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A wooden bowl contains chopped, raw vegetables that are covered in spices.
Figure 11.1 Adding spices like garlic or curry powder to foods may improve heart health by reducing cholesterol and improving blood flow. (credit: modification of work “Yay, Spices!” by Dennis Sylvester Hurd/Flickr, Public Domain)

Nutrition plays a key role in the proper development and maintenance of the cardiovascular system. When disease exists in a client’s cardiovascular system, the nurse should include nutritional considerations in the client’s care plan.

Consider this case: Mr. Jack Thompson, a 65-year-old White male, has no history of cardiovascular disease and skips annual exams with his primary care provider because he’s always felt healthy and takes good care of himself. While he does have an extensive family history of heart disease, he watches his diet, exercises regularly, and has not smoked in 20 years. He presents today with a personal problem that he refuses to discuss with anyone other than the provider and nurse when he gets in the room.

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