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Simple & Sensible Heart-Healthy Tips

Jan 29, 2021 ● By Meena Malhotra, M.D.

Heart health is on our minds each February during national Heart Month, and we can benefit by remembering to support it daily. Much has been written about the heart, which constantly nourishes every cell in the body. Here are five preventive measures to take in keeping our heart in top shape—HEART.

H stands for hormones. Female hormones are cardioprotective; this is why heart disease is not very common in young women with normal menstrual cycles. As they approach menopause, the risk of heart disease goes up exponentially. This is another reason to keep the hormones optimally balanced for as long as possible.

E stands for exercise. Aerobic exercise 30 to 40 minutes a day, four to six times a week, is crucial for heart health.

A stands for an apple, symbolically representing whole foods. A good rule of thumb is if it grows out of the Earth, it’s good for us, reaffirming the old saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”

R stands for rest. The body repairs itself during restorative sleep. Levels of the stress hormone cortisol decreases and the brain detoxifies itself. Persistent elevated cortisol levels or sympathetic overdrive is not good for heart health.

T stands for tobacco. Consumption of tobacco in any form, chewed or smoked, is cardiotoxic. Just pay attention to HEART to take care of the heart.

Meena Malhotra, M.D., is the medical director of the Heal n Cure Wellness Center, located at 2420 Ravine Way, Ste. 400, in Glenview. For a consultation, call 847-686-4444. For more information, visit.