Breakfast Foods for Heart Health

Does eating breakfast help us lose weight?

For those who are facing high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and obesity there are multiple ways you can improve the health of your heart. One way of lowering your chances of possible health complications is to lose a few pounds. Now how do you approach this?

Studies have shown individuals who eat a healthy breakfast lost more weight than skipping breakfast entirely. It has been said, breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but does it actually contribute to weight loss? No, the act of eating breakfast has very little evidence supporting the correlation between breakfast and losing weight.

Then why did the participants in the studies lose weight?

Many breakfast foods contain whole grains, fiber, lean protein, low-fat dairy products, and fruits. All of these foods are nutrient dense and have shown to encourage weight loss regardless of what time they are eaten. While the act of eating breakfast is not the reason these individuals lost weight, breakfast foods do play an important part in your weight loss efforts.

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Heart Health Month

In the United States the month of February is known as heart health month. This time is set aside to highlight the importance of heart health and the potential impact we can have on ourselves by what we do.

Heart disease is the number one killer of Americans and contributes to hundreds of thousands of deaths a year. It is important to focus on primary care prevention to promote heart health no matter what age. By making simple lifestyle changes and encouraging healthy behaviors it is possible to reduce your risk for heart disease.

  • Eat healthy: choose nutrient dense foods to promote a healthy weight and body.
  • Stay active: exercise conditions your heart and makes it stronger.
  • Reduce stress: high amounts of stress can harm your heart, so stay calm and relax.
  • Get checked: stay current with your physical, it is important to know your body.

Do your part and learn what you can do to make these changes in your life and to stay healthy.

I Have High Blood Pressure, What Do I Do Now?

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, affects about 1 in 3 Americans and is one of the main risk factors of heart disease. If diagnosed with hypertension there are two actions you should take: lifestyle interventions and/or medication.

Lifestyle Interventions

  • Reduce sodium intake:
    • Aim to reduce your sodium intake to less than 2,400 mg a day.
  • Increase physical activity:
    • Exercising at least 30 minutes a day.
  • Drink less:
    • Follow the recommended 2 drinks a day for men and 1 drink for women.
  • Lose weight:
    • For individuals that are overweight or obese, weight loss can help lower blood pressure.

Medication

  • Lowers overall blood pressure:
    • Medication helps lower blood pressure with minimal effort.
  • Helps control extreme cases:
    • If lifestyle changes do not work, medication is highly recommended.

The best overall combination is adopting lifestyle changes AND medication to control blood pressure. By taking initiative and making these changes, it significantly reduces your risk of possible complications.

A Heart Under Stress

Today, it is hard to live a life completely stress-free. There seems to be stressful situations wherever you turn. However, if your body is under a constant state of stress, this can harm your overall health.

What is stress?

Stress is a chemical reaction in the body when an individual is faced with a threat or challenge. This natural occurrence is also known as the fight or flight response which our ancestors used when they had to fight off predators. When this happens the body releases adrenaline and cortisol, two stress hormones that stimulate the autonomic nervous system which prepares our body for action.

Prolonged stress

If an individual is constantly stressed, they are facing some serious adverse health effects. Chronic stress has been linked to the top six leading causes of death in the United States. These include:

  1. Heart disease
  2. Cancer
  3. Stroke
  4. Chronic lower respiratory disease
  5. Accidents
  6. Diabetes

How to lower stress

For those of you who are facing chronic stress, it is important to know how to manage your stress levels. These interventions focus on mental, physical, and sometimes spiritual management techniques in order to help with prolonged stress. Meditation, breathing exercises, time management, physical activity, guided imagery and preparing for future stressors can ultimately help an individual control and manage their stress.

For more information on stress management please visit our main site by the following link: Stress Management.