This month is all about love thanks to Valentine’s day! And what is the first organ you think about in association with love? The heart of course! February is also American Heart Month which encourages people to emphasize heart health and discuss prevention. The stats for cardiovascular disease are bleak in America, heart disease causes more death than all forms of cancer combined according to the American Heart Association. But why?
Long story short, it’s a variety of things that all play a role. I think it’s a combination of the foods we eat, a more sedentary lifestyle, and stress along with other causes. I recently read an article about how “ultra-processed foods,” i.e. cookies, candy, chips, ‘instant’ foods, processed meat, etc. has been found to increase the likelihood of high blood pressure in comparison to unprocessed or minimally processed foods (fruits, vegetables, grains, etc.), processed culinary ingredients (vegetable oil, butter, salt, etc.) and processed foods (canned vegetables, fresh baked breads, salted or sugared nuts, etc.). With this information we can make informed decisions about dietary changes to positively impact our health and the health of our families.
The first step is usually the most challenging. If you are looking to support your heart health and prevent cardiovascular disease for you or a family member but you are not sure where to start, come on in and I would be happy to help! I believe prevention is the best cure so let’s take some time to learn easy ways to protect your heart and work towards a healthier you!