This month’s focus is on one of the most important organs in the body, the heart. It is the hardest working muscle; responsible for pumping blood that delivers nutrients, oxygen, and immune cells to the rest of your body. Just like any other muscle we need to nourish it and make it stronger. So what can we do to keep our hearts healthy?

1)    Increase Healthy Fats in our diet: Omega-3’s and monounsaturated fats can help reduce “bad” LDL cholesterol while improving “good” HDL cholesterol, and can reduce the risk of clogged arteries. Foods high in healthy fats include: salmon, tuna, avocado, flax seeds, and walnuts.

Goal for the month:
  • Use flax seed oil in your salad dressing
  • Eat salmon, tuna or fish 3 times a week. Try: egg white pita with cream cheese and smoked salmon

2)    Add more Fiber: a diet high in fiber can help lower “bad” LDL cholesterol by binding to it and keeping it from being absorbed in the blood stream where it can clog arteries. Foods high in fiber; sweet potatoes, oatmeal, quinoa, and black beans.

Goal for the month:
  • Try baked or steamed sweet potatoes with your dinner
  • Homemade hummus
  • Oatmeal with ground flax seeds

3)    Add sources of Phytonutrients: present abundantly in plants they have anti-oxidant properties which prevent damage to cell’s DNA and contain plant sterols that prevent the absorption of “bad” LDL cholesterol. Foods high in phytonutrients; papaya, carrots, tomatoes, pink grapefruit, spinach, berries.

Goal for the month:
  • PhytoMulti supplement to provide high source of phytonutrients, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals for maintenance of good health (available at MCC)

There are also many Lifestyle Changes that can help keep our hearts and the rest of the body healthy.

1)    Relaxation for your heart’s sake. There is no doubt that stress is a health concern and has been linked to many complications like heart problems. So take time in you busy day and lessen that tension and anxiety.  Here are a few things to try:

  • Take 10 to 15 minutes and meditate. Even visualizing a happy or calming memory can help improve mood and reduce stress
  • Improve flexibility and reduce stress by taking a hot yoga class
  • Take a bubble bath instead of a quick shower

2)    Reduce the Clutter around you and in your mind. Being surrounded by a constantly busy disorganized mess is no ones idea of a good time. Try:

  •  Surrounding yourself with supportive and positive people that will bring you moments of joy
  • Plan your meals. Avoid the worry of “what will I have for dinner tonight?” … Plan ahead for the week. A great app for this is BigOven. Allows you to search recipes, automatically generates nutrition facts and plans the grocery list.
  • Organize your day. Don’t create added stress by not remembering important tasks or petty chores. Plan your day in advance and try your best to stay on track. Another Great app to try is Remember the Milk. Allows you to keep track of your to do list and organize upcoming tasks.

3)    At least 30 minutes of Exercise a day. We have highlighted this video before in our blog… and we will do it again. No doubt that physical activity is important and here’s a video to explain why!

This month’s goal:
  • MCC has fun hour-long exercise classes for you to try with amazing instructors
  • Take after dinner walks with your significant other. It will give you time to communicate and exercise together