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  • Amy Salman, Founder, The Wellness Map

Happy Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is a time when people show feelings of love, affection and friendship. It is celebrated in many ways worldwide. February is also American Heart Month. "Heart disease is the leading killer of Americans, taking the lives of 2,200 people each day. In addition, 103 million adults have high blood pressure and 6.5 million are living with heart failure".

Here's some alarming statistics about heart disease in the United States, according to a report published by the American Heart Association:

1) By 2030, it's estimated that 43 percent of the population will have some form of heart disease.

2) On average, someone has a stroke every 40 seconds and someone dies of a stroke every four minutes.

3) Heart disease accounts for 31.5 % of all deaths worldwide.

4) Between 2000-2012, the use of cholesterol-lowering treatments and statins among adults each increased by 10%.

5) 11% of children and adolescents 8 to 17 years old have high or borderline high blood pressure.

6) Stroke is the second leading cause of death behind ischemic heart disease.

7) 85.7 million, or about 34% of adults over age 20 have high blood pressure.

We now know that using food as medicine and practical lifestyle modifications is the best prescription to fight heart disease. Use the simple steps below as part of your life for long-term benefits to your health and your heart.

Add These Heart Healthy Foods:

1) A variety of fresh fruit and vegetables (eat the rainbow every day). 2) High fiber foods-- fresh fruits, vegetables, oats, whole grains like barley and rye, and gluten free grains like quinoa, brown rice, millet, and buckwheat. 3) Wild caught fatty fish (salmon, sardines, trout)--2 servings per week. 4) Nuts and seeds (no salt added). 5) Healthy fats (avocado, extra virgin olive oil, nuts, seeds, ghee, extra virgin coconut oil).

Avoid These Foods:

1) Refined carbohydrates--can be found in a wide variety of foods including white bread, pasta and rice, muffins, cakes, cookies, crackers, and bagels. 2) Packaged, boxed, and canned foods--aim to eat foods found in their natural state. If it contains a label, my rule of thumb is 5 ingredients or less that you can pronounce. 3) Trans fats--can be found in many foods including fried foods like doughnuts, and baked goods including cakes, pie crusts, biscuits, frozen pizza, cookies, crackers, and stick margarines and other spreads. 4) Soda and sugar sweetened beverages.

Heart Healthy Tips:

1) Exercise at least 30 minutes a day by walking, biking, or doing something you enjoy. 2) Quit smoking. 3) Practice yoga or meditation for natural stress relief. 4) Drink alcohol in moderation. That means no more than one drink per day for ladies and no more than two per day for men.

If you want to learn more about how to prevent and reverse symptoms of heart disease and other chronic illness using food as medicine and practical lifestyle modifications, let's talk!

For Valentine's Day 2019, take 20% off any individual or corporate nutrition and wellness program, and take charge of your health today! Or pass this offer on to someone you care about.

To your health & happiness,


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