4 tips to live a more heart-healthy lifestyle

In honor of American Heart Month this February, you can make positive changes to your well-being by evaluating how your everyday lifestyle affects your heart health. To get started, take steps to understand your risk, then consider making healthier choices to help lower your chances of heart disease.

Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist Dawn Jackson Blatner shares a few of her tips to help you live a heart-healthy lifestyle, starting with your routine wellness visits.

1. Know your risk

Getting regular health screenings as part of your annual exam is crucial to understanding your risk for heart disease. By consulting with your primary healthcare provider on a regular basis, you can ask questions and get advice on practical steps you could take to improve your well-being.

“Regular wellness visits are a crucial part of staying healthier,” Blatner advises. “And it’s always recommended to talk to your doctor before beginning any new exercise routine or nutrition program.”

2. Stay active

Try to fit 30-60 minutes of physical activity into your day, which can include walking, gardening or household chores as well as swimming, dancing, playing a sport or taking a fitness class. Various aerobic activities that get your heart rate up, strength exercises to build muscle, plus yoga or stretching for flexibility are usually a good mix.

Make it easier to exercise enough each day by breaking up activity into smaller chunks rather than doing it all at once.

3. Reduce stress

The good news is that many of the activities you can do to keep physically active have the added benefit of reducing your stress levels. According to the Mayo Clinic, exercise can improve your mood, reduce tension and help you focus throughout your day.

Apart from exercise, you can try meditation, breathing exercises and any other relaxing activities that help you feel calm and reduce anxiety.

4. Focus on foods that boost wellness

Eat a variety of nutritious foods to help improve your blood pressure and cholesterol, including veggies and fruits, whole grains, healthy fats like avocado, lean meats and eggs.

“When it comes to eggs, I always recommend Eggland’s Best,” Blatner adds. “Eggland’s Best eggs have more than double the Omega-3’s compared to ordinary eggs, which support heart health in a variety of important ways such as boosting good cholesterol, lowering triglycerides, and promoting healthy blood pressure.”

In addition, Eggland’s Best eggs contain 25% less saturated fat compared to ordinary eggs, which helps support healthier blood cholesterol levels and overall heart health. Eggland’s Best eggs also have more than double the amount of Vitamin B12, ten times more Vitamin E and six times more Vitamin D.

To help you include more eggs in your daily diet, Blatner shares this recipe from the American Heart Association and Eggland’s Best for easy-to-make egg tostadas that are a delicious and hearty snack or breakfast.

Eggland’s Best is a national supporter of the American Heart Association’s Healthy for Good Eat Smart initiative. To learn more, visit EgglandsBest.com.

POACHED EGG TOSTADAS WITH AVOCADO-TOMATILLO SALSA

Prep time 10 minutes; cook time 20 minutes.

Ingredients

· 4 Eggland’s Best eggs, large

· Cooking spray

· Four 6-inch corn tortillas

· 1 tablespoon white vinegar

Salsa Ingredients

· 1 medium avocado (diced)

· 1 medium Anaheim pepper (seeds and ribs discarded, diced)

· 1 medium tomatillo (papery husk discarded, diced)

· 1/2 medium tomato (diced)

· 1/4 cup diced red onion

· 1/4 cup chopped, fresh cilantro

· 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

· 1 medium garlic clove (minced)

· 1/8 teaspoon salt

Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Lightly spray the foil with cooking spray.
  2. Arrange the tortillas in a single layer on the foil. Lightly spray the tortillas with cooking spray. Using a fork, pierce the tortillas a few times to prevent them from filling with air. Bake for 5 to 6 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Transfer to serving plates.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, bring the water and vinegar to a boil over high heat.
  4. In a medium bowl, gently stir together all the salsa ingredients. Set aside.
  5. Once the water has come to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer. Break an egg into a cup and then carefully slip the egg into the simmering water. Repeat with the remaining eggs, placing them in the water so they don’t touch. Simmer for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the whites are completely set and the yolks are beginning to set, but aren’t hard. Using a slotted spoon, drain the eggs well. Place each egg on a tostada. Serve with the salsa.

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