Quad Cities, IL/IA

Working with the community... for a healthier community.

Heart Smart


By Mary Huebbe, Marketing Director, Ridgecrest Village

Nowadays, heart disease is becoming very common. The Mayo Clinic treats more than 177,000 people each year. There are many remedies you can use to prevent having heart problems, but none of them are guaranteed to work.
I started looking into the different remedies several years ago when my parents announced that my dad needed to have an open-heart surgery. There were many different ideas, but out of everything I read, all of them had these five things.

  1. Pay attention to your diet: Add plenty of fruits and veggies, grains, and foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, like fresh tuna or herring, to your diet. Reduce the amount of sodium, sweets, and red meats.
  2. Learn to relax: Find your own way to relax. It could be yoga, fishing, swimming, or even just meditation. Control your temper because arguing and getting worked up about something could also lead to a heart attack. So, no more hot heads!
  3. No smoking: If you are a smoker, quit. If people smoke around you, make them stop. After doing this for just one year, you will have reduced your risk of a heart attack.
  4. Pay attention to your blood pressure: High blood pressure increases your risk of a heart attack. Using the first three steps from above should help you lower your blood pressure; if not, see your doctor and he could prescribe you something to help.
  5. Watch your blood sugar level:  Too much sugar in your blood can damage your arteries, which could lead to a heart attack or stroke. Talk to your doctor if you have concerns; she should be able to help you get started on a new and healthier lifestyle. Remember, you really don’t know if you have an issue until it’s too late, so stay ahead of the game and take control of your body.

Something I found very interesting when I was reading all the information was that there is another thing that studies have been showing is good for your heart: red wine. Red wine, when drank in moderation, has certain components in it that prevent clots and reduce blood vessel inflammation, both of which have been linked to cognitive decline and heart disease (Tedd Goldfinger, DO, of the University of Arizona School of Medicine). The alcohol seems to raise HDL, which is the so-called good cholesterol, which helps unclog your arteries. Just like everything else we do to help our bodies, we need to remember to only consume wine in moderation. If we have too much, it can have the opposite effect and cause our body damage.

My next surprise was cheese. In 2016, a paper that was published in the Journal of the American Heart Association found that choosing foods that provide healthier fats was linked to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, and eating it moderately has been found to predict a longer life. Eating healthier fats has been shown to lower levels of bad LDL cholesterol.

With all of this knowledge, I would like to invite you to come out to Ridgecrest join us for our 6th Annual Wine & Cheese event on Friday August 25th, so we can help keep your heart healthy together. If you are interested in attending, please RSVP by August 17th so we are sure to have enough heart healthy snacks to share with everyone. Call Mary or Karen at 563-391-3430 and make your reservation today!
The information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.