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February is American Heart Month: Tips to Keep Your Heart Healthy

Applies to: All markets

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women, but heart disease is preventable and controllable.

At Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, we are at the heart of health care. We want to help our members and customers achieve their best health. In recognition of American Heart Month, we offer the following tips:

Choose healthy food and drinks A heart-healthy diet includes:

  • Vegetables, such as greens (spinach, collard greens, kale), broccoli, cabbage and carrots
  • Fruits, such as apples, bananas, oranges, pears, grapes and prunes
  • Whole grains, such as plain oatmeal, brown rice and whole-grain bread or tortillas
  • Fat-free or low-fat dairy foods, such as milk, cheese or yogurt
  • Fish high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, tuna and trout, about 8 ounces a week
  • Lean meats, such as 95 percent lean ground beef or pork tenderloin
  • Poultry, such as skinless chicken or turkey
  • Eggs
  • Nuts (walnuts, almonds, pine nuts), seeds (sesame, sunflower, pumpkin, flax) and soy products
  • Nut and seed butters
  • Legumes, such as kidney beans, lentils, chickpeas, black-eyed peas and lima beans
  • Oils and foods containing high levels of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, such as canola, corn, olive, safflower, sesame, sunflower and soybean oils
  • Avocados
  • Tofu
  • Limited salt and alcohol consumption

Maintain a healthy weight
Body Mass Index (BMI) is a person’s weight in pounds divided by height in inches squared and multiplied by a conversion factor of 703. To make it easier to determine your BMI, use the calculator from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 is considered a normal or healthy weight.

Get regular physical activity
For adults, 2.5 hours of moderate-intensity exercise a week is recommended.

For children and adolescents, 1 hour of physical activity every day is recommended.

Don’t smoke
If you smoke, quit. There are resources that can help you. You can:

  • Chat with a National Cancer Institute LiveHelp information specialist to get immediate information and answers about quitting smoking. LiveHelp is available weekdays, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Eastern Time. LiveHelp also is available in Spanish.
  • Call for help:
    • 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) All states have quitlines with counselors who are trained specifically to help smokers quit. Call this number to connect directly to your state’s quitline. Hours of operation and services vary from state to state.
    • 1-877-44U-QUIT (877-448-7848) The National Cancer Institute’s trained counselors provide information and support for quitting in English and Spanish. Call weekdays, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Eastern Time.
Published on: February 5, 2020, 01:58 a.m. ET
Last updated on: April 27, 2021, 04:46 a.m. ET