Nutrition Notes: Healthy Habits for Happy Hearts

Heart Disease Fast Facts
(Sourced from heartfoundation.org)

1. Heart disease (which includes Heart Disease, Stroke and other Cardiovascular Diseases) is the No. 1 cause of death in the United States, killing nearly 787,000 people alone in 2011.

2. Cardiovascular diseases claim more lives than all forms of cancer combined.

3. Coronary heart disease is the most common type of heart disease, killing nearly 380,000 people annually.

4. In the United States, someone has a heart attack every 34 seconds. Every 60 seconds, someone in the United States dies from a heart disease-related event.

5. Direct and indirect costs of heart disease total more than $320.1 billion. That includes health expenditures and lost productivity.

Healthy Habits to Make Our Hearts Happy

The American Heart Association is on a mission to promote healthy habits that can have a lasting impact on your health. By making small adjustments to your everyday routine- you can do better for your body!

Here’s what the AHA recommends:

Eat Smart: Your body needs fuel just like a car needs gasoline to go. Our fuel comes in the form of food- those carrots, mushrooms, grains, nuts, blueberries give you energy to go. When we make healthy, wholesome food choices, we’re fueling our body with the right mix of nutrients to keep on the road for the long haul.

Add Color: Think about which foods add color to your plate. Deep orange sweet potatoes, rich green leafies, deep blue blueberries, radiant red bell peppers- be sure to sneak some color into your meals in the form of fruits and vegetables to ensure you consume all those yummy nutrients. Try buying produce in bulk and freezing any leftovers to save money.

Move More: Many people are not reaching the 150 minutes of recommended physical activity each week. Start slow and just try to move more for 5 minutes here and there. Been sitting for over an hour? Get up and take a loop around the house or office. Driving all over town running errands? Make that extra effort to park in the back of the parking lot before walking in the store doors. Instead of fretting over going to the gym or singing up for boot camps- just move more in your daily routine!

Be Well: In combination with healthy eating and moving more, think about your overall wellbeing. Are you sleeping enough each night? Need some stress relief? Take breaks throughout your day to relax and rest your mind. Take a few deep breaths, in and out slowly, and release your tensions. Taking care of your mind is taking care of your body!

For more tips, check out the American Heart Association’s Healthy For Good healthyforgood.heart.org.