Show Your Heart Some Love

With Valentine’s Day in February, it seems appropriate that this month is also National Heart Month. Are you doing everything you can to stay heart healthy? Do you know the signs of a heart attack? Did you know the signs of a heart attack are different in women and men? And did you know studies show eating a plant based diet can help reduce your risk for heart disease?

Heart disease is the number one killer of women and men in the U.S. Key risk factors include high blood pressure, high cholesterol and smoking cigarettes.

While women experience classic symptoms of heart attacks, like chest pain or radiating arm pain, more common symptoms for women include dizziness, fatigue, shortness of breath, pain in one or both arms or neck, stomach pain, jaw pain, upper back pressure, cold sweats and nausea.

If you have any of these signs, call 9-1-1 and get to a hospital right away.

Heart disease can be prevented with healthy lifestyle choices like losing weight, reducing blood pressure, not smoking or quitting smoking, reducing your salt intake and eating more plant based foods. According to the CDC, “replacing foods high in sodium with fresh fruits and vegetables can help lower blood pressure. But only 1 in 10 adults is getting enough fruits and vegetables each day. Diets high in trans-fat, saturated fat, and added sugar increases the risk factor for heart disease.”

According to the Mayo Clinic and citing studies, “people who ate more vegetables had a smaller risk of chronic heart disease; in fact, the more veggies they ate, the more their risk went down.” Jason Ewoldt, a wellness dietitian at Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program encourages us to eat more plant based food for heart health. “In a plant-based diet you can eat virtually unlimited amounts of fresh or frozen fruits and veggies. Whole grains, legumes (beans), healthy oils, seeds and nuts round out a plant-based diet.

Take a look at the recipes on my website for healthy meal options – all are vegan, dairy free and gluten free AND delicious! You won’t sacrifice taste when eating plant based and you’ll do your heart good!

What steps are you taking to keep your heart healthy? Share in the comments section.

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