In my block 7 sports medicine class, we are learning a lot about heart disease. Our teacher introduced the topic by announcing that it is the number 1 leading cause for death of women in the nation. I was extremely troubled by this because being a woman myself, it is an unnervingly real topic that I will very likely have to deal with in some form during my life (whether that be directly having a form of heart disease myself or knowing a loved one or close friend be effected by it). The topic was extremely interesting to me and I was excited when faced with the challenge to use my own design thinking to try to think of something to help prevent this disease.
I matched up with 2 other group members and we began to throw out ideas as to what we believe could help this deadly disease. We were stuck for a while and it took us a long time to come up with some decent ideas. We came up with some ideas including an air cleanser to help second hand smokers, a pill to help regulate caffeine levels, and even an app to regulate one’s blood pressure. We went back to the drawing board to see what was one main cause to heart disease that we could center our project around. Not long after, we decided we would focus on cholesterol.
We wanted to focus on cholesterol because we felt that it is not as well known as any other cause. When there is too much cholesterol in ones blood, it can easily build up and clog the arteries. This process is called atherosclerosis and is a serious form of heart disease. Knowing this was a problem, our group researched more into cholesterol’s correlation with heart disease. We learned that LDL is the main source of artery-clogging plaque where as HDL is good and works to clear cholesterol from the blood.
After learning this, it was clear that we wanted to create something that would help minimize LDL while simultaneously working to increase HDL. We also wanted to make our invention easy and exciting for the audience we were targeting: women of all ages. After thinking about what would suit this audience best, we decided to make a super healthy juice with only ingredients targeted to lower LDL and higher HDL.
Our juice had apples, bananas, blueberries, orange juice,a fiber boost, and a little bit of canola oil. Each of these ingredients is filled with fighting ingredients to help our cause. Apples and bananas are filled with fiber that do wonders to help keep the cholesterol under control. Blueberries and orange juice have antioxidants that similarly work to increase HDL and lower LDL. Canola oil is rich in coenzyme q10 which also fights LDL while helping HDL. All of these ingredients would form an extremely healthy drink to help prevent heart disease.
Not only did we want to think of a new idea to help prevent heart disease, but we also wanted to put it in action to see if it would be useful. We made the juice and took it to school, asking girls of varying ages to try it. Below are some pictures from our experiment
Overall, we asked 30 people and 24 said they loved the drink and could picture themselves drinking it on a regular basis. Only 6 did not like the drink or say they did not want to drink it regularly. We were very happy with these results to see that the majority of the randomly selected candidates thought this was a great idea and liked the end product! We learned so much through this project and hopefully this juice will become much more popular and be used by women nationally!