I already mentioned that February is American Heart Health Month. I am so glad that we can use this month to remind us that heart disease continues to be the leading cause of death in the United States! According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , someone has a heart attack every 25 seconds in America, and someone will die from a heart attack every minute! Pretty frightening statistics, since many risk factors for heart disease can be significantly reduced with modest lifestyle changes.
Although some risk factors—such as age and family history—can’t be controlled, most risk factors can! Making healthy food choices, being physically active, losing weight if overweight, and supplementing your diet with key nutrients that promote heart health are strategies you can use to improve and protect the health of the most important organ in your body—your heart.
Here is where I would start - Improve your food choices!
-Try to eliminate fast foods, which, in general, deliver unhealthy amounts of saturated and trans fats, along with excessive sugar and calories.
-Eat more fiber-rich whole grains and legumes.
-Include more fresh fruits and vegetables.
-Don't forget to have a couple of servings per week of omega-3-rich fish such as Alaskan salmon.
-Limit your intake of sweets.
-Watch for higher sodium content of many processed foods and foods that you will eat in restaurants.
Of course, I also think that being more active is a huge part of having a healthy heart! Physical activity not only helps lower blood pressure and cholesterol, it helps control your weight, reduces stress and anxiety, and improves blood circulation. Don't get intimidated by exercise either. Start out slow with walking or doing exercises during commercials. Then, set goals for yourself that will push you to work harder and get in better shape.
If you’re among the two-thirds of Americans who are overweight, then there are even more benefits to improving your diet and boosting your physical activity. Not only will you be helping your heart, you will probably lose some extra pounds. Who doesn't love that?
I also think that supplements can play a role in helping you have a healthier heart. I like Shaklee OmegaGuard as a great place to start. It provides a full spectrum of seven naturally occurring omega-3 fatty acids found in fish, including concentrated levels of DHA and EPA, the most beneficial omega-3s. OmegaGuard is not only taken for a healthy heart and cardiovascular system, but also for healthy brain, vision, and joint function.
For additional heart-health support, check out Cholesterol Reduction Complex and CoQHeart. Cholesterol Reduction Complex features a blend of plant sterols and stanols that help naturally lower cholesterol levels. CoQHeart features coenzyme Q10, a key nutrient for cellular energy production, antioxidant protection, and healthy heart-muscle function.
Treat your heart right. so it can continue to power your body!