February is Heart Month. Since heart disease is the number 1 killer of men and women I thought I’d focus on prevention.
After all if you prevent heart disease you’re very unlikely to die from it.
Here’s a new Harvard study* that says women who eat 3 or more servings of strawberries or blueberries a week can lower their risk of heart attack by 32%. The study also said grapes, eggplant and blackberries may work too. It’s those flavonoids again. The anti-oxidants you find in red wine. Nowadays you can get berries year round and they are perfect low calorie dessert, in smoothies or sprinkled on your cereal. So let’s have a few berries, some eggplant and a glass of Cabernet.
A series of studies by Columbia University Medical Center** says whether or not we perceive ourselves as stressed can be a measure of whether or not we’ll have a heart attack in the future. So from now on I’m not going to perceive myself as stressed. Yea. Seriously, my clients who exercise regularly, particularly aerobic exercise, tend to think of themselves as being more relaxed. And they are more relaxed. Aerobic exercise releases endorphins, the body’s natural tranquilizer, and they know they’re getting the heart benefits of all that cardio. To get the maximum benefit from cardio exercise you should build up to 45 or more minutes at 60 to 80% of your max heart rate. You can ease-in with a few minutes a day at a comfortable pace and build up.
So here’s the formula: eat berries, drink wine, and exercise away your stress.
*High Anthocyanin Intake Is Associated With a Reduced Risk of Myocardial Infarction in Young and Middle-Aged Women http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/127/2/188.full?sid=76f659dd-8b28-4557-b1f9-3df8eaa2502b
**Meta-Analysis of Perceived Stress and Its Association With Incident Coronary Heart Disease http://www.ajconline.org/article/S0002-9149%2812%2901929-7/abstract
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