In a recent Harvard Health article, cardiologist Dr Dara K. Lee Lewis noted that in comparison with the general population, individuals suffering from cardiovascular disease were more than twice as likely to contract severe forms of Covid-19.
Lockdowns and working from home have also had a negative impact on household lifestyles, and surveys have revealed that many South Africans have reported a decline in their physical activity levels and a significant rise in weight gain over the past year. These are factors that further raise the risk of heart disease and strokes. This is particularly concerning given that, according to the Heart and Stroke Foundation South Africa, approximately 225 South Africans already die of heart disease every day.
Potatoes South Africa has launched a digital campaign under the tagline #WeHeartAmazambane (‘We heart potatoes’). Immaculate Zinde from Potatoes South Africa: “Unfortunately, there are still many myths and misconceptions about potatoes, whereas potatoes are actually packed with fiber and nutrients that can actively help to lower your risk of heart disease. Given the effects of the pandemic on our health and well-being, it’s particularly important to understand the numerous rewards of potatoes for your body, and how you can cook them correctly for the most benefit.”
According to Zinde, potatoes pack a punch of potassium. Potassium is a crucial ally in the struggle against high blood pressure – a major risk factor for heart disease and strokes. As if their high potassium levels weren’t enough, potatoes are also naturally cholesterol-free, have zero saturated fats and are low in sodium – three more heart-healthy points, which work strongly in their favor.
Additionally, potatoes’ high fiber content can actively help to lower your cholesterol – another significant risk factor for heart disease. This fiber works by binding with the cholesterol and safely drawing it into your body’s waste instead.
To top this all off, potatoes are also a source of vitamin C, vitamin B6 and a range of phytonutrients, which studies have shown all help to support heart health and prevent heart disease.