The heart is amongst the most important organs in the body. It is a fist sized muscle that works around the clock non stop to ensure that every cell in our body is fueled with oxygen-rich blood. On World Heart Day, we stop to recognize the importance of our hearts and how to keep it healthy and strong. Unfortunately, heart disease is the leading cause of death in America and although it is 100% preventable, it plagues our society at alarming rates. Contributing factors include the excessive use of alcohol, smoking, a poor fatty diet, antibiotics, obesity, and chronic stress. This can cause atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol, both of which can lead to heart disease if left untreated. The Cardiovascular system is one in which we must pay close attention to, as it is the lifeline for the all the cells in the human body.
In this article we will discuss how we can eat and live for a stronger and healthier heart.
The Silent Killer
High blood pressure is coined “the silent killer” because it can show no symptoms or evidence of its presence. This is why many people have heart attacks suddenly, without any warning or pre diagnosis of heart related problems. Hypertension forces your heart to work harder as it narrows the blood vessels and like any muscle, if overworked with no break, will eventually fail. Causes of high blood pressure include high salt intake through the diet, obesity, smoking and most importantly stress. If symptoms do show themselves, it manifests as chest pain, severe headaches, difficulty breathing and mental confusion. It’s important to get your blood pressure checked at least every 3 months, to ensure your reading is in a healthy range.
Vitamins for the heart
It’s important to pay special attention to and discover what vitamins are good for the heart, especially as you get older, ensuring that it is healthy and in optimal shape. If you want to know how to prevent heart disease, then vitamins are a great place to start. Heart supplements are a great way to enrich this life-giving organ with the nutrients it needs. Let’s take a look at a few.
Omega 3 always seems to be in the spotlight, and it should. It is essential to one’s health, not just for the heart but the entire body. It contains anti-inflammatory properties, which helps to reduce the inflammation in the blood vessels which leads to heart disease. Studies have also revealed that omega 3 can reduce triglyceride levels by eating away at the arterial plaque that narrows the blood vessel walls.
This fatty acid cannot be manufactured in the body and must be attained through external sources like the Ultra Omega vitamin or foods in the form of nuts, avocado, and freshwater fish like salmon, mackerel, and tuna.
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant. It fights free radical damage in the cells and boosts the body’s natural defense. Studies have found that Vitamin C supplementation can reduce the risk of heart disease and promote a healthy Cardiovascular system. This power vitamin is abundant in citrus fruits, berries, broccoli, and spirulina.
Coenzyme Q10 is an excellent supplement for heart health. It’s a vitamin-like substance and is naturally found in every cell in the body. It helps to convert food into energy, assists with the uptake of oxygen into the cells and is a powerful antioxidant that fights free radical damage. CoQ10 is a popular heart vitamin because it helps to lower bad cholesterol and blood pressure. It also decreases the risk of heart disease and stroke and is easy to obtain from foods like organ meats, fatty fish, nuts, legumes, and vegetables.
This bright red berry is a shrub in the rose family. It has been used since the days of antiquity to treat heart failure, chest pain, high blood pressure and atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). The leaves and berries are formulated into an extract, which is a powerful source of heart healing antioxidants. Safe enough to take as preventative and a treatment for heart problems. Talk to your doctor about dosage and recommendations.
Eat for the Heart
What we eat, along with our lifestyle choices, has a direct correlation to how well our body functions and how well we can avoid problems related to the heart. A heart healthy diet includes whole foods diet with ample amounts of water and exercise is the best way to keep the heart in tip top shape. Avoiding fatty foods high in saturated fat like beef, pork and lamb will keep your cholesterol levels in check. Lessening your salt intake which is usually high in junk foods, fast foods, and restaurants, will contribute to healthy blood pressure levels. Incorporating more heart healthy recipes that include whole fruits and vegetables that are red like beets, apples, and tomatoes. Other heart healthy foods include oatmeal, avocados, legumes, and leafy greens. Rule of thumb is that if it comes from the Earth, it goods for your heart.
Stress Less for Prevention
Stress is inevitable, but the biological effects on the body doesn’t have to be. During stress, our bodies release a surge of hormones that temporarily raise our blood pressure so as to get more sugar and nutrients in the blood to handle the “flight or fight” response. If stress is ongoing, then our blood pressure stays high and can begin to take a toll on our hearts and overall health. There are many ways to deal with stress, deep breathing exercises, working out, yoga and meditation are some common ways to calm the mind and body. Another way to combat stress is to seek support in dealing with it. Toxic relationships, a high-strung job, marital problems, busy children, and financial issues all have room for improvement with the right assistance and willpower to make changes in your life.
All in all, the heart is the centre of the body’s universe. Its optimal function decides how well our organs function and in essence, how long we live. Incorporating healthy heart tips and vitamins for the heart in your daily life, shifting non beneficial lifestyle habits, exercising more, and eating clean, will ensure a happy and healthy heart. The leading cause of death in America is heart disease, but it doesn’t have to be. Get your blood pressure checked regularly and always ensure you are mindful about the health of your heart.