February is National Heart month. It also happens to be the month that we talk a lot about love. I figured why don’t we combine the two and talk a little bit about loving your heart.Heart

Fun fact: According to the Cleveland Clinic, your arteries, capillaries and veins are over 60,000 miles long! It is more than enough length to get you around the world twice!

Your heart’s job is to pump nutrient and oxygen rich blood to your tissues as well as take carbon dioxide and waste products away from your tissues. Your heart doesn’t take a break. Even before you entered the world, your heart was hard at work, taking good care of you. How can you return the favour? It might be simpler and more enjoyable than you think!

Eat More of This:

• Complex Carbohydrates such as vegetables – especially those leafy greens, fruit, and some whole grains such as oats & brown rice.
• Protein: beans and legumes, quinoa, chia seeds, eggs and lean meat such as chicken or turkey. Keep red meat to a minimum and try to find grass fed options.
• Healthy Fat: avocado, olive oil, fatty fish like salmon, lake trout, sardines, mackerel, raw nuts & seeds
• Fibre: make friends with fibre – great sources include leafy greens, apples, pears, raw nuts & seeds, prunes

And Less of That:

• Trans-fats: hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils found in peanut butter, crackers and fast food
• Sugar: leads to weight gain and reduced immune function with white sugar and glucose-fructose being the worst offenders. Hit the reset button on sweet and use honey or maple syrup sparingly. Avoid the use of artificial sweeteners & minimize the chemicals we are eating.
• Refined flours as found in white bread, crackers, cakes, pies and pastries.

Add in regular exercise, quality sleep, laughter and good stress management and you are well on your way.

Show yourself a little love and take care of your heart. Your family with thank you!

Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash