It’s never too late or too early to improve your heart health—here’s how.

Brownsville, Texas – During February’s American Heart Month, the medical experts at Valley Regional Medical Center are encouraging members of the south Texas community to take practical steps to get their heart health back on track.

Knowing what you need to do to have better heart health—like eating right and exercising—is easy, but implementing it in your own life can seem daunting. “The key to having a healthy heart is to start now,” says interventional cardiologist, Fahad Javed, MD. “Small, manageable changes can pave the way to a longer, healthier future with your friends and family.”

Here are some places to start:

  • Decrease your salt intake gradually – it might be hard to believe, but your taste buds actually will adjust to the decrease over time
  • Make salt substitutions in food – use garlic, oregano, lemon or lime juice and other flavorful herbs and spices
  • Consider limiting potassium in your diet (your doctor can help determine what amounts of potassium are safe and healthy for you)
  • Focus on getting dark green, red and orange vegetables in your diet
  • If you don’t like the texture or flavor of certain vegetables, puree them into sauces you already like—such as spaghetti sauce—and eat them with other foods
  • To get a sweet fix without sacrificing heart health, eat frozen yogurt with sautéed apples, fresh peaches or other fruits
  • Involve your friends and family: go for walks instead of sitting indoors, ask for support in getting regular exercise and let them know that you want to do this for yourself and for them

If these ideas don’t appeal to you, get online and check out heart-healthy recipes, tips and tricks. Much of the work to figure out how to get healthy has already been done for you—you just have to find the ways that work for you.

“Remember it’s never too late to start taking control of your own health. With advances in medical technology and a healthcare professional’s help, you can reach your health goals,” says Javed.

Talk to your doctor today about what you can do to have a change of heart.

For a physician referral please call (956) 350-7300.