February: Heart Health Month

February is Heart Health Month

Disease is a slow process.  We don't wake up one day and have full blown heart disease.  It's been creeping up on us.  Sticky stuff has been accumulating in our vascular system over decades.  I wish we had a simple way to check in with our body.  A simple way to look inside and see what's really going on in there.  How are we doing?  The simple way is to eat enough of the right foods, get regular exercise and get regular check ups!  No one is perfect when it comes to diet and exercise, but when we know better we do better!

To work properly, the heart must always have oxygen from the blood that flows through its chambers. Oxygen-rich blood is pumped into the heart muscle through the coronary arteries.

As a person ages, fatty deposits and scar tissue form plaque that clings to the inside of the arteries making them narrower which lets less blood flow through. Without enough oxygen, the heart muscle becomes strained. Each organ of the body is only as healthy as the blood vessels supplying it. 

The "sticky stuff" is what contributes to the fatty deposits and plaque that clings to the inside of our arteries making them stiff and leading to heart disease.  The more processed our food, the less we move, the more stress we have, the more sticky stuff in our vessels.  In today's world, we all suffer from at least one of the above.  So how do we keep our heart healthy?

1.  Skip the added salt.
2.  Eat more plants and seafood.
3.  Graze instead of gorge on your food.
4.  Stress less.
5.  Move your body by exercise.
6.  Quite smoking 
7.  Drink alcohol in moderation.

You are at higher risk for heart disease if you:

  • Have high cholesterol or high blood pressure 
  • Smoke
  • Are overweight or obese 
  • Don't get enough physical activity
  • Don't eat a healthy diet 
  • Age and family history (women over 55 and men over 45)

This list can be staggering given the standard American diet that's full of unhealthy foods.  Despite all the "healthy options" and the the gyms on every corner, we remain overweight, tired, and a society rattled with disease.  I honestly feel an ethical obligation to share what I know with all my friends and family.  Your DNA does not define you!  Research has proven that we can turn genes on and off by the toxins that we're exposed to.  This is serious business!  Consider what you voluntarily expose yourself and your family to daily--from what we put in our body, on our body, and what's in our natural environment.  

Your Health Journey

The good news is that you have control of your health journey.  You have control over what you purchase at the grocery store.  You have control over what you decide to order at a restaurant.  You have control over how late you decide to stay up.  There are SO many lifestyle choices that you have CONTROL over.  Take healthy back this year!  Need some resources?  Check these out:

 


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