Especially during this time of year, hearts are seen as a symbol of love. And while love is in the air and Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching, February is also time to raise awareness for an important cause: National Heart Health Month.
Unfortunately, heart disease is the leading cause of death for American men and women. In fact, 1 in 4 deaths in the US is a result of heart disease each year. Despite this startling statistic, there are still many measures you can take to keep your heart HEALTHY.
For instance, did you know that berries can help sustain a healthy heart? According to one recent study, women 25-42 who ate more than three servings of strawberries and blueberries weekly had a 32% lower risk of heart attack compared to those who ate less. That's because berries areloaded with antioxidantsand polyphenols, which help combat chronic disease and cancer.
Aside from consuming more berries, there are additional ways to lower your risk of heart disease, including:
Maintaining a healthy weight
Not smoking and staying away from secondhand smoke
Managing your cholesterol and blood pressure
Consuming alcohol in moderation
Adding physical exercise into your routine
These tips may seem simple or small, but when it comes to health, it's those every-day habits that can really affect you. I encourage you all to look at this month as an opportunity to boost your healthy habits—starting now and lasting a lifetime!