It’s February, and you know what that means? Valentines day is here! It’s that time of year where people pour their heart out for their special someone. However, not everyone’s so lucky to find their “forever” and some of us experience heartaches. Not to worry though, we’ll help you prevent getting heartaches but not that kind of heartache. We’re talking about heart disease. In this article, we’ll be giving tips on how to keep your heart healthy and strong, so you won’t be heartbroken, medically speaking.

Heart disease is a major non-communicable disease that cause disability and premature death worldwide. In the Philippines, heart disease is the leading cause of death. And according to World Health Organization, the most common underlying cause is atherosclerosis, meaning fat and other minerals builds up inside your artery making it hard for your blood to pass through. Formation of plaques develops over many years; thus, you can definitely reduce your risk of developing heart diseases if you improve your lifestyle.

1.      Stop Smoking and Limit Alcohol

There is a large body of evidence that suggest quitting from smoking causes beneficial effect on heart disease mortality. It is said that some chemicals in cigarette cause the cells that line blood vessels to become inflamed and swollen thus narrowing the passage for blood.

Level of alcohol consumption has a different effect in the body. People who drink heavily have a high risk for stroke, cancer, and heart diseases and without doubt increase your mortality in all types of diseases. However, several meta-analysis studies show that there is cardio-protective effect of light to moderate alcohol consumption. It is recommended that women limit consumption to no more than 1 drink per day, while men are allowed no more than 2 drinks per day. The amount of per drink depends on the type of alcohol beverage. Though it must be made clear that non-drinkers are not suggested to start drinking alcohol.


Below is a visual representation of a standard drink from National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. What is a Standard Drink? Retrieved from


2.      Exercise, exercise, exercise

Study shows that at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity exercise can help in reducing blood pressure, improve mental health, contributes to weight loss, and enhance blood sugar and lipid profile. Exercise may not need to be strenuous and prolonged. It includes leisure brisk walking and gardening. Another good news is that, regular exercise taken up at middle-age or older age can still reduce your risk for heart diseases.


3.      Aim for healthy weight

Overweight and obesity is an emerging problem in the Philippines, particularly in Metro Manila. Overweight and obesity is strongly related not only to heart disease but to other diseases as well such as type 2 diabetes, dyslipidemia, depression, and cancer. The type and amount of the foods you eat constitutes your heart-healthy diet. Choose nutrient-rich whole foods such as raw vegetables and fruits to give you enough vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Other fiber-rich foods such as cereals with more than 5g of fiber per serving, legumes, and nuts should also be included. Incorporation of fishes high in omega-3 such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel will be beneficial. You must also limit your intake on high sugar and high fat foods to ensure that only nutrient-dense foods constitute you recommended energy intake.

Exercise coupled with good nutrition are the best way to have a healthy weight and fight heart disease. And Pickle Ph is always here to help you achieve your heart goals, healthwise. With Pickle’s diet plan and menu, you may now skip worrying about what and how much food you should eat to maintain good health and wellness. How about that for avoiding heartaches?