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Listen to your heart … when it tells you what its needs! It’s time to go beyond what you think you already know about what the heart does — it can affect everything from brain function to sexual health — and find out ways you can improve your own heart health.
On the final episode of “The Secrets to a Healthier, Happier You in 2020” podcast, Us Weekly‘s Christina Garibaldi and RxSaver’s medical expert Dr. Holly Phillips reveal the importance of heart health and how it affects every aspect of your life.
“The heart is the center of the body. It’s the most important muscle,” Phillips explains. “It pumps blood and oxygen to all of our organs. We literally can’t live without it.”
According to the doctor, the most important part of maintaining a healthy heart is knowing your numbers.
“It’s the very first thing I tell my patients,” Phillips says, referring to cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar. “Ideally our total cholesterol number should be below 200. … If you have too much bad cholesterol, it can contribute to artery clogging plaques. When your heart gets clogged, that’s what causes a heart attack.”
Several heart healthy tips involve trying to follow a mostly plant-based diet. According to Phillips, people should limit red meat, sugary foods and sugary drinks. “That’s the basis of a heart healthy diet,” she says. “And quit smoking. If you do smoke, quit. … If you do drink a glass of wine a day and you’re a woman, you don’t need to stop. But we don’t suggest that people start drinking to help their cholesterol.”