Heart disease accounts for more than 18 million deaths globally every year. And some of the prominent reasons for increasing cardiovascular diseases are stress, tension & lack of awareness about a healthy lifestyle.
To increase public awareness & fight CVD, World Health Federation started World Heart Day on 24th September 2000 in collaboration with World Health Organization (WHO) and is now celebrated on September 29 every year.
The main idea behind creating this day was to educate the masses about CVD like strokes, attacks, arrhythmia, valve complications, etc., and how to negate its global impact by quitting bad habits like tobacco, smoking, etc., and lead a healthy life.
This year the federation has decided to work around the theme “Use Heart to Connect”. It means WHF is looking for new and innovative ideas to connect people to heart health. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, almost everything has shifted to the digital platform. So why not health also.
That’s why this World Heart Day, the objective is to highlight the power of digital health to increase awareness, improve management, and prevent cardiovascular disease worldwide. It is about sharing your knowledge and compassion to give a chance to yourself & others to live with a happy heart.
How can you improve heart health?
- Check your portion size
You should keep track of your portion size. It will help you keep control of your calories & weight. It does not mean to eat very little; it means to give your body as per its requirement instead of starving or overeating.
- Add leafy greens to the diet
Green vegetables like kale, spinach, broccoli are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals that prevent artery blockage. They have dietary nitrates that help to control blood pressure & improve the functioning of cells in blood vessels.
- Choose whole grains
Compared to refined grains, whole grains like wheat, barley, buckwheat, quinoa, etc., are high in fiber & have all three nutrients of the grain. Whole grains help to lower bad cholesterol, which is a leading cause of heart disease.
- Eat seeds & nuts
Walnuts and almonds are good sources of fiber & micronutrients that can help to reduce the risk of heart problems. These help to lower oxidative stress & inflammation. Also, seeds like chia, flax, hemp have essential nutrients for a healthy heart.
- Reduce salt intake
Eating excessive salt can result in increased blood pressure that is a significant risk factor for heart disease. Along with reducing salt from the food, you should avoid canned & processed food as they have the most amount of salt.
- Start exercising
Physical fitness is also an integral way to keep the heart and body in good shape & reduce the risk of heart problems. Go for a long run or walk. It will strengthen your muscles and control body weight.
Every year multiple international seminars, events, and campaigns are sponsored by the World Health Federation in light of the day. They also encourage people to have marches, podcasts, talk shows, concerts, etc., to distribute information about heart diseases.
Apart from social events, fundraisers, free health checkups, etc., are also organized to encourage people to actively participate in the campaign through social media to increase awareness.
What you put on your plate has a direct impact on your heart health. Hence, it is crucial to look at what you eat. Along with taking a well-balanced nutritious diet, take care of your physical fitness & quit bad habits like smoking, drinking, etc., to have a healthy heart.
Also, apart from taking care of yourself, educate people about cardiovascular diseases & their prevention to make it a successful campaign.