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Show your heart some love: Six ways to keep it healthy

February is all about hearts, from greeting your valentine to being aware of cardiovascular health. Heart disease continues to be the No. 1 cause of death in Americans, so taking steps to show your heart some love is crucial. Here are six ways to give your heart the attention it needs and deserves.


Although it is playfully referred to as a “spare tire,” excess fat around the midsection and organs is nothing to joke about. This belly fat increases the risk of heart disease, even in people with a healthy total body mass index. To reduce this excess fat, eat more fiber and protein and cut back on refined carbohydrates and sugar. Get regular exercise and takes steps to reduce stress.


Beans contain protein, minerals and fiber without the saturated fat found in meat. Adding them to your diet reduces cholesterol, a known factor in heart disease. Look for ways to add beans to your favorite dishes. Put them in salsa, sprinkle them on a salad, add them to rice or make them into hummus for snacking. Beans will also fill you up, reducing the desire to overeat.


Try adding fish to your diet to improve your heart health. Ideally, have fish twice a week and focus on fish that are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial to heart health. Recommended fish include salmon, cod, lake trout and canned light tuna.shutterstock_2024411258Image used licensed by Shutterstock


Laughter is good medicine for your heart because it prompts your body to release hormones called endorphins. These hormones can reduce harmful stress, boost the immune system, lower blood pressure and improve circulation. So, share that knock-knock joke and show your heart you care.


Enjoying a glass of red wine on occasion may help improve your heart health. Red wine contains antioxidants that may protect the lining of blood vessels in the heart and prevent blood clots. The key is to limit wine consumption to no more than one glass daily.shutterstock_1917106886Image used licensed by Shutterstock


Adding nuts to your diet can benefit your heart. Although nuts are high in fat, the fats are mainly monounsaturated fats that can help reduce bad cholesterol. Nuts are also high in fiber, protein and disease-fighting minerals and vitamins. Try adding nuts to your stir-fry, sprinkling them on salads, adding them to breads or stirring them into yogurt.


While taking these steps to avoid heart disease is ideal, it can still happen. Fortunately, cardiovascular care has seen many advances in past years. Doctors are often able to prevent serious heart attacks with medications and surgical procedures. Getting proper care following heart surgery or a heart episode is crucial in promoting and maintaining a healthy heart. Glenview Terrace offers one of the finest cardiac care programs in the Chicagoland area. Individualized, comprehensive physical and respiratory therapies are offered up to seven days a week to help patients recover as quickly as possible. Continuous cardiac monitoring is provided to keep progress steady and safe. Nutritional and wellness education is also provided to help patients experience a successful recovery. This top-notch cardiac care is provided in an elegant environment with a commitment to comfort.

At Glenview Terrace, the focus is always to safely and quickly get you back to your active life after surgery, a hospital stay or a medical event. Focusing on healthcare excellence and safety, Glenview Terrace provides the latest infection-control precautions. Glenview Terrace has been ranked among the top 1% of all Illinois post-hospital rehabilitation and nursing care centers by Newsweek — and has earned the Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval certification for post-hospital and post-surgical care. For additional information or to arrange a personalized virtual tour, visit or call 847-729-9090.

– J. Buchenot for Glenview Terrace