February is American Heart Month


February is American Heart Month

February is American Heart Month. What better way to show your significant other how much you care than to keep your heart—the most important muscle in your body—healthy.

Some Statistics

Let’s take a look at some facts about heart disease:

  • Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States.
  • About 610,000 people die of heart disease in the United States every year—that’s 1 in every 4 deaths.
  • Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) is the most common type of heart disease, killing over 370,000 people annually.
  • Every year about 735,000 Americans has a heart attack. Of these, 525,000 are a first heart attack and 210,000 happen to people who have already had a heart attack.

A recent research study found that people who spend hours watching television greatly increase the chances of dying early from heart attacks and strokes. Compared with those watching less than two hours of TV, people who sat in front of the TV for more than four hours a day were 80% more likely to die for reasons linked to heart and artery disease.  A sedentary lifestyle leads to chronic symptoms.

Physical activity goes hand and hand with a good heart.

Good Eats

Let’s look at some foods we can eat that will take care of the heart and blood pressure.

Here are some food recommendations for heart health:

  • Celery: Helps lower blood pressure and is a great choice for a quick snack.
  • Garlic: Ideally roasted or sautéed, it is also used as a blood-pressure-lowering food.
  • Raw beets: Provide nutrients to enhance NO (nitric oxide) production, which is very helpful for improving circulation. A shredded beet salad is a great way to eat raw beets.
  • Dark chocolate (>70% cacao): Cacao is very high in antioxidants and nutrients to improve circulation and lower blood pressure. A moderate portion of dark chocolate is a great way to enjoy cacao.
  • Parsley: A great natural diuretic and helps alleviate fluid retention. You can use parsley as a garnish with all meals and also add it to soup recipes.

You can still enjoy chocolate this Valentine’s Day but now you can be more specific with your selection. Strong daily decisions for your health will help you and your partner’s heart at the same time.  Everything in moderation of course.