Valentine’s Day isn’t the only reason to celebrate in February. This month also includes National Wear Red Day and American Heart Month making it a perfect time to focus on heart health.
Move with heart
To improve heart health, The Heart Truth® program suggests that we aim for at least 150 minutes each week of physical activity that gets your heart pumping. Their campaign encourages us to pledge to be more physically active and post on Twitter or Instagram with #MoveWithHeart. Post your own pledge, or look for inspiration by searching #MoveWithHeart.
Know your numbers
Ask your doctor to check your blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood glucose. Work with your doctor to improve any numbers that are not normal.
Eating a diet that includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and limits saturated fat and sodium can help support heart health. Get started by including a few key foods in your diet:
• Tomatoes – Looking to go red naturally? Tomatoes are rich in potassium and antioxidant lycopene, which has been noted for its potential benefit on blood pressure. Enjoy tomatoes in a salad, sandwich, or omelet. Be sure to ask where and how your tomatoes are grown – tomatoes that are locally grown by farmers earning a fair wage are a win, win.
• Fish – Many fish offer a source of lean, versatile protein along with heart friendly omega-3 fats. Be sure to use www.seafoodwatch.org to choose fish that is also sustainable.
• Legumes – Beans, peas, and lentils have around 4-8 grams of protein and fiber per half-cup serving. These plantbased protein sources also support sustainable agriculture. Some experts say that growing legumes can help reduce water and fertilizer demand while helping to keep soil healthy.
2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22419532 3. https://phys.org/news/2018-05-legumes-sustainable-farming-future.html