Keep Your Heart Healthy

Presented by TP Mechanical | Provided by HORAN

This time of year, with Valentine’s Day just passing, you might associate hearts with romance and red roses. But there are two kinds of hearts—in addition to hosting Valentine’s Day, February also serves as Heart Health Month. Take some time this month to think about the blood-pumping kind of heart and what you can do to keep yours healthy.

bigstock-Heart-health-16855943Risk factors for heart disease include related health conditions, unhealthy behaviors and hereditary factors. Health conditions that can increase your chances of heart disease include high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. Cigarette smoking and tobacco use, poor diet, physical inactivity and excessive alcohol consumption are some behaviors that can adversely affect your heart health. Also, for some people, family health history can predict your risk of heart disease.

While you can’t change bad genes or eliminate all risks, there are a few choices you can make to lessen your susceptibility to heart disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), you can engage in a few simple preventive measures to help ward off heart problems.

  • Eat at least five servings of fruit and vegetables every day. Whole grains and low-fat dairy are also good for you.
  • Reduce your consumption of foods high in fat, cholesterol and salt.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Even if you’re busy, try to include at least 30 minutes of moderately intense exercise, such as biking or shoveling snow, into your daily routine.
  • Monitor your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and, if you have diabetes, manage it as recommended by your doctor.
  • Don’t start smoking, or, if you already smoke, consider quitting.
  • Recognize the signs of a heart attack, and call 911 immediately if you think that you or someone else is suffering a heart attack. The symptoms of a heart attack typically include the following:
  • Pain or discomfort in the jaw, neck or back
  • Feeling weak, lightheaded or faint
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Pain or discomfort in arms or shoulder
  • Shortness of breath

When you know the risks of heart disease and the symptoms of a heart attack, you can help protect your heart for you and your loved ones.

Let’s go Bananas!

Let's Go Bananas!Banana nutrition facts – nine things you probably never knew about this nutritious tropical food

Tuesday, November 15, 2011 by: Tara Green

(NaturalNews) Whether as a quick snack, cut up and tossed in the blender for a fruit smoothie, or used to make quick bread or pancakes, most people enjoy bananas. Bananas are such a staple on produce shelves that most of us don’t stop to think about their tropical origins or their many nutritional benefits. Next time you enjoy a banana, consider some of these facts:

1. Hands and Fingers

Bananas do not grow on trees. The banana plant is classified as an arborescent (tree-like) perennial herb and the banana itself is actually considered a berry. The correct name for bunch of bananas is a hand of bananas; a single banana is a finger.

2. Heart Health

One banana contains 467mg of potassium, providing powerful protection to the cardiovascular system. Regular consumption of the potassium-packed fruit helps guard against high blood pressure, atherosclerosis and stroke.

3. Bones

Although bananas do not contain high amounts of calcium, they do supply the body with an abundance of fructooligosaccharide, a prebiotic substance (one which encourages probiotics, the friendly bacteria in the digestive system). As fructooligosaccharides ferment in the digestive tract, they enhance the body’s ability to absorb calcium.

4. Energy and Mood Balancing

Another benefit to bananas high potassium content derives from that mineral’s role as an energy-supplying electrolyte. Since bananas also contain tryptophan, serotonin and norepinephrine, they help prevent depression while encouraging feelings of well-being and relaxation. In addition, the vitamin B6 in bananas helps protect against sleeplessness, mood swings and irritability.