National Wear Red Day
Today is National Wear Red Day. National Wear Red Day is celebrated globally on the first Friday of February. Around the globe we unite to wear red to raise awareness, become educated, and support women suffering from cardiovascular diseases. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death among women. 1 in 3 deaths in the US are caused by cardiovascular disease, this is too many. According to the CDC, there are 200,000 deaths from heart disease and stroke per year, due to lifestyle changes. They are preventable, so let’s make a change and make our hearts healthy!
What is Cardiovascular Disease?
Cardiovascular disease is an umbrella term for coronary heart disease, heart failure, hypertension, and stroke. Coronary Heart Disease is responsible for half of cardiovascular related deaths. Coronary Heart Disease includes acute myocardial infarction (heart attacks), unstable angina pectoris (chest pain), and sudden cardiac death. In the United States, every 42 seconds someone suffers a heart attack. Warning signs for a heart attack include tightness or pain in the chest, shortness of breath, flu like symptoms, arm, back, or neck pain, abnormal heartbeat, fatigue, lightheadedness, and/or nausea. A stroke occurs every 40 seconds and is the second leading cause of death among cardiovascular disease. Two of the more common symptoms of stroke include memory loss and paralysis. Paralysis occurs on the opposite side of the body of where the brain damage has occurred. Patients with right brain damage may experience vision problems and/or may behave impulsively or inappropriately. Patients with left brain damage may experience problems with their language or speech.
Ayurveda Heart Healthy Tips:
1. Manage Stress: It is important to reduce daily stressors in your life. Stress is a component in 5 out of 6 leading causes of death in the United States. Did you know 75-90% of doctors’ visits are for stress related issues? The Ayurvedic Yoga Therapy (AYT) perspective of stress illustrates that tension is created in the natural play of opposites that exist in nature. Stress is our experience when these natural polarities are out of balance (IYT YTT Manual: 8.2)
a. Take a yoga class
b. Practice a form of Meditation, guided imagery, progressive relaxation or Yoga Nidra
c. Focus on your breath
d. Read your favorite book
e. Step outside and breathe in the fresh air
2. Stay Active: Part of being heart healthy includes daily exercise. Cardiovascular risk factors include obesity, hypertension, sedentary lifestyle, dyslipidemia (elevated cholesterol), family history, cigarette smoking, and age. A majority of the risk factors can be avoided with weight management and a healthy lifestyle. As little as 30 minutes a day of exercise can make a huge difference! If you feel like you’re too busy to exercise for 30 minutes, split it up! You can take a 15 min walk in the morning and 15 min walk in the evening. There are plenty of ways to get in your daily dose of activity.
a. Go on a nature walk
b. Make it either a competition or cooperation with coworkers, friends or family for most miles/ steps walked this month
i. Download the app charity miles! Track the miles you walk while donating to your favorite charity
c. Have a dance party, maybe virtually for now, or safely with your pod
d. Take an online exercise or dance class
e. Bike or walk around the neighborhood
f. Take a swim
3. Eat Healthy: Nutrition is key, an Ayurvedic diet focuses on balancing the energy within your body. Everybody has a dominant dosha and the ayurvedic diet focuses on keeping the doshas in balance. There are specific food guidelines for each constitutional type which will support digestion and improves one’s overall health.
a. Eat according to your constitutional type; take our doshic questionnaire to find out which dosha you are
b. Follow the DASH diet (dietary approaches to stop hypertension)
c. Limit sodium and refined sugar
d. Cook; home cooked food is healthier than eating out, especially fast food
e. Eat more fruits, veggies, whole grains, and lean meats
f. Swap unhealthy fats for healthy fats; unhealthy fats are fats that are hydrogenated or high in saturated fats (butter, corn oil, margarine, soybean oil)
i. Healthy Fats: ghee, olive oil, avocado, nuts, salmon (do not consume avocado oil, when it’s heated, the omega ratio becomes unbalanced)
ii. Ghee: In Ayurvedic cooking and baking we use ghee rather than butter. Ghee is easily digestible and helps improve absorption and assimilation. Ghee is acceptable for Pitta and Vata and can be used in moderation for Kapha.
g. Add spices to your dishes to stimulate and strengthen your enzyme production that enhances digestive strength.
4. Get a Good Night’s Rest; it is recommended to sleep 7-8 hours a night. Not getting an adequate amount of sleep each night can lead to many health problems, including cardiovascular diseases.
a. Rise with the sun and go to sleep by 10:00 pm
b. Trouble sleeping try reading before bed or listening to a sleep meditation
c. Turn off your electronics at least 30 minutes before falling asleep
d. Take your Medications and Keep Track of your Doctor Appointments
Herbal Remedies for Heart Health:
1. Arjuna: promotes healthy functioning of the heart muscle, strengthens the circulatory system
2. Cinnamon: lowers bad cholesterol levels (LDL) and can lower blood pressure
3. Garlic: lowers blood pressure, lowers bad cholesterol levels (LDL) and increases HDL (good cholesterol), and may reduce risk of heart attack and stroke (not advised for pitta dosha)
4. Ginger: increases excretion of cholesterol, increases circulation, burns ama (toxins)
5. Turmeric: lower bad cholesterol (LDL), reduces inflammation, and helps prevent blood clots
Heart Healthy Muffin Recipe:
Who said muffins couldn’t be healthy? A basic tridhoshic recipe, intended to be altered to create your own original muffins.
• 1 cup whole wheat flour
• 1 cup unbleached white flour
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 3⁄4 teaspoon baking soda
• 3⁄4 teaspoon salt
• 1/3 cup sugar
• 3⁄4 cup buttermilk or yogurt
• 3⁄4 cup water
• 1⁄4 cup melted ghee
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Butter 12 muffin cups.
2. Mix the dry ingredients together.
3. Mix the buttermilk, water, and oil. Pour over the dry ingredients.
4. Beat until just barely mixed, about 15 strokes.
5. Pour the batter into the muffin cups. Bake until nicely browned, about 20 minutes.
• Date-Nut Muffins: Add 2/3 cup chopped dates and 1⁄2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans in Step 3. (Yields to 1 to 2 additional muffins.)
• Orange Muffins: Add 1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest and replace the water with orange juice in Step 3.
• Spice Muffins: In Step 2, add 1⁄2 tsp each: ground cinnamon, ground allspice, and ground ginger; 1⁄4 tsp each: ground nutmeg and ground cloves.
• Banana or Pumpkin Muffins: Add 1 cup pureed ripe bananas or pureed cooked pumpkin in Step 3. Reduce the buttermilk (but not the water) to 1⁄2 cup.
• Replace no more than 1⁄2 cup wheat flour with non-wheat flours such as barley, buckwheat, cornmeal, or bran.
• Replace buttermilk or sour milk with nondairy milk or fruit juice mixed with 2 tablespoons lemon juice.
• Add 1 cup drained grate carrot, zucchini, apple; reduce the buttermilk to 1⁄2 cup.
How can you celebrate National Wear Red Day?
1. Wear Red
2. Promote Wear Read Day by posting on Social Media, creating a blog, posting a selfie of you doing your favorite heart healthy activity, and using #WearRedDay
3. Donate to the cause- American Heart Association
a. Donations are being matched!!
4. Become educated on cardiovascular diseases and ways to prevent cardiovascular disease and death
5. Decorate your office with red decorations or change your virtual background on zoom (wear red virtual backgrounds provided in first link below)
6. Get active
7. Create your favorite heart healthy recipe
8. Global Virtual Dance Party at 12- 12:30 pm ET!!
9. Register: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/education-and-awareness/heart-month/wear-red-day