Did you know that approximately 1 in 12 Canadians age 20 and over live with diagnosed heart disease? The good news is that there are a number of things you can do to decrease your risk, and eating a heart healthy diet plays an important role. For Heart Month this February, we can a focus on keeping our heart healthy! Don’t miss a beat this month in prioritizing your heart health. If you struggle to find time for yourself and are looking for some tips to do so, check out these 5 heart healthy tips:
1. Eat the rainbow: Eating fresh fruits and vegetables of red colours all the way to purples can make sure we get all the vitamins and minerals we need, alongside antioxidants and other nutrients
that protect our hearts. Enjoy whole grains, beans and other legumes as additional colourful foods!
2. Rediscover home cooking: There’s no denying that ordering takeout is a quick and easy way to grab a bite to eat. And while there’s no problem doing this from time to time, it’s harder to control the amount of salt, saturated fat, and cholesterol in these dishes, that we know can increase the risk of heart disease if eaten in excess. Rediscover home cooking by finding quick and easy recipes online, or even by trying meal delivery services (like Hello Fresh), where you can cook simple, delicious
meals in under an hour!
3. Fish for omega-3s: You may have heard that omega-3s are incredibly heart healthy fats. And indeed, that’s true! Omega-3s have been associated with lowering blood pressure and blood triglyceride levels and may prevent blood clots (which are all factors in developing heart disease). You can reap their benefits by enjoying fatty fish (like salmon, tuna, and sardines) twice a week, and by enjoying other sources, like flaxseeds, chia seeds, walnuts, and more.
4. Move your own way: It can be challenging to get a workout in when we’re so busy with other activities. But being intentional in your movement can still do the trick. If you’re able to get your blood
pumping a few times a week, that’s excellent! If not, try parking a little farther from the office or grocery store than usual. Try doing some push-ups or sit-ups while you watch TV. You can even do some leg extensions at your desk while you’re working.
5. Add some me-time: Finally, schedule some time for yourself during the day (that could mean in the morning, at lunch, before bed…). Do some calming stretches, engage in a hobby you enjoy, try some gratitude practices. Try out new things (or fall back on your usual tricks) so you can put your mind at ease and destress. Destressing and having a positive mental health condition has been associated with a decreased risk of heart disease.
So, there you have some tips for focusing on your heart health this month. Reach out to your NDC Nutrition at WorkRegistered Dietitian for more tips for developing goals that work with your lifestyle. Do your heart some good this February and call your NDC Nutrition at Work Registered Dietitian today!
For personalized nutrition support to help you achieve your health goals this New Year, talk to a NDC Nutrition at Work Registered Dietitian.