Heart health is really important, and there's a number of different things we can do to help keep our cardiovascular system working optimally. With that said, it is important to follow the appropriate screening recommendations from your primary care provider and/or cardiologist. 1. Nutrition. What we eat has the most impact on our health. Meals with a lot of plant based foods are excellent for our heart. Add as much color to your plate as possible. 2. Tart Cherry Juice. Along the lines of nutrition, studies have shown that tart cherry juice can reduce oxidative stress. Oxidative stress can lead to inflammation, which can harm the cardiovascular system. A little tart cherry juice goes a very long way, and drinking too much will add too much sugar to your daily intake. Just 2-4 ounces before bed should be enough. 3. Nature. Spending time in nature can decrease our stress levels, which can decrease strain on our hearts. Take some time in the morning to breathe in the fresh air and take in the scenery. Go for a short walk during your lunch hour. 4. Mindfulness. A regular mindfulness practice keeps our prefrontal cortex working well, which has an impact on our heart and lung function. There are many forms of mindfulness practices, which can include deep breathing, imagination, crafting and spending time in nature. I'm just wrapping up teaching a 2 part series on mindfulness tools, but if you're interested in learning mindfulness techniques, look for more classes coming in the near future. 5. Acupuncture. The studies that show the benefits of acupuncture on heart health are numerous. Because acupuncture treats the whole body even when addressing one condition, the heart is usually supported with every treatment. Acupuncture can help reduce blood pressure, and some patients have been able to reduce their blood pressure medication (with guidance from their cardiologist).
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