Don't complicate preventing heart disease and boosting heart health. Combine exercise and healthy eating to naturally keep your ticker tocking steady.
Almost 27 million people in the United States have heart disease, and it kills about 600,000 people each year. Over 700,000 heart attacks occur during that same time. Heart disease, also known as cardiovascular disease, is considered the leading cause of death in the U.S., costing us roughly $110 billion every year. It can be broken into about a dozen different types, but it all comes down to the same vital organ failing to function correctly. Deaths from this terrible disease have declined since 1950 as society moved away from smoking and medicine has improved, but there are still too many people suffering and dying as their hearts give out.
Fortunately, there’s much you can do to minimize your risks and help prevent this disease before it starts, though you should always consult a health care professional before changing your diet, starting exercise routines, eliminating any prescriptions, or adding new supplements. Some natural supplements can interact with prescriptions in dangerous ways, so it’s important to be well-informed, smart, and safe as you work to improve your health.
Fresh greens, vegetables, and fruits don’t make it into our modern diet as often as they should. These are loaded with antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, fiber, and beneficial phytonutrients we’re just beginning to understand. Many of these protect the heart, lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol, and strengthen the heart.
Avoid Refined Sugar
Refined sugars are squeezed into many of our modern, processed foods, even the ones that aren’t that sweet. We simply get way too many of our calories from refined sugars and processed carbohydrates that lack the benefits of natural foods. Then we toss those foods back with super-sugary soft drinks. These sugars are hard on the liver, kidneys, arteries, and everywhere in-between. They contribute to obesity, sedentary lifestyles, and high cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Sugar spikes also raise heart rate, raise blood pressure, and interfere with blood vessel function. All of this is hard on our hearts.
Smoking increases cancer and heart disease risks incredibly.
Watch Your Weight
Being underweight or overweight both put a strain on your body and your heart. Don’t overeat, but don’t starve yourself either, and be careful with diets that call for eliminating a macronutrient completely. Your body needs some carbohydrates and fats to function correctly.
Activity and exercise reduce blood pressure, lower cholesterol, and reduce both inflammation and oxidation damage to the heart, arteries, and other organs. It strengthens the heart so it can pump more efficiently and not work as hard all the time. Start with what you are able to do and build from there. Even half an hour of walking will do your heart plenty of good.
Stress is a natural consequence of living, and the body is well prepared to deal with it in short bursts. However, it’s ill equipped to handle that same stress long term. Hormones and neurotransmitters are quickly depleted, and many vital body functions are limited, including digestion, while inflammation increases. Work on reducing stress any way you can. Exercise, breathing techniques, acupressure, massage, meditation, or tai chi can all help.
Massage can help reduce stress, but it also improves blood flow for better circulation and toxin removal. Massage releases beneficial neurotransmitters too, so you feel better fast.
Garlic, onions, leeks, and shallots are all friendly to the heart. They lower cholesterol, improve proper blood clotting, lower blood pressure, and help control blood sugar too.
CoQ10 acts as an antioxidant, improves cellular energy, and controls proper blood clotting. It gives the heart muscles a boost of energy to keep it pumping well.
Hawthorn lowers blood pressure, increases circulation, and may also strengthen the heart.
This B vitamin supports healthy heart, nerve, and muscle function. It is also involved in energy production. Several other B vitamins have been linked to heart health, like folate, niacin, B6, and B12, but these should come from food sources as much as possible and not from synthetics. Most synthetic B vitamins are derived from coal tar and harsh chemicals like ammonia and acetone.
Omega 3 (and Healthy Fats)
Omega 3 reduces inflammation and lowers cholesterol. It has been linked to healthy hearts in numerous studies. Try microalgae sources which are lower on the food chain, purer, stronger, and more bioavailable than fish or krill oils. Coconut oil, olive oil, nuts, seeds, and avocados are also a good place to get healthy fats the body needs. Avoid the more processed oils, even the vegetable ones.
Magnesium is used throughout the body in thousands of ways, and deficiency has been linked to heart disease. Low levels contribute to high blood pressure, arterial plaque, higher cholesterol levels, hardening of arteries, and calcification of tissues. Dark leafy greens, seeds, nuts, bananas, and dark chocolate are good sources.
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Claims on this site have not been evaluated by the FDA. Information on this site is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. We encourage you to do your own research.. Seek the advice of a medical professional before making any changes to your lifestyle or diet.
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