I have a very close relationship with my heart. I know this may sound silly, and you may be thinking, “don’t we all?”. But the reason I say this, is because I’ve had “heart issues” almost all my life, so I’ve had to pay extra attention to it even as a teenager, when most girls are thinking about anything other than the health of their hearts.
I was born with a heart murmur, which the doctor then told my mom had been fixed naturally. However, when I was about 13, my PE (physical education) teacher asked me to run around the school field for 10 minutes non stop. After about the fifth minute my breathing became difficult. In about one minute more, I was being carried by a couple people to the school nurse’s office, where I thought I was going to die because even though I was breathing, I felt no actual oxygen reaching my lungs. I imagined that was what an asthma attack felt like as tears of frustration and fear rolled down my cheeks.
I don’t want to bore you with the details of my heart condition here (although I probably will at some point because I think it’s an important topic), but to make a long story short, I was diagnosed with a condition called mitral valve prolapse. Since then I’ve had to take a heart medication (which I’ve managed to lower the dose to the absolute minimum and hopefully can completely stop taking at some point), and I’ve had to visit my cardiologist once or twice a year for a checkup.
Waldo, my cardiologist and a family friend, always insisted that I ate fish (he knew I was a strict vegetarian), but it wasn’t until recently, while I was studying to become a health coach, that I fully grasped the importance of his request. I don’t believe that one can’t have a healthy heart without eating fish. But I do believe fish is an excellent food for the heart thanks to it’s healthy omega-3 oils, and if you eat a good quality fish, you will benefit from it. By good quality fish I mean those that don’t have large amounts of mercury (the smaller the fish, the better), that have been caught in the wild (as opposed to farmed), and that have been fished using sustainable, artisanal methods (because, at least for me, if it’s bad for the environment I’d rather not eat it).
To celebrate the American Heart Month, I would like to share with you this article I wrote about eating fish for my column at The Weiser Kitchen, called Naturally Morena (nice name, huh?).
Click HERE to read it.