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Heart Health

As it is February and everything has gone all hearts and flowers in the shops, I thought that I would focus on the theme of #hearthealth

Nutrition and our heart. As with many things, nutrition has a role to play in contributing to the good and bad elements of our #lifestyle which can influence our health.

I have created a special valentines menu, unsurprisingly this is full of heart-healthy recipes but still deliciously decadent and rich!

The Valentines Menu kicks off with watermelon champagne, why this you ask? Well read on, I shall explain!

Not only does the watermelon have #cardiovascular benefits as it contains #Lycopene which can potentially support blood pressure and cholesterol. Watermelon may also increase #nitric #oxide in the body, this helps your #blood #vessels expand.   In terms of feeling all ‘#loved up’ watermelon also helps the body to produce #Oxytocin - this is often referred to as the #love hormone’ as it is associated with feelings of intimacy.

Valentines Menu

If you fancy the full menu with all of the linked #health information to the foods used just click here: -

Heart Health Facts

For this blog I just wanted to focus on some of the statistics - some of these were quite alarming, even to me and I spend a lot of time looking at health statistics!

UK Statistics

Every 8 minutes someone in the UK dies from coronary heart disease CHD (Coronary Heart Disease) kills twice as many women each year as Breast Cancer CHD is the leading cause of death worldwide In the UK, one in seven men and one in twelve women die from coronary heart disease

The annual healthcare cost of heart and circulatory disease is £9billion

That’s just some of the shocking statistics I found whilst researching for this month. I knew from the research on my book that some children are displaying the health characteristics of CVD whish in itself is shocking and terrifying but as we have seen with the increase in Type 2 Diabetes in children (40% in recent years) children are capable of getting what’s previously been considered adult conditions.

The answer, perhaps is why?

What is it about what we do today that is so damaging to our health, particularly as surely now we are more aware of what’s good and bad for us? Well if we consider how many of the modifiable factors we ‘get wrong’ perhaps it isn’t surprising?

"The modifiable risk factors for the prevention of coronary heart disease are: - Smoking, inactivity, obesity, diet, excess alcohol, stress, high cholesterol, hypertension and type 2 diabetes”

“In fact, when it comes to diabetes – adults with Type 2 Diabetes are 2-3 times more likely to develop heart and circulatory diseases and are nearly twice as likely to die from heart disease or stroke as those without diabetes.”

Type 2 Diabetes

I still find that on the whole people have quite a terrifyingly relaxed attitude towards #Type2 #Diabetes, not really taking action until the final warning stages and sometimes even then just thinking that the medication will do the job, aside from the links with #CVD, Type 2 #Diabetes is a horrible disease and one that with #lifestyle changes can largely be avoided!

The last thing I want to highlight in this introduction though is activity and of course #inactivity!

Not moving is dangerous!

The World Health Organization believes that more than 60% of the global population is not sufficiently active.

If you are physically active you will increase your #lifespan, regardless of any adverse #inherited factors.

Physical activity, at any age, protects against a multitude of #chronic #health problems including many forms of cardiovascular disease.

Studies show that doing more than 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) of moderate physical activity every week or an hour of vigorous #physical activity every day will reduce your risk of #coronary heart disease by about 30%.

A middle-aged woman doing less than one hour of #exercise per week doubles her risk of dying from a cardiovascular event compared to a physically active woman of the same age.

Whilst we mention women let’s not forget that for females during and after the #menopause the risk of getting coronary heart disease and other circulatory conditions rises. At this time a woman’s body will produce less #oestrogen than it used to. Oestrogen helps to protect different parts of the body, including the heart and blood vessels.

What other factors?

This could possibly read as quite a depressing tale but my aim is to highlight what could potentially be a silent killer/ticking time bomb and what we can do, even with an existing CVD condition (perhaps even more importantly).

Poor sleep (an independent risk factor for CVD)

Stress (not recognised as a direct link but as an indirect one)

Poor diet – trans-fats, sugar, artificial ingredients, unhealthy gut microbiome

Anxiety & depression - there is evidence to show that depression can be a risk factor for CVD

How can I help?

I love showing people how amazing they are and how much of an impact food has on overall health.

If you have specific health concerns and want to know how nutrition can have a positive impact, contact me to find out how I have helped others and may be able to help you!

Not Your Average Weight Loss Course

This course helps you understand #obesity as a medical combination of issues, I do not simply tell you to eat less and move more! It helps you understand #emotional eating, the truth about diets and what every-day steps you can take.

Family Health, Nutrition Support Course

For more of a 1:1 service I do have a modular family health online course. There's more information on this below.

Once you join a course you then get access to a closed Facebook group and a monthly webinar with me.

I look forward to supporting you & hope to see you soon.

Louise Mercieca

Nutritional Therapist

Personal Trainer

Award-winning Author

Food writer

Presenter on Early Years TV Food

Keynote speaker

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