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Easy Heart Healthy Tips

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Valentines Day is around the corner and I wish you all a Healthy Heart. In keeping with that theme, I'd like to share some of my easy Heart Healthy tips that you can begin to incorporate into you daily activities, starting today!

1.  Eat Grapes - yes, grapes!  Eating foods rich in polyphenols (naturally occurring plant compounds known to have antioxidant activity) helps reduce the risk of heart disease, according to a review article in the November, 2008, issue of Nutrition Research.  Grape seeds, grape skin, and grape juice contain polyphenols.  The report concludes that grape polyphenols can help to slow or prevent cell damage.  In particular, these compounds help decrease LDL ("bad" cholesterol). Preventing cell damage is an important step in deterring the development of atherosclerosis.  They also can reduce abnormal heart rhythms, and lower blood pressure.  All this from the mighty little grape. 

2.  Eat Slower.   When you eat, take the time to really savor each mouthful.  Research has proven that it takes about 20 minutes for the signal from your stomach to reach your brain and tell it you are full.  People who eat fast tend to over-eat and gain more weight and it's tough on your heart to carry around that extra weight.

3.  Laugh often.  You've heard me say this before.  Laughter truly is the best medicine.  Watch a funny movie, listen to Bill Cosby or attend a laughing meditation.  Laughter is gentle exercise. Further, it enhances your core body work-out, fills your lungs and body with oxygen, clears your breathing passages, and exercises your lungs. This is really important for people who don't get regular aerobic exercise.  When we laugh our bodies release a veritable cocktail of hormones & chemicals that have powerful effects. Stress is reduced, blood pressure drops, immunity is boosted and depression is lifted - especially important this time of year when so many of us in the North feel blue from lack of sunshine.  Laughing just 10 minutes a day can decrease risk of heart disease by 10%!

To get started laughing, here are some funnies for you

                Do you know what the hardest part of learning to ride a bike is?
            The pavement.

What did the tie say to the hat?
            You go on a head, I'll just hang around.

When a three-year-old opened a birthday gift from his grandmother, he discovered a water pistol.
He squealed with delight and headed for the nearest sink.
His Mother was not so pleased. She turned to Grandma and said, "I'm surprised at you.
Don't you remember how we used to drive you crazy with our squirt guns?"
Grandma smiled and then replied, "I remember."   (this is my personal favorite) 

Today's Affirmation:  "I have all the energy I need to do everything I want to do"

 

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