First some bad news:- Heart disease continues to be the number one cause of death among both men and women. The good news? Heart disease can be prevented!
February is heart health month:- a good reminder to check in with our daily habits to see if we are doing all we can to support our hearts.
Maintain a healthy weight:- Excess body fat is detrimental to our health in numerous ways, but it is especially dangerous for our hearts. Often, overweight individuals develop abnormalities in metabolism that can affect blood vessels and the structural integrity of the heart. Simply put, excess weight strains the heart!
Move it:- be active everyday: Regular exercise builds a healthy, strong heart. Find a way to be active everyday and be consistent!
Quit Smoking:- Chemicals found in tobacco harm your blood cells, damage the function of your heart and structure of your blood vessels.
Manage Stress:- The human body was designed to deal with stress. Stress can keep us out of danger and focused. However, when stress is not managed and becomes continuous, without relief or relaxation, it can become dangerous to our health and well-being, including our heart health. You can learn to manage stress by practicing breathing exercises, meditation, and exercise. Find time to relax and unwind daily.
Reduce your Sodium Intake:- Excess sodium can cause high blood pressure, which places a strain on your blood vessels, heart and other organs. Reduce sodium by minimizing processed foods and restaurant meals. Purchase low-sodium varieties and use spices, herbs, citrus juice and vinegar to flavor your food.
Enjoy a Heart Healthy Diet:- You can protect your heart by eating a balanced diet of nutrient dense foods including:
● Oatmeal (and other whole grains)
● Salmon (and other cold water fatty fish)
● Broccoli (and other cruciferous veggies)
● Spinach (and other leafy greens)
● Nuts and seeds
● Extra virgin olive oil
● Bean and lentils
● Citrus fruit
● Sweet potatoes