When is the last time that you really considered your cardiovascular health? And how to support it!
Yes, I am all here for digestive and hormone health but sometimes we forget to address some of the basics to help support other areas of our health and wellness.
I grew up in the 90s and remember there was so much talk about heart health and their heart-friendly foods on commercials which I later found out were garbage – sorry to sound so harsh.
Into my nutrition schooling, I really found out how important gut health was to all other body systems so that is were I put a lot of my energy PLUS it was something that I had lived experiences in so I knew it would be something that would help me relate to my clients.
However, as I was in my nutrition bubble I was neglecting other areas of health and wellness such as basics like supporting our freaking heart…you know that major organ in our body that keeps us alive…
When you think about it too, a lot of the scary stats we hear and read in the news are about heart disease and obesity and how we all need to eat healthy because of those reasons but it almost feels as if we have heard it so much that it doesn’t even compute anymore.
Plus, we have been told CRAZY things about how to lose weight and support cardiovascular health over the years which are actually more detrimental to our health so it’s essentially just left some people feeling worse or even more confused.
So here are some key things you can do today to support your cardiovascular health:
Maintain a healthy weight and NO I don’t mean go on a diet. I mean start SMALL by moving your body (walking is a great option), and making simple changes in your diet. It’s about adding in healthy foods NOT restricting.
Again move your body regularly. It doesn’t have to be HIIT workouts where your end goal is to have shredded muscles because without getting into it, those exercises can cause more harm than good in some cases. Going for walks may not sound like a workout for some of you but they can 100% count towards movement. So can a good cleaning or laundry day. I don’t know about you but when I do my weekly deep clean I am sweating up a storm.
Add antioxidant-rich foods into your diet. No, not crazy superfoods, I mean straight-up fruits and vegetables. Have some blueberries at breakfast or with yogurt, have some tomatoes with your lunch, at root veggies to your dinner.
Ditch the processed foods and add in more fiber-rich foods. Start by making one simple change at a time instead of overhauling your whole kitchen at once.
Stop eating “low fat” alternatives. We have been pushed by big brands to eat low-fat foods when you actually want the full-fat options. I know it may be hard to mentally get over when we have been told the opposite for years and brands like Special K are making us think we need their products but its not the case. Multiple studies have looked at how HEALTHY fats are good for heart health. This includes eggs, coconut oil/butter, regular grass-fed butter or ghee over margarine, avocado and olive oil, and animal protein. Yes, that is right, you can eat animal protein and still support heart health and that includes red meat – GASP!
Reduce stress! This may actually be the hardest change but stress is a major player in how pretty much all body systems work. Find ways to manage the stress that work for YOU! Meditation, walking, journaling, taking a bath, or whatever resonates with you.