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With heart disease as the leading cause of death globally, it behooves us to show some love to the organ that pumps blood where it’s needed, which is almost everywhere in our bodies.
Life Lite Surgery dietitian and nutritionist Courtney Pogue advocates consuming foods high in fiber, such as fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains.
“A lot of people have a phobia of carbohydrates, but carbs are not the enemy,” she says. “Foods like brown rice, quinoa, and legumes reduce cholesterol levels and are low in sodium.” Avoid canned and other packaged goods that tend to be high in sodium, which raises blood pressure, she advises.
What one thing should you do every day?
“Breathe! Breathing can be a grounding technique that facilitates being present and intentional in everything you do.” — Juan Gonzalez, M.D.
Don’t forget that the heart is a muscle. Although the results won’t show as visibly as they do in biceps, triceps, quadriceps, etc., exercise strengthens the heart.
Fitness coach Jay Nixon of Thrive Fitness Studio explains the importance of interval training.
“It’s not about cycling on a Peloton for an hour,” he says. “It’s about getting the heart rate up and bringing it back down — high intensity to resting heart rate, over and over.”
Like Pogue, he exalts the superiority of natural sources of nutrition and denounces the sugars and chemicals in processed (ironically, also called “refined”) food.
ILLUSTRATION BY GREEDY HEN