Not very long now and Hari Raya will be upon us. Some of us will be packing the family into the car and returning to the hometown, some of us will be creating feasts for family and friends, and some of us may be Raya open-house hopping. Be it as it may, we shall be doing a LOT of eating.
Have you ever considered whether your heart is ready for all the food you plan to pile into your body? You may think: “What does my heart have to do with eating? Shouldn’t it be the stomach and the digestive system that I should be worried about?”
Yes, your stomach is at risk of indigestion and even food poisoning, and you will need a strong probiotic to protect it, but your heart is actually under equal pressure during the festive season. This is because your heart is responsible for pumping blood to all parts of your body, and this blood brings with it oxygen and all the nutrients your body needs, providing energy to your body to carry out whatever it is you are doing, no matter what that may be.
Your digestive demands, in particular, require a lot of energy. When you eat, the organs involved with the digestive process have to work overtime to breakdown the food you consume. This means that when you indulge in your favourite Raya food, your heart will be working overtime. It will certainly not be on holiday too!
So What Should I Do?
We know eating is a pleasurable experience and we want to indulge in it during the festive season. Who doesn’t salivate at the thought of rendang, lemang and, Raya cakes and cookies? But can you get your heart prepared for it? In a word, yes. Here are some strategies:
1. Prepare: When you are going on holiday, you make preparations. By the same token exercise prepares your body for the stresses of over-eating. Believe it or not, exercise improves blood circulation and gives your heart a workout as well. Reasonably fit people fare much better when they overeat.
2. Practice Moderation: You don’t have to give up all your favourite foods and become a vegetarian in the lead up to Raya. Instead, practise moderation in the amount of food and types of food you eat. Choose more vegetables, fruits and whole grains because they help reduce your cholesterol levels, which in turn help you protect your heart. They also prevent unhealthy spikes in your blood sugar levels.
3. Listen to your heart: Nobody can deny music calms you down and makes you feel good. But did you know music could help you lower your blood pressure? A little mood music for your potentially-hellish travel home this Raya perhaps? But before you start blasting your stereo, you should know that not all music will do. According to a study in the journal Heart, the song’s tempo is what matters to the heart. It was observed that faster music, regardless of genre,caused an increase in blood pressure and heart rate, while slower tempo music had a calming effect. So think classical music, avoid electronic music to keep your blood pressure down.
4. Supplementation: What if you were told that you could consume a drink that could keep your heart healthy and reduce your future risk of heart disease?
ReduSterol is a heart-healthy drink containing plant-derived sterols that have a proven track record of effectively lowering blood cholesterol levels without the use of drugs. With only one to two sachets of ReduSterol daily you are able to reduce your low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol by up to 10 percent. In addition, it is free from preservatives and artificial colouring, while being dairy-free and suitable for diabetics and vegetarians.
With Raya just round the corner do your heart a favour and give ReduSterol a try today. Your heart will thank you for it. Have a safe and heart-healthy Hari Raya!
World Heart Federation. Cardiovascular disease risk factors. http://www.world-heart-federation.org/cardiovascular-health/cardiovascular-disease-risk-factors/
American Heart Association. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/