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Your Healthy Heart

February is Heart Health Month

Heart disease is still a leading cause of death in the U.S., but the good news is that a few preventative steps can make a big difference. Here are five things you can do now that will help to decrease your risk.

  1. Exercise! Start where ever you are. Whatever you do, do it every day, even if it’s only for five minutes. Ideally you will see other benefits and continue to do more. A good exercise routine should have some stretching, some strengthening exercises, and should get your heart rate up. You don’t have to do them all at once, but you should make sure at some point in the week you are getting each type of exercise.

  2. Eat good fats. Fats are no longer the culprit — good fats are anti-inflammatory and help raise your good cholesterol levels. Good fats include wild caught cold water fish, fish or flax oil, raw nuts and seeds, avocado, and coconut oi

  3. Avoid added sugars. Turns out that these are the real bad guy. Make sure to read labels since many foods contain added sugar.

  4. Minimize your intake of processed foods. These often contain added sugar and also lots of sodium.

  5. Come in to our office for annual check ups. Your doctor will listen to your heart, check your blood pressure, and order general screening bloodwork to look for elevated cholesterol and inflammation that can cause heart disease. If you have specific concerns about heart disease, there is more in-depth testing that we can order. You and your doctor can develop a plan to keep your risk of heart disease low.

Want to do help others who have heart disease? If you are trained in CPR you can download the PulsePoint Respond App. If someone in your vicinity suffers a sudden cardiac arrest, you can be notified and can provide lifesaving CPR while the ambulance or first responders are on their way.

— Melissa Minoff, ND, LAc

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