Romance May Be In The Air Each February, But There’s No Better Time To Think About Your Cardiovascular Health

Whether you celebrate Valentine’s Day, Galentine’s Day—or neither—February is Heart Health Month and a good time to think about how you’re treating your heart. Your physical heart health, that is. 

While heart disease is the leading cause of death for U.S. men and women, it’s also among the most preventable. 

Ensuring Heart Health

According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, there are several key ways to ensure heart-healthy living, including getting adequate amounts of both exercise and sleep, not smoking, and managing stress. But two of the most important components for heart health are eating right and maintaining a healthy weight. 

So, what are heart healthy foods? Maybe you’ve heard of the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension Eating Plan, which is better known as the Dash Diet. With the Dash Diet, your focus is on eating vegetables, fruit, and whole grains as part of a 2,000-calorie per day plan, while limiting your intake of fatty foods, sugars, and sodium/salt. This regimen aims to lower (or at least control) high blood pressure, which can in turn help you avoid serious complications such as chronic kidney disease, heart attack, heart failure, stroke, and possibly vascular dementia.

Here’s what makes Dash (and other plans like it) so good for you:

Making Healthy Choices Stick

Remember, it’s vitally important to make healthy eating decisions every day (as opposed to following a certain diet for a limited time). If you really want to succeed in transforming your daily routine, try making one healthy change per week, building new habits gradually so that you’ll be able to maintain them. 

Oh, and if you happen to have a craving for chocolate around Valentine’s Day, do yourself a favor and ditch the box of sugar-laden sweets and have a little dark chocolate instead. As long as it’s low in sugar and saturated fat, dark chocolate is a heart-healthy choice because it’s full of antioxidants—which can reduce blood pressure and lower your risk of heart disease

Really want to eat healthier but need some help? In the Miami area, look to The Pickled Beet for delicious, healthy meals custom-prepared with the freshest ingredients. We work with individuals, couples, and families to find meals that are tasty, nutritious, and best fuel the body no matter what dietary requirements might be part of the equation. Contact us for a free consultation.

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