Top 10 Heart Healthy Tips

February is heart health month, so I thought I would share some of my healthy heart tips. A few of my favorite heart healthy foods are salmon, nuts, oatmeal, dark chocolate, tomatoes, berries and even red wine (in moderation). Read on for some easy tips to better heart health.

1. Limit unhealthy fats and cholesterol-If you reduce trans and saturated fats, you can reduce your cholesterol.

Choose: canola oil and olive oil

Avoid: butter, lard, bacon, fat

2. Choose Low Fat Protein Sources-Choose lean meats, eat less red meat and choose heart healthy fish (such as wild salmon and mackerel). These are filled with omega 3-fatty acids. Other good options include lean meats and poultry, low-fat daily products and egg whites. Avoid full fat milk and dairy products, egg yolks, bacon and fried foods.

3. Eat more vegetables and fruits-Eat raw fruits and veggies, and if you cook your vegetables, steam, grill or sauté them.

Avoid: frying vegetables, vegetables in cream sauces and fruit in heavy syrup.

4. Eat Whole Grains and Seeds-Choose whole grains and add seeds such as ground flaxseed and chia seeds to your diet. Flaxseeds are small brown seeds that are high in fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, which can lower your total blood cholesterol. You can grind the seeds in a coffee grinder or food processor and stir a teaspoon of them into yogurt, applesauce or hot cereal.

Avoid: white bread, cakes, and pies

5. Reduce sodium intake-Sodium can lead to high blood pressure. Choose fresh or dried herbs and spices instead of salt.

Avoid: table salt, full sodium canned soup, soy sauce, and tomato juice

6. Control portions-Watch your portions. A serving of pasta is ½ cup and the size of a hockey puck. 3 to 4 ounces of lean meat is the size of deck of cards.

7. Plan your daily meals ahead of time – Eat out less and cook healthy meals more.

8. Eat more Power-Foods-Power foods are those foods packed with antioxidants such as cherries, strawberries, berries, chia and flaxseeds, lentils, pomegranates, quinoa and more.

9. Exercise that heart-Try to exercise 5 to 6 times a week. Walk, run, dance, bike, swim or do what you love to get that heart pumping.

10. Replace junk food with fruits and vegetables– Start by replacing one junk food a week, and increase this every week  until you have a cleaner diet.

Photo above via pinterest  

photo above from Pinterest

Five Heath Benefits of Drinking Water

We hear it all the time-“Drink more water!” “Stay Hydrated” But WHY? I am so excited to have a guest post by Crystal Springs of Alabama on this topic. Read on… 

It all boils down to one word: Dehydration. We all know that dehydration means our bodies aren’t getting the amounts of fluids they need – we’re not replenishing what we’ve used. The effects of dehydration may surprise you though, and get you to pay attention to the old “eight glass” rule.

Depending on several variables, like weight and activity level, it takes about 60 to 80 ounces of water (7.5 to 10 cups) to replace the fluid the body naturally loses in one day. Water makes each organ in your body run the way it’s supposed to. Think of water in your body as gas for your car (just, not as thick or smelly, hopefully).

The health benefits of drinking plenty of water can’t be denied. Drinking enough water each day can lead to:

  • Fewer headaches. Ever get a mild to moderate ache in your cranium that Tylenol just won’t fix? It could be due to a lack of water in your system. Drink up to feel better!

  • More energy. When you have enough water working in all the systems of your body, your body functions better and you have more energy.

  • Better skin. Healing blemishes or reducing wrinkles from the inside out is a natural way to look better.

  • Better breath. Ever been around someone with a raging case of halitosis? It’s not pleasant. Ensure your breath is at its best by drinking enough water daily.

  • Weight loss. Having a glass or two of water before meals can help fill your tummy with liquid volume, actually helping you eat less, according to Today.

So what if you’ve got an aversion to drinking glass after glass of the clear stuff? Not to worry. According to the Mayo Clinic, food provides around 20% of your daily water intake on average, especially water-filled fruits and vegetables. And if you just can’t stomach plain ol’ water, take a look at our blog post about the best diet drink alternatives – drinks that hydrate you while giving you a little flavor.

Crystal Springs of Alabama is a home and office water delivery service, providing crisp, clean spring water right to your door. We offer individual bottles and 5- or 3-gallon jugs with coolers. For more information about our services, visit our website.