Every February when you think of love and Valentine’s Day, do not forget about the health of your heart because it is also when we celebrate American Heart Month. Heart disease takes more American lives than any other disease each year, but the good news is that you can take steps to keep your heart healthy. There are many ways to nourish and strengthen your heart and fight against heart disease. For those of us who have been lax on accomplishing our resolutions to get healthier, American Heart Month serves as an important reminder. Discovery Village At Sandhill is a retirement community that is dedicated to giving residents daily access to fun activities, social gatherings, and fitness programs that are all good for the heart and soul!
Warning Signs Regarding Heart Health
Heart disease does not always come with warning signs. Many times, however, our bodies try to warn us that something is wrong, but we misinterpret the message. If you have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, or angina, your body may be trying to give you a chance to get healthy before a bigger heart problem arises.
We know that smoking and excessive drinking put us at a higher risk for heart disease as well as other major health problems. It is important to quit smoking and limit alcohol consumption so your body can work at its full healthy potential. This is often easier said than done. Fortunately, doctors can help their patients through difficult adjustments.
Avoiding stress is also very important in maintaining a healthy heart. Stress can do a lot to the human body, such as lead to sleeplessness, negatively affect blood pressure, and even cause heart attacks. Here is one tip, and there are more below: Meditation and yoga can help your body release stress and feel rejuvenated, all while strengthening your heart!
Foods to Avoid in a Heart-Healthy Diet
The food we eat plays a major role in the health of our heart. Our arteries are directly affected by our food choices. Some foods cause our arteries to become full of plaque, similar to teeth. Unfortunately, we do not have “heartpaste,” nor do we brush our hearts. Instead, our food serves as the toothpaste and toothbrush for our arteries. What kinds of foods cause heart plaque? Foods that are high in saturated fats, high in cholesterol, and high in sodium can contribute to clogged arteries and other heart problems. It is best to keep the following foods to a minimum for a heart-healthy diet:
- Whole-fat dairy products
- Fatty meats
- Poultry skins
- Processed foods
The Not-so-Secret Secrets to a Healthy Heart
The truth is, we all really do know the keys to having a healthy heart and a healthy body. It’s no secret, is it? You know those two magic words that at times we don’t even want to read about much less actually do …diet and exercise. Experience tells us that when we do make the effort to eat healthy foods and be active, we reap the benefits. There is no question that we see and feel the difference in living a healthy lifestyle, and so does our heart. So all we have to do is, first, eat a healthy diet, such as our chefs cook at Sensations Dining in our carefree retirement community. Secondly, engage in activities or exercises that we love so that being heart healthy is no longer a chore or a stress but rather a daily routine, like afore-mentioned tooth-brushing. Living in the age of the Internet, anyone can find healthy recipes they love and ways to be active that are enjoyable. At the same time, being healthy could be as simple as going on daily walks and being conscious about your daily diet. Whatever works for you is what you should be doing!
Heart Healthy Super-Foods
Try to start including heart healthy foods in your diet, and stay away from processed foods as much as possible. It’s not hard to eat heart-healthy. You just have to plan for it! Here are some delicious and nutritious foods you should feed to your heart:
- Eat the rainbow
Colorful fruits and vegetables are low in calories, high in vitamins, minerals and fiber, and each color offers something nutritionally beneficial. Red tomatoes, for instance, are good for the heart and eyes because they contain high levels of lutein,
- Eat your nuts and fiber
Find ways to naturally give your body fiber through foods like nuts, whole grains, and oats. Fiber lowers cholesterol and helps with maintaining weight, both of which promote a healthy heart.
- The good fat
Fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids are great for the heart. It is best to eat this type of fat at least twice a week.
- Lean meat
Lean meat is a great source of protein and is easier on the arteries than fattier meats.
Not just in February but each day of the year is a good time to be conscious of heart health. Don’t put off enjoying the great foods and many ways to get active at Discovery Village At Sandhill, for a healthier heart.
Discovery Village at Sandhill offers a variety of senior living programs to keep seniors healthy and active. Learn about our senior living options and amenities today when you contact us at 803.836.9545