Heart disease and stroke are the world’s leading causes of death, claiming 17.5 million lives each year. According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation South Africa (HSFSA), living a healthy lifestyle that includes making good nutritional choices – can prevent up to 80% of heart disease and the chance of stroke. In taking part in the World Heart Day, Potatoes South Africa together with the Heart and Stroke Foundation South Africa embarks on creating awareness through providing an update of the most current healthcare regimes to prevent and manage cardiovascular disease.
World Heart Day is a day which is celebrated every year, inspiring people across the world to take action by way of raising awareness about cardiovascular disease, which includes heart disease and stroke. Today, Potatoes South Africa joins the world in taking part in the world’s biggest intervention against cardiovascular disease (CVD) through the #LoveYourHeart breakfast event at Gemelli Restaurant, in Bryanston.
“Heart health is a far-reaching issue, heart problems are a leading cause of death on a global scale. As Potatoes South Africa, we are active custodians of health and wellness. We aim to play a pivotal role in influencing consumer decisions in terms of food choices,” says Immaculate Zinde, Marketing Manager at Potatoes South Africa. “Potatoes South Africa aligns to key health calendar activities that include Heart Awareness Month and World Heart Awareness Day.
Five Facts about Heart Health
- 225 South Africans are killed by heart diseases every day
- 45% of adults in South Africa have high blood pressure
- 10 People suffer a stroke in South Africa every hours
- The human heart will beat about 3 billion times from birth to the age of 90 years
- In South Africa, 14% of people aged between 30 and 70 die due to CVD
Five ways Potatoes improve Heart Health
1. The potato’s fibre, potassium, vitamin C, and vitamin B6 content, coupled with its lack of cholesterol, all support heart health.
2. Potatoes contain more potassium than any other vegetables. Potassium plays a crucial role in normal heartbeat rhythm, smooth muscle contraction, blood pressure control and nervous system and heart function.
3. Potatoes contain significant amounts of fibre. Fibre helps lower the total amount of cholesterol in the blood, thereby decreasing the risk of heart disease.
4. Some evidence suggests that potatoes might help reduce inflammation and constipation. Although it is not proven that inflammation causes cardiovascular disease, inflammation is common for heart disease and stroke patients and is thought to be a sign or atherogenic response.
5. Potatoes contain several minerals and plant compounds that may help lower blood pressure. Low blood pressure that causes an inadequate flow of blood to the body’s organs can cause strokes, heart attacks, and kidney failure.
“The shocking statistics that can be decreased if we are mindful of our health are a testament that something needs to be done. We work towards the prevention of heart disease on the one hand and suggesting health and nutritious food options on the other, further driving conversation around the role potatoes play in heart health.” – says, Dr Bianca van der Westhuizen, Nutrition Science Manager at the Heart and Stroke Foundation South Africa. “Further to this, we have started a drive through which we are aiming to achieve a 25% Rheumatic Heart Disease reduction in those under the age of 25 years by 2025”.