February is when we celebrate Valentine’s Day and it is also National Heart Month. We focus on the heart for both, although in different ways. I thought it might be helpful to give you some quick and easy facts about heart health. Keeping your heart healthy and strong is something we all should make a priority. So here goes:
1. The heart can beat more than 3 million times during a person’s lifetime. It pumps out 2 ounces of blood at every heartbeat, adding up to at least 2,500 gallons daily.
2. Each year about 735,000 Americans suffer a heart attack, one person every 43 seconds, 1 in 4 deaths overall.
3. The average heart weighs between 7 and 15 ounces, a little larger than your fist.
4. The body’s blood vessel system is more than 60,000 miles long!
5. Men’s hearts beat about 70 times per minute and women’s about 78 times per minute.
6. Dog owners have a lower risk of heart disease.
7. Laughter can increase circulation of blood by up to 20%!
8. Happiness and a strong sense of emotional vitality lower risk of heart disease.
9. More heart attacks occur on Monday mornings than any other day.
10. Some of the heart-healthiest foods include fish, nuts, red wine, oats, flax seeds, berries, beans, tomatoes and dark chocolate.
11. Some of the heart-healthiest nutrients are omega-3 fats, fiber and antioxidants.
12. Studies have proven there is no connection between healthy saturated fats like pasture butter and grass-fed beef and heart disease.
13. Lack of physical activity and sitting too much increase cardiovascular risk.
14. A broken heart is real! A new study of nearly 2,000 heart-attack survivors found that attacks were far more likely to happen soon after the death of a family member or close friend than at other times.
15. Don’t demonize salt! Heart failure patients following a low-sodium diet were 85% more likely to die or require hospitalization for heart disease compared to those who didn’t restrict their salt intake. This includes those with high blood pressure. But this was referring to natural, unprocessed salt, (like Himalayan Crystal salt) not highly processed white, table salt or salt in processed foods.
What are you doing to keep your heart in tip-top shape?
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