According to the Bahamas 2019 STEPS Survey, 1 in 12 Bahamians age 40 to 69 years is at high risk for having a stroke or heart attack within the next 10 years. The month of February is Heart Health Awareness Month. When God created man on the sixth day of the week, the heart was one of the organs he formed. It is about the size of your fist that pumps blood through your body.

A healthy heart supplies your body with the right amount of blood at the rate needed to work well. If disease or injury weakens your heart, your body’s organs will not receive enough blood to work properly.

Following are some ways to love your heart:

An annual doctor’s visit will ensure that you are on track for optimum heart health.

A blood test that measures cholesterol is recommended every five years after the age of 20. Your cholesterol should be under 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL). If you are above this number, speak to your physician about medication to lower cholesterol, in addition to a lifestyle change. Also, a plant-based diet will drastically reduce cholesterol levels.

Healthy blood pressure is below 120/80. High blood pressure causes the cardiovascular system to overwork. High blood pressure is referred to as the ‘silent killer’ because it has no symptoms. It is important to get regular blood pressure checks. You can also purchase a blood pressure cuff for home use. Physical movement and a healthy diet are also very important. If you need blood pressure medication, please take it exactly as directed. Once your numbers drop, you can discuss with your physician coming off medication.

Our Creator gave us instructions on healthy eating in Genesis 1:29: “And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat."

A varied, nutritious diet relatively low in fat and salt is the key to keeping your heart pumping. Increase the servings of fruits and vegetables you eat each day. Do not overeat. Eat three meals a day, or even two.

It is recommended to exercise at least 30 minutes most days of the week to help reduce the likelihood of developing chronic diseases, including those affecting the heart.

Currently, in The Bahamas, 72% of Bahamians are overweight. The average Body Mass Index (BMI) is 30 (obese) (STEPS 2019 Survey). Carrying excess weight adds to the work your heart must do to run your body. It also increases the likelihood of high blood pressure and diabetes that harms your heart.

Do not smoke and drink alcoholic beverages. The negative effects of smoking and drinking are not limited to your lungs and liver; these also increase your chances of developing heart disease.

The signs of a heart attack often begin slowly, with a dull ache or heaviness in your chest, although many women do not experience any chest pain. Other signs might include back, shoulder, neck, or jaw pain, indigestion, trouble sleeping, anxiety, shortness of breath, dizziness, and feeling very tired for no apparent reason. If you or a loved one are having these types of symptoms, check with your physician right away.

Let us all endeavor to take good care of our physical and spiritual hearts. Psalm 51:10 says, “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.”

If you are ready to make some lifestyle changes to preserve your heart, kindly reach out to the Health Ministries Department at email


Article by Nathelyn Lacroix, Health Ministries Director, South Bahamas Conference, Seventh-day Adventists.

This article was extracted from the Logos for February 20, 2021.