Earlier this week my wife and boys put up Valentine’s Day decorations. Window clings show little animals holding heart-shaped cards, a heart-shaped balloon is floating above our curio cabinet and there’s even hand towels with hearts in our kitchen and bathrooms. This got me thinking about taking care of your heart . . . from a cardiovascular perspective. We all know that regular exercise and a healthy diet are key to reducing diseases. But did you know that the mix of bacteria in your gut may also affect cardiovascular risk? As a matter of fact, the intestinal tract contains over 500 different species of bacteria. A recent article in Science News explains more about the connection.

What can you do to keep a healthy gut? Follow these three tips:
1. Stay hydrated and drink plenty of water.
2. Eat foods high in fiber like whole grains, legumes and vegetables.
3. Avoid irritants like alcohol and fatty foods.

You may also want to consider a probiotic supplement like Florajen. Probiotics can renew and maintain the natural balance of flora in your intestines. In addition, they assist in nutrient absorption and support the immune system.