February is Heart Health Month!

February is Heart Health Month!

Blog written by Amenti Bekere, WIC Nutritionist Assistant at Mary’s Center

Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. February is heart health awareness month which focuses on raising awareness for heart disease and stroke prevention. Many factors contribute to this issue, such as lifestyle, health conditions, age, and family history. Health conditions that put people at potential risk are high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes. Also, lifestyle factors like eating unhealthy foods, physical inactivity, smoking, stress, and lack of sleep can increase a person’s risk. 

What can we do to prevent it?  

There are different ways we can protect the health of our heart and reduce the risk of heart disease. Some examples include incorporating healthier lifestyle habits and going to the doctor for regular physical check-ups. Examples of lifestyle habits to improve are eating healthy, being physically active, maintaining a healthy weight, reducing sugar, decreasing stress, quitting smoking, and getting adequate sleep. 

Eating healthy is one way to reduce the risk of heart disease and WIC can help with that! WIC offers foods in the benefits packages, such as whole grains (whole grain bread, oatmeal, whole wheat tortilla, brown rice, or pasta), low-fat dairy options, fruits, and vegetables. Those who consume 3 or more servings of whole grain foods daily are 30x less likely to develop heart disease compared to those who do not include whole grain options. WIC’s low-fat dairy options are recommended for those with high cholesterol or heart disease. In addition to other lifestyle changes, consuming these foods in our regular diet can help keep our hearts healthy! 

The American Heart Association organizes a heart walk every year throughout the United States to celebrate survivors and create awareness about heart disease. If you are looking for a family fun activity to incorporate more physical activity, this can be a great way to have fun with family and friends! Check out their website to find an event near you! 

 2024 Wall Street Run & Heart Walk – Heart Walk – American Heart Association 



How to prevent heart disease: Risk factors, tips, and more (medicalnewstoday.com) 

Prevent Heart Disease | cdc.gov  

‘Reclaim your rhythm’ during American Heart Month in February | American Heart Association