Ten years ago, the American Heart Association set a goal to help improve the cardiovascular health of all Americans by 20 percent, while reducing deaths from cardiovascular diseases and stroke by 20 percent by 2020. Here we are in 2020; what steps did you take to help improve your own heart health?
February has been designated as American Heart Month since 1964 to unite and encourage millions of Americans to focus on their heart health and help eradicate heart disease and stroke. Preventative measures include routinely checking your blood pressure and cholesterol and educating your family members on the importance of staying active. Practice what you preach too: stop smoking, maintain a healthy weight, exercise and eat a heart-healthy diet.
Here are a some nutrition guidelines that you can take to heart.
The American Heart Association recommends at least 4.5 cups of fruits and vegetables a day. Vegetables like spinach, kale and collard greens (also found in Orgain Protein & Greens Plant-based Protein Powder) are known for their wealth of heart-healthy vitamins and minerals like vitamin k. This vitamin helps protect your arteries’ elasticity. Leafy greens are also high in nitrates, which have been shown to reduce blood pressure. Flavonoids, a polyphenolic plant compound that supports healthy blood flow and reduces inflammation, can be found in fruits like apples and berries as well as Orgain’s Organic Superfoods Powder.
Fiber-rich whole grains
Ancient grains like barley, rye and buckwheat have become a trend again in the last few years, but for good reason. Incorporating them as well as brown rice, oats or whole wheat can help reduce cholesterol levels.
Other dietary recommendations
Another helpful tip for setting small goals is to also set small rules. Just like eliminating fried food, fast food or limiting your amount of daily caffeine consumption are healthy guidelines to follow regularly, there are also a few to follow specifically related to your heart. Aim to consume no more than 450 calories a week of sugar-sweetened beverages, consume less than 1,500 mg of sodium a day and do not compromise more than seven percent of your calorie intake on saturated fat.
Let’s raise awareness together and spread the word about heart health here and on social media with #hearthealth #AmericanHeartMonth #healthyheart #AmericanHeartAssociation #drinkorgain.