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February is Heart Healthy Month

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S. and the world. It is not just a men’s problem, more women will die from heart disease than from all cancers combined, and alarmingly, more younger children are showing markers of heart disease. The good news is the disease is highly preventable. What should be done (or not done), for good self-health care?

  1. Do not smoke or use tobacco, it is a significant risk factor which is further increased if a woman takes birth control pills because of the risk of blood clots.
  2. Maintain a healthy weight and be physically active for 30 minutes a day at a moderate level, e.g. taking a brisk walk. Do what you love so you look forward to it and you keep the habit. It may be that you take a walk and pray or listen to a favorite podcast.
  3. Get plenty of sleep and manage stress. The time asleep before midnight is worth double. People who are tired or stressed tend to eat more and gain weight. More heart attacks occur on Monday morning for those who are stressed about their job. Pause, deep breathe, stretch, laugh, engage in positive self-talk to lower stress.
  4. Eighty percent of chronic disease can be avoided with a healthy diet* with more whole plant foods with the recommended minimum of 9-13 cups of fruits and vegetables of all colors every day.
    • Heart healthy foods include: Leafy greens, avocados, berries (dark red and purple), beans, tomatoes, walnuts, almonds, and seeds, and yes, dark chocolate is good for the heart (if it is over 60% cocoa and made with cocoa butter).
    • Avoid deep fried foods, processed foods with hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils, deli meats, sugary cereal, drinks or diet drinks, or junky/fast foods that are void of inherent nutrition such as burgers or meat lovers pizza.

*Considering most Americans average 1-3 servings of fruits and vegetables a day, most look to supplement their diet. Adding a third party certified strategic blend of whole food fruit, vegetable and berry powders in a capsule (without the sugar) helps bridge the gap between how we need to eat, and how we do. A balance of plant Omegas (with EPA and DHA) is also good for heart health. A vegan protein drink mix which avoids the saturated fat (whey) found in most protein drinks that is rich in whole plants, sprouts, and ancient grains is also a wise choice in meeting nutritional needs.  Our body is made for food, and vitamins are not a substitute. For more information on an easy way to get more plants in your daily diet, you can request it here.

 

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! 1 John 3:1

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