February is American Heart Month

Photo Credit: Sacha Smith | The Southern Ute Drum

Many of us celebrated love on Valentine’s Day this week, and to keep the love strong, here are some tips to keep your ticker healthy.

  • Keep your heart busy. Being active and raising your heart rate as part of your daily routine helps to keep your heart strong. Just like any other muscle, the more you use it the stronger it gets.
  • Taste a rainbow. Eat a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables of all colors. Fruits and vegetables are full of heart healthy fiber. When choosing vegetables, fresh or frozen are best. If you have canned vegetables, rinsing them in cold water can help cut back on the salt. Once vegetables or fruits are processed and canned, they lose some of their nutritional value.
  • Steer clear of processed and prepared foods. This includes frozen dinners, canned soups, and baked goods. These tend to have a large amount of salt (sodium), transfats (hydrogenated oils), and refined sugars. Try to avoid ingredients you can’t pronounce.
  • Be wise about salt. A high salt diet can increase blood pressure and cause you to retain water. The recommended amount of salt is less than 1 teaspoonful per day, or 2,300 mg. Most Americans get much more than this, even without adding salt to food. Packaged foods and restaurant meals tend to have more salt than you would add to a home-cooked meal. Don’t hesitate to ask the chef to “hold the salt” when dining out.



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