Today is Valentines Day or the one day a year that people celebrate love. During the month of February we are writing posts about all things heart healthy. The heart is also refered to in romantic terms and symbolically linked to feelings of love and loss. Of course the truth is, it is our brains doing the “feeling”, but if you have ever loved or lost you may have felt an actual joy or pain in your ticker.

When we are falling in love our brain releases endorphins. Endorphins are neurotransmitters in our brain that make us feel amazing! Exercising, having sex and laughing all cause endorphins to be released.  Eating chocolate has also been linked to endorphin ‘highs’. Endorphins are naturally produced in our brains and are addictive in the sense that we keep repeating actions that will give us these feelings of happiness and euphoria. This may explain why no matter how many times we get our hearts broken we still seeking out and fall in love.

So whether you have a Valentine today or not, do something that is good for your heart! Watch a funny movie, go do your favorite exercise, buy some delicious chocolate or love your partner! The path to a healthy heart is not only what you put in, it is also about what you put out!

Happy Valentine’s Day!!

February is heart month and we want to share as much heart healthy information as we can with you. So everyday we will write a post about something heart related.

Today, the American Heart Association lowered the recommended daily sodium intake to 2200 milligrams, which is 40% less than previously recommended. The average American consumes around 3600 milligrams of sodium a day! The Los Angeles Times article by Melissa Healy reports that if people dropped their intake to 1500 milligrams a day, that could save 1.2 million lives a year from heart disease related deaths! The National Institute of Health also recommends 2400 milligrams for people with normal sodium levels, but 1500 for those with Hypertension. While there is a lot of debate still on whether there is a direct correlation between high sodium diets and heart attacks, there is no doubt that high sodium diets contribute to high blood pressure, which can contribute to heart disease.

So, what do you do if you have high blood pressure or a high sodium diet? First step is to start reading ingredients and labels on your food.  Processed foods are the enemy and fast foods are a killer! Sodas, breads, salad dressings and snack foods can be loaded with sodium. Secondly, try and add fruits and vegetables into your diet. Do not add salt when cooking or eating out. Try taking the salt shaker off the table at home if that helps you. Try eating natural/organically raised/hormone free meats without seasoning, whole grains and healthy fats such as avocados and olive oil.

Cutting out salt is not easy, especially for salt lovers, but your heart will thank you!

Are vitamins and supplements going to keep you looking and feeling young? Can you reverse your actual age? Vitamins are not a new idea or craze, but what if they can really change you inside and out?

After speaking to a woman I work with, who looks very young for her chronological age, I realized it might be time to up my vitamin intake. I have gone through phases where I take 6 different supplements and then taper off into the regulars I can’t go without, Vitamin D, Fish Oil and Glucosamine. But what if I am missing some important ones? True, the list never ends on what is ‘important’ to take, but mine could be buffed up a little? My friend mentioned adding Alpha-Lipoic Acid into my daily intake, she says it helps keep plaque off our brains.  I do not want plaque on my brain! Of course, Alpha-Lipoic Acid is amazing for the skin but I didn’t know how important it is for our brains!  Alpha Lipoic Acid helps with dementia and Alzheimer’s and warding it off. Needless to say it is now part of my everyday vitamin cocktail!

I am now up to 8 vitamins a day. In addition to the above I am also taking Vitamin C, Green Coffee bean, Biotin (for healthy hair) and Curcumin. Tell us what you take and why?

Stay healthy!