February is Heart Health Month
Our heart is the most important organs in our body. We literally cannot live without our heart. It is about the size of your fist. The average heart beats approximately 60-100 beats per minute. That is over 100,000 times a day. It will vary from person to person depending on their age, health, weight and size. Everyone is different. Many things affect our heart beat, such as whether we are excited, nervous, anxious, aroused or relaxed. Our hormones affect our heartbeat as well. When we are in a “fight or flight” mode, our heart rate increases. When we are at rest, our heart rate decreases.
The connection between a healthy heart and diet and lifestyle, is huge. Perhaps we are addicted to high fat foods, sugary treats, coffee, cigarettes or alcohol. Reflecting on how your body feels when you consume these is important. Notice how it affects your body. Do you experience any palpitations, fatigue, muscle tension or worry? Are you agitated? Do you experience irregular heartbeat or do you find yourself feeling anxious? These are signs that maybe you should back off and find better alternatives. Even a food intolerance can cause an irregular heartbeat, so can an imbalance in your endocrine system. A food allergy can cause the heart to speed up also. Even low blood sugar can make us feel dizzy, and weak and slow our heart down. There are so many different things that affect our heart so we must learn to take care of it.
Here are some tips to keep your heart “heathy”:
- Exercise! Keep your body moving! Walking is one of the best forms of exercise. Walk 1/2 hour – 1 hour at least 3 x per week.
- Eat healthy! Include lots of fresh whole fruits and vegetables. Eating the "whole" apple vs drinking apple juice is important. The fibre in most vegetables is one of the best foods for a healthy heart, not to mention all the antioxidants available in fresh fruit and vegetables.
- Eat an array of beans, lentils and oats which are rich in beta sterols as well as fiber rich foods nuts and seeds. Brazil nuts are rich in selenium, almonds are rich in magnesium and are great healthy choices.
- Choose grass-fed meat, free of antibiotics and organic whenever possible. Choose more "white" meat like chicken, turkey, and fish, as red meats such as beef, lamb, and porkchops are actually very acidic which promotes inflammation. Choose a more alkaline diet.
- Include lots of healthy fats like coconut oil, olive oil and flax seed oil. Buying small bottles of oil in dark amber bottles is important as it goes rancid quickly and light destroys most oils. Purchasing less "is more" in this case and be sure to keep flax seed oil refrigerated at all times. Or freeze it in smaller bottles if you buy a large bottle. Never, ever consume rancid oils! They are toxic to your body!
- Include Omega 3 in your diet two to three times a week if possible. Fresh salmon or ground flax-seed are good choices. Or you could supplement with a fish oil that includes sardines, anchovies and mackerel or a flax oil or algal oil. There is even Seal Oil available now for those who are allergic to fish. Caution: Check with your doctor if you are on blood thinners before taking an Omega 3 supplement.
- Drink alcohol in moderation.
- Relax. Take a few minutes each day for just you. Read a good book. Spend time with a friend. Unwind. Stress doesn’t do you any good. Let go of things that no longer serve you. Meditate.
- Love. Learn to love yourself first, then you can learn to love others. After all February is not only "heart" month, it's also Valentine's month (the month for "love")
You can check out the shopping link here for some heart health supplements that are available at my store: Heart & Cardiovascular – Emily's Holistic Health Store (emilysholistichealthstore.com)
Becoming a Certified Holistic Nutritional Consultant was one of my goals in life in order to help people achieve better health. My motto has always been: People don't care how much you know, until they know how much you care! And I care!
If you are struggling with high cholesterol, high blood pressure or other health issues, and need help with your diet and/or help choosing supplements that may be beneficial, it might be time to consider setting up a nutrition consultation with me. Services – Emily's Holistic Health Store (emilysholistichealthstore.com)