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Your Heart on Valentine’s Day

February 9, 2021

heart health utica nyWe hope you get your sweet heart something nice this Valentine’s Day. Maybe some tasty chocolate candy. A fancy Hallmark card. Or go big with some fine jewelry.

But there’s another sweet heart we’d like to talk about. Your heart! It’s not only the iconic symbol of Valentine’s Day, but February is also American Heart Month.

What better time to consider your heart health, especially during these tough times with the pandemic.

So let’s start with one of the easiest ways to benefit your heart. A delicious and nutritious heart healthy diet. We checked in with the American Heart Association for more on how to eat right. What we found is both colorful and tasty.

Heart Healthy Eating

First off let’s appreciate all the work our grocery store workers do for us on the front lines of the pandemic. Here in the Utica area they are literally risking their lives for our community. We thank them and pray they stay safe.

Now let’s get to some ways to eat heart healthy:

1. Living Color
Fruits and vegetables are delightfully colorful. And health experts say they’re exceptionally nutritious. But why exactly is that so?

  • Fruits and veggies are generally free of trans fat, saturated fat, and sodium. So you can eat all you want. And they are so good tasting, we wonder why many of us didn’t like them as kids.
  • They are low in calories. They contain lots of fiber and water. That means they’ll fill you up so you can lose weight.
  • No matter the packaging, fruits and vegetables can be part of your healthy diet. They’re a nutritional power boost whether you buy them fresh, frozen, canned or dried.
  • They lower the risk of many serious and chronic health conditions. These include heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, and even some cancers.

2. Good Fats
Try replacing saturated fats such as butter, cakes, meats, and cheese with unsaturated fats. These can help you lower bad cholesterol and triglyceride levels. And they provide essential nutrients.

Here are some delicious foods with unsaturated fat:

  • Fish. The Heart Association recommends fish twice a week. That includes albacore tuna, herring, lake trout, mackerel, sardines, and salmon. With all of these you’ll get omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Nuts. These are one of the best sources for unsaturated fats. They’re easy to eat by themselves or in cooked dishes. And they taste great! Almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and walnuts fit the bill. The only caution is that they are high in calories. It doesn’t take many to gain weight. So just a handful is best.
  • Avocado. Cook or bake with avocado. Or eat fresh. Not only will you get healthy fats but also fiber and vitamins and minerals.
  • Oils. Use cooking and salad dressing oils lower in saturated fat. These include avocado, canola, corn, grapeseed, olive, peanut, safflower, sesame, soybean, and sunflower oils.

So be sure to include color and good fats as you and your loved ones enjoy a heart healthy Valentine’s Day dinner.

COVID-19 Is More Than a Lung Disease

And hopefully you’ll be serving that dinner at home this year to help stop the spread of COVID-19. So we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the pandemic in light of its effect on your heart and blood vessels.

COVID-19 gets into the body through the lungs. But it turns out that it’s much more than a lung disease. The enzyme that it latches onto is also present in the heart, the intestinal system, the stomach, and nerve cells. And the virus will bind to the linings of the blood vessels that go throughout the body. This can set off blood clotting.

The upshot here is to follow all of the proper protocols to stop the spread. And to avoid getting the disease yourself. This is especially true of you have any preexisting heart health problems.

Dinner and Fine Jewelry

So you’ve had a nice, heart-healthy dinner at home. You decide to give your Valentine a beautiful gift of fine jewelry.

We’re sure the first thing to pop into your mind will be the insurance! Well, maybe not.

But that’s what we’re here for. So just a quick heads up. There’s a limitation for theft of jewelry in most homeowners insurance policies. So call us and we’ll help you properly protect that thoughtful sign of your love.

Happy Valentine’s Day Mohawk Valley!!

Until next time,
Your SZW Team

SZW Insurance is your Utica area Trusted Choice™ independent insurance agent. Call us for a quote on insurance for your home, car, business, or life at 315.792.0000. Or request a quote here. In Westchester County call Zak Scalzo at 914.246.0315 or email at zaks@szwinsurance.com.