February is all about heart health. We will give you tips to keep your heart healthy! The heart is the muscle that pumps the blood through your body, so it’s basically the engine of your body. We all know it’s important to keep your heart healthy and pay attention to your overall health, but sometimes we just need a few simple reminders.
Here are our top ten tips to keep your heart healthy and pumping!
- Quit smoking and stay away from 2nd hand smoke. Work with your doctor for help, join a support group, be aware of your triggers and surroundings to avoid 2nd hand smoke.
- Get active and stay active. Increase your activity even by small amounts. Park further away in the parking lot, walk the mall, do laps around the house on commercial breaks.
- Manage your weight. Ask your doctor if you have a goal weight to reach or a range to stay within for optimal health.
- Increase your fiber intake. Go for whole grains whenever possible. Eat beans a few times a week. Have several servings of fruit every day. Add fruit to your high fiber cereal. Stir a tablespoon of ground flaxseed into your smoothie, soup, casserole, etc. Have several servings of vegetables every day. Add veggies to pasta sauces and as snacks.
- Cut down on saturated fat. Use olive or avocado oils when you’re cooking. Avoid fried foods and processed or frozen meals.
- Get your 5 servings a day of fruits and veggies. Add fruits and veggies to your existing meals and as snacks.
- Reduce salt intake. Remove the salt shaker from the table. Just having our of sights with help create the new habit of not adding extra salt to your foods.
- Eat fish 2 times per week with good omega 3s. Fish and other seafood (especially cold-water fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, herring, and sardines), Nuts and seeds (such as flaxseed, chia seeds, and walnuts), plant oils (such as flaxseed oil, soybean oil, and canola oil), Fortified foods (such as certain brands of eggs, yogurt, juices, milk, soy beverages).
- Reduce alcohol intake. Try flavored waters, sparkling ciders, and fresh fruit or citrus garnishes to beverages. Winter months lend themselves to adding herbal teas to your beverage list. Add honey or lemon to sweeten teas and boost flavor.
- Read food labels to know what you are really eating! Labels give us great insight into hidden additives in foods we eat every day.