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. (More on this in the next post.)
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.
16. Research done by The HeartMath Institute on the human heart and the power of our thoughts and intentions has proven that the heart’s electromagnetic field changes according to your emotions. Their research has shown that positive emotions create positive physical effects in the body including boosting the immune system. Gratitude is one of the most powerful!
Keeping your heart healthy is critical to true health and wholeness. That goes beyond just good nutrition and targeted supplements. You also must nourish your heart on a spiritual and emotional level. The reasons for this will be even more clear in the post next week. So be sure to check it out then.
What are your favorite ways to keep your heart healthy?
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