Ahead of World Heart Day, health expert Geeta Sidhu-Robb – founder of Nosh Detox – shares the lifestyle changes that can promote a happier heart.
There’s literally nothing more important than maintaining a healthy, happier heart And yet, it’s something we only pay attention to when it goes wrong. There are a myriad of heart conditions which include angina, heart failure, heart disease and heart attacks. Every single one of which carry grave consequences. But there are some little changes we can make to our everyday lifestyle in order to maintain optimum heart health. Below I list out my top tips for ‘protecting your heart in a day’, from the way we brush our teeth to the quality of our sleep at night.
More often than not, early risers who start the day with a balanced meal including protein and healthy fats have healthier, happier heart hearts than those that stay up late at night and get up late in the morning. Not least because late risers are more likely to turn to a sugary, carb-heavy breakfast. Studies suggest that those who eat earlier in the morning not only lower the risk of developing diabetes and heart disease, but they also boost their metabolic rate.
People often fail to link healthy dental hygiene with a healthy, happier heart, but the two are in fact intertwined. Brushing your teeth thoroughly to remove plaque could help to prevent heart attacks and strokes by reducing inflammation in the body. In addition several studies have shown that people with diseased gums are also more likely to suffer from heart disease. A key to maintaining good dental hygiene is to regularly floss after brushing for two minutes – this is an effective way to remove any plaque which our brushes fail to reach and keeps your gums super healthy.
The best time to eat lunch is between 12.30 and 1pm, and the best foods for your heart include fish high in omega-3s such as salmon, tuna, mackerel and trout. If you are prone to snacking, healthy nuts such as almonds and walnuts or berries will satisfy your hunger and help to maintain heart health. Lunches with a high volume of fibre are also good. If you are looking for a treat at the desk, a few squares of dark chocolate with 60-70% cocoa is also said to lower blood pressure. It is vitally important however, not to skip lunch – no matter how busy you are at work. Consistency of feeding is a cornerstone of heart health.
7pm is the perfect time to eat dinner. We are more than ready to eat again following lunch at 12.30, and it gives us enough time to digest our food properly before going to bed. I know more than anybody how easy it is to slip into late dinners when trying to juggle looking after the house, kids and a taxing full-time job, but I always make a conscious effort to have dinner on the table for 7. Research has suggested that eating dinner later than 7pm can contribute to a rise in overnight blood pressure, thus having a negative effect on our heart condition.
Once the kids are in bed, and you’ve finished watching the TV to wind down, meditation before bed is a great lifestyle addition. Studies suggest that meditation can play a role in reducing the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and stress. A study conducted by the American Heart Association showed that Transcendental Meditation can be considered amongst treatments for heart problems by lowering blood pressure and removing harmful hormones. Besides, meditation is great for your wellbeing beyond heart health and gives you great piece of mind. Once you have prepared yourself for bed, 20-30 minutes of meditation is the perfect technique to fully wind down for a good sleep. If you don’t like meditating at night, try it first thing in the morning.
I have lost count of the number of clients who tell me tales of falling asleep on the sofa watching tv. The daily recommended amount of sleep is between 7-9 hours, but this doesn’t include sleeping in the lounge in front of the TV which can actually be extremely detrimental. A study of 160,000 people over 30 years found that those who find it hard getting to sleep face an increased risk of heart disease, strokes and heart attacks. This is where the meditation comes into play, as we should stop connecting with screens at least half an hour before our head hits the pillow. Meditation is the perfect technique to escape technology and relax in time for a good night’s sleep.
About Ms Sidhu-Robb & Nosh Detox
Ms Geeta Sidhu-Robb, a qualified health coach, Raw Chef, Nutritionist, food technician and Founder of Nosh Detox – the UK’s first home detox delivery service, providing food and juice programmes to address a multitude of health and well-being issues, from treating skin problems and weight issues, to the digestive system and coping with stress and the body’s natural defences to fight infections. Clients include Gwyneth Paltrow and Madonna.
The multi-award winning Nosh Detox products are freshly made and nutritionally supported by experts and delivered across Europe & UK. Nosh Detox develops food and juice programmes that address a multitude of health and well-being issues, from treating problem skin, to weight issues, digestive problems to coping with stress and building the body’s natural defences to fight infections.
Read more about healthy hearts here.