markers too such as Triglycerides & Lipoproteins (a) & (b).
With this, there’s no need to travel to a clinic and back. You take your sample, send it to a Randox lab using a prepaid Royal Mail return label and in 3-5 working days receive a comprehensive report detailing these levels within the comfort of your own home.