LIFE IS FULL OF ADVENTURES

However, an unhealthy heart can restrict you from experiencing them. Heart disease affects the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans every year… but it’s preventable and controllable. You just have to show your heart a little love.

CELEBRATE HEART MONTH

This February, strengthen your heart and lengthen your life by eating better, moving more, being tobacco free and rethinking your drink. With your heart health in check, you can check more off your Bucket List… and even add some adventures too.

HEART-HEALTHY FOODS

Eating nutritious foods is a surefire way to improve heart health. In every meal, incorporate items that are:

  • High in fiber (lowers cholesterol)
  • High in B vitamins (protects against blood clots and hardening of arteries)
  • High in vitamins C and E (protects cells from damage)
  • High in magnesium, potassium and calcium (lowers blood pressure)
  • Low in saturated and trans fats (prevents high cholesterol)
  • Low in salt or sodium (prevents high blood pressure)

FRUITS AND VEGGIES

Fruits and veggies are some of the best foods for improving heart health. They’re naturally low in fat, calories and sodium, and they have no cholesterol. Plus they contain lots of fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. The best fruits and veggies for your heart include carrots, spinach, broccoli, oranges, tomatoes and cantaloupe.

No matter which fruits and veggies you choose, be sure to fill half your plate with them at every meal. Try these heart-healthy recipes for inspiration, and learn more about making healthy foods choices at ChooseMyPlate.gov.

WATER

When it comes to quenching your thirst, set your heart on some healthy, hydrating water. With zero sugar and zero calories, it can help reduce the risk of preventable diseases. Plus, it improves kidney and joint health, and it can help you maintain a healthy weight.

So rethink your drink and choose ice-cold water over sugar-sweetened beverages like soda, sports drinks and energy drinks. Your heart—and your body—will love you for it.

HEART-HEALTHY ACTIVITIES

Not only can physical activity help you maintain a healthy weight, it can also do wonders for your heart. Daily physical activity can help:

  • Lower cholesterol and blood pressure.
  • Improve your body’s ability to take in and use oxygen.
  • Reduce levels of fatigue.
  • Improve muscle function and strength.
  • Improve bone health and lower the likelihood of back pain.

Whether it’s at work, school or home, adults need at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day, and kids 60. Activities can be as simple as parking your car at the other end of the parking lot and walking the extra steps. Or, keep a list of exercises by the TV remote and get active during commercial breaks.

BE TOBACCO FREE

Tobacco use greatly increases your risk for heart disease. Even people who smoke fewer than five cigarettes a day show signs of early stages of cardiovascular disease. If you don’t use tobacco, don’t start. If you do use tobacco, the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline offers nonjudgmental support and free help to all Oklahomans. These services include free text and email support, phone and web coaching, patches, gum, lozenges and more for registered participants. Call 1-800-QUIT NOW or visit OKhelpline.com to learn more.

Celebrate Heart Month and Valentines Day with these Heart Healthy recipe ideas!