The heart is one of the most, if not the most, important organs in the body. It keeps our blood flowing, ensures oxygen and nutrients are supplied to our bodily tissues, and removes carbon dioxide and other nasties. It works so hard all day long and yet we often take this for granted.
In 2012, world leaders committed to reduce global mortality caused by non-communicable diseases by 25% by 2025. Cardiovascular disease, which includes heart disease and strokes, is the number one global killer accounting for 17.5 million deaths every year*. One of the most worrying trends we are seeing that increases the risk of cardiovascular disease is childhood obesity; worldwide, a staggering 42 million children aged 5 years or younger are now obese. Helping the next generation develop healthy relationships with food will be crucial to the development of their healthy hearts.
One of the main contributors to heart disease is simply not having a balanced diet and eating too much of the wrong thing. Refined sugar and salt are two ingredients that slip into so many dishes and shop-bought meals, and can easily be substituted for healthier alternatives. Natural sweeteners such as fruit purées, honey and nut butters are a great way to add sweetness to recipes, while garlic and spices are perfect for adding flavour to savoury dishes. The key is to buy what's in season - it's fresh, delicious, better value for money and doesn't need anything adding to it to enhance its flavour. When food is bought out of season, it needs lots of extra things to make it taste as it should.
On Thursday 29th September, the World Heart Federation will be raising awareness of heart disease via their global campaign, World Heart Day. To celebrate this monumental day, please join us on Instagram tomorrow showing your heart some love! Post a photo of your hands making a heart shape over something you love :)
Tag us @wildchildkitchen with the tag #iheartmyheart
See you there!
*World Heart Federation