According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, the Heart is known as The Emperor. In other words, the Heart runs this whole slick operation called The Body, so it is of utmost importance to keep it happy and healthy. 🙂
In no particular order, and in honor of my personal favorite holiday, Valentine’s Day, here are my favorite ways to take care of your precious Heart — literally, and metaphorically.
1) Hug a puppy (or do something that makes you inconceivably happy). I believe animals are one of the best sources of pure love on the planet. Sometimes just looking at a photo or video of a particularly cute animal or animal story (Google or YouTube are great for this!) will instantly put you in a good mood and fill you with Heart-healthy hormones and endorphins. In Chinese medicine, every organ is associated with an emotion–the Heart with joy–and laughter really is the best medicine.
2) Love yourself more. You deserve it. 🙂
3) Choose heart-healthy foods like whole grains, low fat proteins, unsaturated fats, fresh fruits and veggies. And ditch your table salt for sea salt, which can actually improve your Heart health.
4) Supplement. In a recent study conducted by USANA Health Sciences and Boston University School of Medicine, vitamin C and grape-seed extract were found to significantly improve cases of coronary artery disease (CAD). Protecting against oxidative damage, these two powerful antioxidants support blood flow to and from the heart, as well as peripheral blood vessels. The results from this study were so impressive that they were recently shared at an event sponsored by the American Heart Association. Imagine the effectiveness of taking these essential nutrients preventatively!
5) Eat as low glycemic as possible. The Heart, like any other organ in the body, does not like inflammation. Eating a low glycemic diet reduces inflammation throughout the body, making your heart very happy indeed.
6) Do something loving for someone else.
7) Slow down, rest, de-stress, meditate, whatever you want to call it. Your Heart and your Spirit go hand-in hand in Chinese medicine. When the Heart is imbalanced, you may experience excessive sweating, anxiety, insomnia, vivid dreams, or heart palpitations. When the Heart is balanced and healthy, you will feel calm and happy. To positively effect your Heart health, make it a habit to slow down and relax at least once everyday.
8 ) Eat chocolate. Yes, you heard that correctly. A small amount of high quality, dark chocolate (at least 70%) is full of heart-healthy antioxidants and will release feel-good endorphins in your brain. In Chinese medicine, chocolate actually stimulates and moves your Heart Qi (or Heart energy), which tends to become “stuck” especially for women around their period.
9) Exercise, do something FUN that you look forward to! Hula-hooping anyone?
1) Leave a comment below letting me know which 2 things from the list above you are going to do for your heart this week.
2) If you like this post “like” it and share with your friends using the fun buttons on the left!
Photo: My sweet puppy