It’s February and it is the month of love! What a perfect opportunity to talk about natural ways we can keep our heart healthy. Unfortunately, many of us fall short of the key nutrients needed to keep our ticker-tocking. We either get too busy and fall victim to eating fast food, or we simply don’t know how to incorporate heart-healthy foods into our diet. That’s one of the reasons why I became a Nutritional Therapist. I wanted to show people how fun and easy it is to eat a diet full of nutrient-dense foods, especially when it comes to promoting heart health. Here are five of my favorite tips that you can start implementing right away, helping you get on the path to optimal wellness.
Get your good fats: If you love fish or avocados, you are in luck! Studies have shown that a heart healthy diet should include omega-3 fatty acids, helping to lower your risk of getting heart disease. Healthy fish include salmon, tuna, and mackerel. If you are a vegan, try incorporating flax seeds, chia seeds, and walnuts into your diet to get this beneficial fat. I personally take two fish oil capsules every morning to keep my heart healthy. I find that when I’m busy, this is the best way for me to get those beneficial fats into my body. I also like to add some flax seeds to my morning smoothie. Super easy and very beneficial!
The magic of magnesium: Now of course it is important to talk to your doctor or local healthcare practitioner before adopting a new supplement routine. If you speak with them about ways that you can promote heart health, chances are they may recommend you taking magnesium, a mineral that has been shown to help lower blood pressure and promote relaxed blood vessels.
B vitamins: Certain types of B vitamins, like folic acid and vitamin B6 and B12 may aid in reducing levels of homocysteine, a substance that has been implicated in the development of heart disease. Natural Vitality makes an awesome product called Organic Life Vitamins that contains the B vitamins needed to stay healthy and happy. It tastes great and it’s so easy to add to any smoothie recipe. Best of all? It features 24 organic super fruits, veggies like goji and pomegranate, giving your body a beneficial boost of nutrients. Learn more about it here.
Stop stressing. I know that this is easier said than done but we really need to chill out. Stress takes a massive toll on the body and can leave us feeling mentally and physically drained. That’s why I am so evangelical about soaking in a warm bath EVERYDAY, especially if you are under a lot of stress. It’s a wonderful ritual that aids in relaxing or mind body and spirit. Try using Natural Vitality Natural Calm Bath as it gives you a beneficial opportunity to unwind from the stresses of daily living. I love that Natural Calm Bath has a unique combination of premium Natural Calm® magnesium and pristine Brazilian gourmet sea salt. You can learn more about it here.
Move your booty: The American Heart Association has recommended 30 minutes of aerobic exercise every single day in order to keep our heart healthy. Now, I know that this can be a lot especially if you have a busy schedule. Why not try splitting up that 30 minutes over the course of the day? Get outside and walk around for 10 minutes at a time! If walking isn’t your thing, come home at night and tuning into some workout routine on your TV. I know plenty of programs that are on demand or available on YouTube. Find one that’s right for you that you can look forward to doing every day. The key is to have fun so you stick with your exercise regimen.
It’s that time of year again! Cold and flu season! It seems like every time I go to the store, all I hear is sniffling, sneezing, or coughing. I used to be the girl that would get sick anytime I went out in public. When I was in school, I was constantly having to stay home when the flu hit our classroom. Over time, I’ve learned to listen to my body and understand what it needs to stay well. My wellness really ramped up when I became a nutritional therapist because I started applying my nutrition knowledge to my own body. Here are seven ways I keep myself well when cold and flu season hits.
Drink Water: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, drinking water is one of the easiest things you can do to promote wellness throughout your body. I never used to drink water. Instead, I used to be a big fan of caffeinated soda. When I realized that not only did this cause massive spikes my blood sugar, it also made me feel lousy! I also discovered that I was replacing the amount of water I should be drinking on a daily basis with sugary artificial drinks. How much water do we need? Take your body weight and divide it in half. The amount you get is the number of ounces you need to drink on a daily basis. It may sound like a lot, but if you think about how much water you lose on a daily basis, we really do you deplete our body of this valuable resource. If water is boring for you, I recommend adding some lemon juice to it. Not only does this give it some added flavor it gives it a nice boost of vitamin C.
Ginger, Ginger, and more Ginger: There is one ingredient I cannot live without; ginger. I am never without at least three ginger root bulbs in my kitchen, especially during cold and flu season. That’s because ginger has been shown to have antibacterial, antiviral, and antimicrobial properties. It also aids in reducing inflammation throughout the body. When I feel like I’m getting sick or if people are starting to sniffle around me, I will juice up ginger and add it to hot water. I will also freeze ginger juice in ice cube trays and add it to my daily smoothies. Not only is it delicious, I swear that it helps me stay well. Plop a ginger cube in hot water with honey and a splash of lemon juice and sip pure comfort! Not only are these drinks delicious but they will help you stay well.
Smoothies (or smoothie bowls) every Morning: If you are a follower of my website and Facebook page, you know that I’m a huge fan of making smoothies in the morning. That’s because I’m not really a morning person and I don’t feel like going to the effort of making a full-blown breakfast! Smoothies are my solution to getting the nutrients I need to start my day. I’ll add a bunch of vegetables, fruits, nuts, and supplements to give my body the boost of immunity it needs. One of my favorite go-to ingredients is Organic Life Vitamins from Natural Vitality. Just one tablespoon contains a variety of vitamins, minerals, and other beneficial nutrients the body needs to thrive. I love that it is free from gluten, GMO’s, and it is USDA organic. You can check out Organic Life Vitamins from Natural Vitality here.
Wash my Hands: At the risk of sounding like a major Germ-a-phobe, I am pretty serious when it comes to washing my hands. This is especially true when I’m out in public and I’m touching all kind of things like door knobs, railings, and shopping cart handles. You just never know what kind of germs may be working on the service! I don’t use any type of antibacterial soap, just good old fashion bar soap. I just make sure to wash my hands thoroughly each time I am out and about. I also keep my hands off my face as a way to reduce the risk of exposure to some type of illness.
Rest and Relax: One of the best ways to keep well during cold and flu season is to pamper yourself. I believe that when our bodies and our minds are in balance, we will naturally stay happy and healthy. I do this by listening to music, meditating, and taking nightly baths. I recently discovered Natural Calm Bath from Natural Vitality and it is my favorite addition to a hot bath soak. Natural Calm Bath is full of natural calm magnesium and Brazilian gourmet sea salt. It relaxes me and gives me a nice detoxifying spa experience. I love the way it smells, and I love the way it makes my skin feel.
Take time for Nature: This can be a little bit tricky depending on the type of climate you live in. I live in Oregon where we don’t get too harsh of winters so I am able to walk around in nature during the colder season. When I am in nature I find that I naturally relax and connect with Mother Earth. I’m fortunate to live near a forest so I will spend 30 minutes walking around and admiring all of the lush green plants. If you do not live in an area near nature, do your best to find a park, a river, or something that is not necessarily man-made. Spend some time appreciating the sounds and sights that surround you. Your body, mind and spirit will thank you for it.
Focus on Digestion: I have always believed that digestion is the foundation for our health. If you think about it, it makes sense. If we are digesting our food properly we are getting those valuable nutrients needed to stay well during cold and flu season. That’s why I am very adamant about eating foods that are easy to digest. I also will take digestive supplements full of enzymes to aid in the process. If supplements aren’t your thing, simply focus on chewing your food before swallowing. That simple act can make all the difference with how you feel in your gut because the saliva secretes enzymes that aid in digestion.