February is Healthy Heart Month. These are things we can do to show our heart some love and keep it pumping at its best:
1. Eat less processed carbohydrates. Too much carbohydrate, especially refined carbs can cause an imbalance in our digestive tract and consequently our health. The bulk of our produce choices should be: leafy greens, cruciferous veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and Brussels sprouts) asparagus, celery, cucumber, zucchini, chives, leeks, etc. They are very low in carbs but very high in nutrients. Use fruit as a treat during the day, it is nutritious but sweeter, so should be a smaller part of our total produce choice.
2. Eat healthy fats such as olive oil, coconut oil, MCT oil, avocado oil, grass fed butter and ghee. These provide nutrients and a concentrated energy source that complements our diet, keeps our digestive tract healthy, and our joints lubricated. Avoid hydrogenated fats completely.
3. Choose healthy protein options like grass-fed meat, pastured chicken, cage-free or Omega 3 eggs and wild-caught fish. Prepare these with healthy fats and flavorful herbs to keep us on target and eating the best nutritional sources.
4. Exercise regularly to promote a healthy heart. Making time for exercise is key not only to our heart health, but bone and brain health, as well. Exercise is a great stress-reliever, so it’s really a double bonus. Make time to be active 3-5 days a week.
5. CoQ10 is essential for our brain health, and anyone taking a statin MUST supplement with a high quality CoQ10. Vitamin D is often very low in many people, especially during the winter. Have your physician routinely check Vitamin D with your annual blood work.
Cardiovascular health is key in staying healthy: not only our heart, but our brain and our circulatory system, as well. Strive to pump up your heart-healthy strategies this month… and the months to come.