By Adrienne Ford
The heart. This magnificent organ keeps us alive by pumping blood through our organs, muscles and other parts of the body. If it is not pumping properly the brain and body do not get the oxygen or nutrients it needs.
It is not a secret that things like smoking, high cholesterol, high blood pressure are major risk factors. A poor diet high in sugar, processed food, dairy, meat, and/or alcohol, can also be risky. Being physically inactive, being in a high stress environment, or not sleeping enough, are definitely not going to help.
We all know that keeping fit, eating well, sleeping well, and dealing with stress in a positive way are important to our health. Some times life gets busy or stressful and we find ourself neglecting our bodies. Or, perhaps neglecting your body is just part of your program.
“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” – Jim Rohn
Do not wait until your heart and health start to force you to make healthy choices. Honor and love your self and your body enough to make conscious choices about your health and well-being.
- *Do you eat raw fruits and veggies?
- *Are you hydrating?
- *Do you keep your body and your mind active?
- *Do you stretch and breathe?
- *Are you acknowledging stressors in your life and positively working towards resolving them?
If you are not doing these things, this is a very good start.
Some delicious foods you can add to the diet to support the heart health:
Almonds. They are high in mono-saturated fats, which have been associated with reduced risk of heart disease. Don’t let the word ‘fat’ scare you off. Healthy fats are very important for our heart, brain, body, and skin. Like all things, enjoy in moderation.
Take Action: Pack some almonds into a bag, and keep with you. Great for a light snack. Add other nuts and make a healthy trail mix. Raw is best, so try to avoid the roasted in oil and salty nuts. Soaking nuts is an important part of the digestive process.
Avocado. Decrease bad cholesterol in the body. Enjoy an avocado a day. You can even eat the pit. I add the pit to smoothies. It is full of healthy oils and fiber.
- Try this: Instead of using mayo or some other unhealthy condiment, cut or mash up an avocado, put it on a sandwich or use it for a dip.
Spinach. The potassium and folate can help lower blood pressure! A serving a day can help keep heart disease away.
- Add: A handful of spinach to your smoothie, salad, sandwich, and wrap.
Watermelon. The L-citrulline, an amino acid found in watermelon, can assist with lowering the blood pressure. Amino acids help produce nitric oxide which widen the blood vessels. Watermelon is also hydrating. : )
- Slice it: Add to a smoothie, a salad, or eat on it’s own.
Tumeric. It contains curcumin and is a powerful anti-inflammatory. Curcumin helps reduce the fatty deposits in the arteries.
- Sprinkle: In a smoothie, salad, curry dish, or take in capsule form.
Spirulina. I love spirilina! It relaxes the artery walls, normalizes blood pressure, balances the livers blood fat level, and decreases bad cholesterol.
- Invest in: Powder form, add to a smoothie.
Enjoy a heart healthy salad recipe:
2 cups of Spinach, 3-5 Strawberries, 1 Avocado. 1/4 cup of Almonds, 1 tbsp of Olive oil, 1 tbsp of Balsamic Vin, a pinch of Himilayan Salt and Pepper. Toss. Serve.
This heart healthy salad is so good for the heart, brain, and body! This salad will repair the cells keeping that body feeling and looking young. Great for a summer BBQ, quick lunch salad, or healthy snack.
Take care of your heart, it is the only one you have. Smile more, stress less, sleep-in, laugh with friends, dance the night away, have breakfast in bed, cuddle up, and don’t sweat the small stuff. These are some of the most important heart healthy activities, because they make you feel good.