February is Heart Health Month, and in support of that, a short reminder of three things you likely already know you should be doing to keep your heart healthy.
In this week’s blog post, we ask Jonah Lusis, ND what are the best things we can do for heart health. Check out our Wellness Wednesday video for his number one recommendation, and read on for the other two!
Eat a vegetable-based diet
A vegetable based diet is great for your heart because helps to reduce inflammation which is the main danger when it comes to heart attack and stroke.
Also, it can help you lose weight (if you need to), which is absolutely key for taking strain off your heart. Although exercise helps with weight loss, there is an expression in medicine that goes “Weight is lost in the kitchen” – it is very hard to exercise away extra calories.
What I mean by a vegetable based diet, is to ensure that at least half the food you eat at each meal is fruit or vegetable (excluding potatoes). Sticking to this simple model consistently is enough to help most people reduce their weight to within a few pounds of an ideal wight for them, and will promote heart health.
Exercise your heart
While both resistance (e.g., weight training) and aerobic (e.g., walking, swimming, cross-country skiing) exercise are important aspects of health, because it’s Heart Health Month, we’ll devote our attention to aerobic exercise, which is the type of exercise that strengthens your heart.
You are “exercising” your heart when you are causing it to work at between 60-90% of its maximum capacity.
The easiest way to assess this is to pay attention to the way you’re breathing. You should be exercising hard enough that you need to breathe using your mouth to feel comfortable. If you can breathe comfortably using only your nose, exercise harder. Mouth-breathing correlates to approximately 60% of maximal heart rate.
Be sure to check the label when choosing a fish oil supplement. You want to choose a fish oil with a higher EPA than DHA content, that has been checked for purity by a third party and that is in “triglyceride” form.
Happy Heart Health Month from all of us at TCNM!
Posted: 2015 February 19