Guess what? It’s February, and that means there’s no escaping the heart talk. Whether you’re talking about that special person in life who holds the key to your heart or reading up on helpful tips to keep your heart healthy and strong, that’s what this month is all about.
Sorry to diminish the warm and fuzzy feelings you have for the loved one in your life, but at USANA, we’re a little more concerned with the health aspect of the heart. You see, this vital organ is the engine that keeps your body running, and the sooner you start taking precautions to keep it running smoothly, the better off you’ll be later in life.
USANA’s Wellness Coordinator, Lauren Reichman, decided to jump on the bandwagon and help spread the message of heart health throughout the home office. From the heart healthy recipes served in the company’s own Lean Café to the educational Lunch & Learn series focused on addressing employees’ cholesterol and triglyceride numbers, we’re definitely learning the importance of cardiovascular health.
Little Actions, Big Difference
Heart disease is the number one killer of both men and women, so it’s important to remember how you can reduce your risk.
- Don’t smoke — it’s detrimental to your heart and your overall health.
- Choose fresh, whole foods you can purchase and prepare yourself.
- Limit foods high in saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol to help avoid plaque buildup in your arteries.
- Avoid excess amounts of added sugars that can lead to the development of type 2 diabetes.
- Reduce sodium intake to help avoid high blood pressure. Shoot for less than 2,300 mg a day (about 1 teaspoon), and when reading nutrition labels, look for foods with 250 mg or less per serving.
Taking these simple steps is an easy way to help ensure you’re doing what you can to protect your heart.
Find the Right Foods
Now let’s talk about what you can fuel your body with to help out your heart. There are certain foods you should choose over others to contribute to healthy cholesterol levels and sufficient amounts of heart-healthy minerals and antioxidants.
- Include a fresh fruit or veggie with every meal. They’re naturally low in sodium and, over time, can help lower blood pressure.
- Work more whole grains into your diet. Brown rice, oatmeal, quinoa, and other whole-grain foods substantially lower total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (bad) cholesterol, triglycerides, and insulin levels.
- When selecting a protein for your meal, stick with fish, beans, and lean meats like chicken and turkey breast. Fatty red meats and processed meats, such as sausage, often contain high amount of calories, sodium, and saturated fat.
- Incorporate a variety of colorful, nutritious foods into your diet to help your body receive a wide array of micronutrients and antioxidants.
USANA creates certain products that focus on supporting your cardiovascular health. BiOmega™ is produced from cold-water, deep-sea fish oil and contains a concentrated daily dose of two important omega-3 fatty acids: eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). In 2002, the American Heart Association issued new guidance on fish and fish oil consumption, because results of large-scale epidemiological studies and randomized controlled studies showed that omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil support cardiovascular health.
Another product worth mentioning is Provlavanol®C100, a powerful bioflavonoid supplement containing proanthocyanidins. Proanthocyanidins are a subclass of bioflavonoids found in blue and purple berries, purple grapes, and red wine. They are available in relatively high concentrations in grape seed extract. Research suggests a strong role for dietary bioflavonoids, including proanthocyanidins, in supporting and maintaining already sound cardiovascular function.
There you have it. We’ve reviewed numerous ways to help support healthy heart function. From your diet to your daily actions, taking early precautions can make a big impact in the long run. Now take action yourself by putting these valuable lessons into practice.
Water Cooler Wellness is a USANA series looking at ways entrepreneurs or everyday folks can get healthy — physically, financially and maybe even emotionally. Next month in Water Cooler Wellness: Nutrition and Weight Management
|*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.|
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