February is American Heart Month. President Lyndon B. Johnson made this a designated month of recognizing hearth health via Proclamation 3566. On the first Friday of this month of love, we celebrate Women’s Heart Health with a GoRed Campaign. Heart disease should be the focus for each of us as we eat, sleep and play…. every day.
What does GORED mean? If you break it down by the letters, this is what it means:
G = GET YOUR NUMBERS. Knowing your blood pressure and cholesterol numbers are important. You can easily ask your doctor. Monitoring your blood pressure daily or as often as possible is easy. Check your drugstore or online resources for affordable approved AHA devices.
O = OWN YOUR LIFESTYLE. Some ways to take control of your healthy lifestyle are to quit smoking. Stress is not our friend. Alleviate stress by moving more. Take a walk, exercise, jog if you can. Moving is one of the most important acts of self-love. Healthy eating habits are key to optimum heart health. Go easy on the salt and sugar. Eat more foods in their natural state or incorporate good things into your daily diet. Ask your doctor or dietician how you can incorporate healthy food choices for optimum heart health.
R = REALIZE YOUR RISK. Did you know that heart disease still kills 1 in 3 women?? Ladies, if we cannot practice healthy living for us, how can we show our families that we love them? Think about how much we do for our families and our communities. Don’t you think we can show just as much attention or more on ourselves?
E = EDUCATE YOUR FAMILY. Consider educating by example. This is the easiest way to practice healthy lifestyles. Creating family outings to encourage movement. Hiking, biking, nature walks, or gardening are popular ideas.
D = DON’T BE SILENT. The best gift you can give this month and every month is to share the truth about heart disease. As the #1 killer, heart disease needs to be taken seriously by everyone. This disease affects all of us and is not gender specific.
EAT RED FOR HEALTH
Did you know that red vegetables have Lycopene and anthocyanin? Lycopene is an antioxidant. Research has shown that this naturally occurring ingredient is effective in reducing heart disease. Lycopene fights infections and aids in keeping our eyes healthy. Anthocyanin is showing promise in reducing blood pressure, inflammation, and eye health.
A few red vegetables to incorporate into your diet are beets, red cabbage, red bell peppers, red chili peppers, and red leaf lettuce. All of these vegetables can be grown in many zones or in a greenhouse. Everyone can’t eat tomatoes. Having other choices are key. Let’s not forget rhubarb, red onions, and red potatoes. If you are a gardener, try something new like radicchio. Red radicchio in a pot with some white pansies. What a colorful edible spring display!
Sow seeds of red for the summer garden as well. Ruby Red Orach, Red Malabar Spinach, or Red Leaf Amaranth, also known as Red Callaloo are great choices for warm-season gardens. These vegetables love heat and humidity found in the summer months. Try sowing them to keep the red growing for the summer garden.
Why not commit to making heart health a priority all year long. Practicing self-care is important. It is the best way to show love to those you care about.
Sowing seeds for a healthier lifestyle,
Teri, Cottage In The Courtby