Health tip: healthy weight, healthy heart and blood

(Inside Aotea, October 2010)

With summer on the way, some people are thinking of losing weight to squeeze into last year’s swimming togs while others simply enjoy exercising outside in the warmth.

Whatever your reason, a healthy diet and regular exercise to help reduce weight can only be good for your heart and your blood. Here are some key benefits:

  • Increased energy and better mobility
  • Lower cholesterol levels
  • Reduction in blood pressure
  • Reduced aches and pains and improved breathing
  • More oxygen to the heart
  • Reduction in risk of angina, heart disease and stroke
  • Prevention of Type 2 diabetes
  • Improved blood sugar levels

Say no to high blood pressure

High blood pressure – also known as hypertension – is one of the leading causes of heart attacks and strokes. It can also cause dizziness, headaches, muscle cramps, chest pain and nausea.

Some sensible and everyday dietary steps will go a long way to keeping high blood pressure at bay.

Keeping your weight under control is a sensible step. Eating low fat foods, whole grains, rice, lean meat, fish and lots of fruit and vegetables is helpful.

In particular, garlic, broccoli, spinach, celery and olive oil are said to be useful foods when you want to keep your blood pressure down; and try to avoid highfat cheeses, salty food and fatty and processed meat.