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Heart disease is the #1 cause of death in the U.S. Although it is thought to be a concern of older generations, heart disease is important to old and young alike. Even if heart disease runs in your family, there are things you can do to prevent it. With plenty of research supporting epigenetics, your diet and lifestyle can play a huge role in how your genes express and change. All in all, it’s never too late to take care of your heart. Here are four tips to help prevent heart disease in the future:

1. Eat plenty of vegetables. The more variety of colors, the better. (Sorry, corn and potatoes don’t count). Vegetables are chock full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants your body needs. Also, they are the #1 food for fiber content (move over whole wheat multi-grain bread!) They are hydrating, moving and cooling. Start eating 5 to 7 servings a day and you’ll notice a huge impact on your health.

2. Exercise for at least 30 minutes 5 days a week. Moderate cardiovascular exercise and weight-bearing exercises are best. Exercise helps increase your circulation through your heart and the rest of your body. It also alleviates pain, prevents injury, and boosts energy. Don’t forget to stretch before and after your workout! It will help prevent muscle cramps and spasms.

3. Meditate everyday. Mindfulness and meditation have become buzz words lately. More and more research is becoming available about the health benefits of meditation. The main goal with meditation is to bring your focus into the present moment. You’re not trying to stop your thoughts (not possible), hold your breath (don’t do it), or sit perfectly still (hello, muscle cramps!). It’s all about you being you and being with your self. No need to sit in full lotus position to meditate. It can be done lying down, standing and our favorite, walking. If you’re new to meditation, we recommend practicing with a meditation group near you.

4. Get regular acupuncture treatments. Acupuncture can work wonders for your heart. It can increase circulation, alleviate pain, increase your sense of wellbeing and reduce stress. More specifically with heart health, acupuncture can help regulate an irregular heart beat, increase blood flow to/from the heart, and alleviate chest pain. Chinese herbs can help, too.

This list only provides a few ways to prevent heart disease. We want to hear your suggestions. What do you do to keep your heart healthy? Please leave a comment below.

Source: CDC: Heart Disease Facts & Statistics

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