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Posted in Healthy Living | February 2015

Be heart smart

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Humans are incredibly complex machines, and the heart is the busy little pump that keeps everything running. That’s why it’s nice to discover that there are actually some very simple ways to help keep your heart as healthy as possible just by making smart choices every day.

The Toronto Star recently published an article listing five easy things we can do that can benefit heart health.

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  1. Eat a morning meal. Your mom knew what she was doing when she made you have breakfast before running off to school. A morning meal starts your metabolism and is a good way to get closer to the 25 grams of dietary fiber your should aim for daily, because most breakfast foods are high in fiber. Think oatmeal, granola and whole wheat bread. Check out this list of 34 quick and healthy breakfasts from Greatist.com.
  2. Explore healthy oils.Even healthy oils should be consumed in moderation, but monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats (like olive oil, almond oil, grapeseed oil and sunflower oil) can help lower cholesterol. For more information on healthy oils visit WebMD and Health Hub. For some delicious recipes featuring olive oil visit Best Health.
  3. Make more small trips. The more you’re on your feet doing anything active, the better. Strive for 30 minutes of exercise every day, but also break up long periods of sitting every hour if possible. Talk to your doctor about the kind of exercise that’s best for you.
  4. Laugh. According to the Mayo Clinic, laughter can stimulate your organs, relieve your stress response, soothe tension, improve your immune system, relieve pain, and improve your mood. So call up a funny friend, watch your favorite comedy, or check out Reader’s Digest’s funniest jokes and get that belly laugh going!
  5. Eat by color. Not only will your plate look prettier if you load it up with colorful vegetables, but you’ll also be adding important antioxidants to your diet. Color is really nature’s way of saying, “Eat this! It’s good for you!” For more information on the benefits of colorful veggies visit Delicious Magazine, and for some delicious and healthy vegetable recipes check out Southern Living.

We certainly can’t control everything, but we do have the power to make better choices that can benefit our overall health. And when they’re simple and, in some cases, delicious choices, it’s not hard to do the right thing.
For more information on heart-healthy living, visit Heart and Stroke Foundation and WebMD.

412010E CAN/US (02/15)
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