February is Heart Month, a time to raise awareness about heart and vascular health. We all know exercise and a good diet are keys to heart health, but what else is out there to help keep our tickers in top condition?
Think happy thoughts! Really. A September 2019 study in JAMA Network Open found a 35% lower risk for heart disease in those who tended to think positively about the future!
Celebrate National Cherry Month. February is also National Cherry month, and those sanguine sour spheres are packed with polyphenols and vitamin C, plus anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds. All that adds up to decreased blood pressure, decreased inflammation, and oxidative stress, and improved cholesterol ratios. Those triglyceride/HDL ratios are an indicator of heart disease risk.
Get your flu shot. A 2018 study found the risk of heart attack was 6 times higher within a week of confirmed flu infection.
The Big O. A studies found that women who had two orgasms a week were 30% less likely to develop heart disease, and men who had sex at least twice a week were 50% less likely to have a heart attack. Scientists think it’s all thanks to the DHEA, or dehydroepiandrosterone, that gets released when the moment arrives.
Treat yourself to a cup of joe. A 10-year study found that drinking a cup of coffee may lower your risk of early death by 8%, and drinking six to seven cups lowers your risk by 16%. Another study found links between coffee and lower risk of heart failure, stroke and coronary artery disease, with greater benefits the more cups consumed, up to six per day! They think the caffeine, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties found in your morning brew are the helpful factors.
So go ahead, make a date to take a friend out for coffee and cherry pie, maybe a heart-healthy walk afterwards, and best of luck on checking off the rest of our suggestions above.
Franklin VNA & Hospice is your choice for excellence in Homecare and Hospice.
Choose local. Choose Excellence. Choose Franklin VNA & Hospice.
For more information, call Franklin VNA & Hospice at 934-3454 or visit FranklinVNA.org.