6 Natural Health Tips for American Heart Month
February is American Heart Month. It provides a healthy-heart opportunity to focus on the organ that beats around 3 billion times, nonstop, in the average human lifetime. Your heart sustains you, provides life-giving oxygen, nutrients, and natural medicine through your bloodstream to all parts of your body.
So, what have you done for your heart lately? Athletes and authors Brant Secunda and Mark Allen (multi-Ironman Triathlon winner, he is on the right, Photo Right) offer natural strategies for boosting heart health, and improving your overall wellness from their website and new book, Fit Soul, Fit Body (BenBella Books 2013).
Take time to rejuvenate in nature.
Stress is bad for the heart. At least once a day, if you can, head outdoors to breathe deeply and connect with nature. Doing anything outside, whether it’s taking a hike or sitting in the park, significantly reduces stress hormones and lowers your blood pressure, which benefits your heart—and your mood.
Connect with friends and loved ones.
How is being in community with loved ones good for the heart? Connecting with others helps you keep a positive attitude even in the middle of stressful life challenges. The heart is the seat of your emotions; it’s where love, bonding, connection, and intimacy originate. By spending time with others, you have the opportunity to give and receive love, and that’s good for the heart too!
Eat more heart-healthy foods.
There are certain foods that are heart protective because they contain omega 3 and other healthy fats, critical vitamins and minerals, and fiber and phytonutrients that help keep heart tissues healthy. Here’s a partial list of foods you should eat more of: salmon, ground flaxseed, oatmeal, black or pinto beans, raw almonds and walnuts, and brown rice. Among the many heart-healthy fresh fruits and vegetables, these are especially beneficial: orange vegetables, spinach, broccoli, tomatoes, asparagus, citrus and blueberries.
Laugh, smile, play.
To high-tech modern ears, it may seem silly to laugh your problems away. But scientists have found ample evidence for the health benefits of lightheartedness and optimism for healing and fighting off illness. Seeking happiness-producing activities is a good way to relieve stress and boost your mood—and heart health. Give it a try this month. It will do your heart good.
Have you done anything to heal your heart this month?
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