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www.pexels.comValentine’s Day may have been and gone, but you still need to look after your heart and keep it healthy and strong if you want to live well.

On the go food, desk jobs and social media scrolling can all lead to a life that isn’t so great for your heart.

We aren’t here to spoil the fun or lay down the law, but we have some easy to implement ideas that could help you to boost your heart health and lead a better, fitter, happier life in 2020.

Look at portion sizes
The extra-large hot chocolate with cream, the super-size fizzy drink at the cinema and just one more slice of cake might taste good, but the additional calories, sugar and fat could play havoc with your heart as well as your waistline and your teeth. When it comes to portion sizes, you don’t have to overload your plate at every meal or fill your bowl to the top when it comes to cereal. Go easy on meat, stack up the veggies and be sure to drink plenty of water.

Snack on nuts
Yes, we know they come with fats, but eating nuts can help lower your cholesterol levels and half a handful with a banana will help to fill you up. You might want to try walnuts because they are a rich source of the omega-3 fatty acids that can help decrease inflammation in the arteries and protect your heart.

You generally want to eat a balanced diet that is rich in fruit and veg as well as wholegrains, protein and water. Yes, have treats but don’t make take-aways your daily supper staple or you may end up in trouble.

Think about how you cook
As well as what you eat, when it comes to your heart, you need to think about how you prepare your food. To boost your heart and overall health, we suggest you avoid frying or cooking foods in fat and this includes meat, fish and vegetables. If you bake, boil, grill, steam, or poach you will get all the goodness without the nasty heart harming extras. If you are worried about losing flavour, add in spices, herbs, garlic and lemon juice but ease up on salt, cheese and artery clogging cream.

See your friends
Loneliness and isolation aren’t good for any of us. As well as leaving us sad and prone to eating junk food and binge watching boxsets, it can raise the levels of stress hormones which can interfere with circulation and this makes your heart work harder, but not better. So, why not get out and see your friends, make new ones at a club or start a hobby and fill your heart with happiness and connections? Even better, play some sport or join a dance class and get some of the exercise your heart craves and loves.

Give up smoking
We know quitting is hard, but if you do smoke now is the time to stop. Smoking is one of the main causes of heart disease and as soon as you stop, your risk of a heart attack begins to fall. Quitting will also mean you smell better, breathe more easily, save money and generally live life in a smoke free, heart happier zone. There are many free resources out there to make this easier, and you can speak to your GP for help with this.

Ease up on booze
We always say everything in moderation, and that includes drinking. Some research says drinking red wine could be beneficial for your heart, but this is a ‘may’ so if you want to boost your heart health, limiting your consumption of alcohol will be a step in the right direction. Too much wine, beer or vodka won’t be good for you and can lead to abnormal heart rhythms, high blood pressure as well as strokes, liver issues and some cancers.

The thing is, you only have one heart, so love it and look after it and it will serve you well.

Team Pure Beauty