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Happy American Heart Month! Control Your Blood Pressure for a Healthy Heart

Helpful Tips and a Recipe from Your Friends at Wesley Enhanced Living

February is American Heart Month. As we celebrate throughout the month, it’s a good time to remind ourselves that managing one’s health is vital to preventing heart disease. Maintaining your weight and exercise go a long way to living your life to its fullest as you enjoy new adventures. It is never too late to make your overall health and wellness a priority.

Enjoy nutritious meals and age-appropriate exercises to give you the boost you need when you move to a Wesley Enhanced Living community. Our staff is dedicated to your health and wellness. We give you opportunities to remain mentally, physically, and socially engaged. 

Suggestions for Controlling Your Blood Pressure

One common condition that contributes to heart disease is high blood pressure. It is more commonly found in older people as our bodies change and arteries get stiffer. The good news is that most people can control their blood pressure. Here is how you can, too:

  1. Maintain a healthy weight. Talk with your doctor about your weight and if you need to lose any pounds. Remember that being overweight adds to your risk of high blood pressure.
  2. Make exercise a daily habit. Yes, you can and should continue to exercise in your senior years. Moderate exercise can help regulate your blood pressure and leave you feeling more energetic. Always consult with your doctor before starting an exercise routine.
  3. Enjoy healthy food choices. Try to eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy foods. Experiment with new recipes like the one below and see if your taste buds don’t get excited!
  4. Reduce your salt intake. Your body may become more sensitive to the effects of salt. You can still enjoy flavorful foods by substituting spices and herbs for salt.
  5. Get plenty of sleep. Establish a regular bedtime and routine. Avoid watching television or using other digital screens before bed. The habit will help you get better sleep and may improve your blood pressure.

Special Recipe! Enjoy Chipotle Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Here is a recipe submitted by Wesley’s in-house dietitian. It’s adapted from the American Heart Association and is a warm and satisfying meal. 

Tasty lean protein (chicken) with heart-healthy beans, minimal added fat, and tons of salt-free flavor placed on top of a rich and hearty sweet potato – a starch option that’s full of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. This can be made vegetarian with the omission of chicken and the addition of extra beans, and vegan with a cheese/dairy substitute such as crumbled cauliflower or cashew sauce.

It pairs very well with some fresh guacamole and sliced raw vegetables, as a starter, or as an easy side dish.

Ingredients

  • 4 medium sweet potatoes (thoroughly washed)
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts (all visible fat discarded)
  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/2 medium white or yellow onion (diced)
  • 3/4 cup frozen corn (thawed, drained)
  • 15 ounce canned, low-sodium black beans
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tsp no-calorie sweetener, granulated, 1 packet
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 cup reduced-fat pepper jack cheese

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Pierce each sweet potato all around with a fork. Place potatoes on a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour, until potatoes pierce easily with a fork.
  • While potatoes are baking, rub chicken breasts with olive oil and place in a baking dish, sprinkle with pepper. Bake in the same oven as the potatoes for 20-25 minutes until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken from the oven and let it cool. Once cooled, shred chicken gently with a fork and set aside.
  • Spray a large skillet with cooking spray. Over medium heat, sauté onion 2-3 minutes until translucent. Add in corn and beans, stirring occasionally until heated through, approximately 3-5 minutes. Gently add chicken, lime juice, no-calorie sweetener, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, oregano, and water. Stir until well blended and cook until the mixture is warmed throughout.
  • Carefully remove potatoes from oven and slice open lengthwise (be careful of escaping steam!).
  • Add ¼ of bean and chicken mixture (approx. ¾ cup) to each potato and top with cheese.
  • Return to oven until cheese is melted.

Enjoy Heart Happy Meals at Wesley Enhanced Living

When you live at Wesley Enhanced Living, you get the best of all things! From heart-healthy meals to fun games, learning activities, yoga, and more. Our communities center around you and your needs. We have a variety of living options, including independent living, personal care, and rehabilitation and skilled nursing, to fit your lifestyle choice. Visit us today to learn more. 

Wesley Enhanced Living provides high-quality senior retirement communities for you or your loved ones.  Contact one of our Philadelphia area locations and find out why our seniors love where they live. Our staff is happy to discuss your elder’s needs or your own, give you a tour and inform you of our range of services.

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Senior Living Inquiries:
877-U-AGE-WEL
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Corporate Office Phone:
215-354-0565
Corporate Office Fax:
215-354-1435
Reporter Inquiries: 
Colleen Scott, 856-242-9200

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