As an ode to this season of hearts, here are some basic tips to make every day a happy and healthy hearts day.
Choose to live healthy. Stay away from cigarette smoking and alcohol intake, as one cardiologist recommends. “It is easier to be unhealthy, and it is such an effort to live a healthy lifestyle,” said Dr Gino Quizon.
Go nuts about nuts. The American Heart Association recommends including mixed nuts in your diet, to lessen chances of heart disease. Almonds, pecans, walnuts and other tree nuts contain the protein, fiber and heart-healthy fats.
Say NO to saturated fats. Too much beef, chicken with skin, pork, butter and cheese increases risk of heart disease. Try leaner meat and take low-fat dairy products instead. “The 2016 European Guidelines on Cardiovascular Disease Prevention recommends a low saturated fat diet with focus on wholegrain products, fish, fruits and vegetables.”
Less salt, less “heartache”. The daily adult requirement for salt is 1 teaspoon or six grams per day. Anything over that is not good, as it raises blood pressure which in turn increases chances of unhealthy hearts and heart disease.
Make 5 A Day fruits and vegetables a habit. For more fiber, vitamins and minerals, all heart-healthy, take 5 (or even more) portions of fruits and vegetables. Start with fruit and cereal at breakfast or have tomatoes with scrambled eggs. Have a salad of lettuce, cucumber and carrots before your main dish at lunch. In between meals, dip sticks of cucumber or carrot in salsa or low-fat cheese spread.
Get moving. Try activities that burn calories, like dancing which burns 200 calories per hour, and gets your heart pumping. Aerobic exercise that keeps you active reduces heart problems, and boosts your mood as well. 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week is recommended.
Being aware of the condition of your heart and your body is a good way to stay healthy and stay away from disease. The tips may not be easy, but once you get started, you will feel the difference inside and out. Staying well is the best way to stay happy.