A healthy heart is important to our health and to protect us from heart disease and stroke. Whether you know someone with heart disease, or it runs in your family, there is always a good reason to keep a healthy heart. Here are 6 different ways to get started, plus helpful supplements for your healthy journey ahead.
Focus on healthy fats for a healthy heart.
While it's important to eat healthy and increase our intake of fruits and vegetables, it's almost as important to focus on fats. We need fats in our diet like saturated, polyunsaturated, and unsaturated fats. Trans fat, however, is man-made, not necessary for our bodies, and is actually quite unhealthy and damaging. Trans fats can increase your risk for heart disease, stroke, increased LDL cholesterol, and even lowered HDL cholesterol. Watch out, trans-fats are in many packaged foods as "partially hydrogenated oils". Healthy fats include omega-3 rich foods like avocado, wild-caught salmon and other fatty fish, coconut oil, cage-free or pasture-raised eggs, nuts and seeds. These omega-3 rich foods can also help fight inflammation and oxidation. Stick to these healthy fats for a healthier heart.
Practice good dental hygiene.
Dental health is a good indication of overall health, and people with periodontal disease often have many of the same risk factors for heart disease. Some studies show that bacteria in the mouth can move into the bloodstream and cause inflammation in the blood vessels, which can cause heart disease or stroke. Floss and brush daily to keep your heart happy and healthy.
Healthy sleep leads to a healthy heart.
Sleep is essential for keeping your heart and entire body healthy. A lack of sleep can increase your risk for cardiovascular disease, regardless of your other lifestyle habits. One study with adults aged 45 and older showed that those who slept less than 6 hours were twice as likely to have a stroke or heart attack as those who slept 6-8 hours per night. Researchers also believe that sleeping too little can cause disruptions in other underlying health conditions, such as inflammation.
Chronic stress can increase your risk for cardiovascular disease, and we all have some sort of stress in our lives. Try to relieve unnecessary stress by exercising, or even practicing yoga or meditation. Exercise, breath work, spending time with loved ones, and even supplements can help relieve stress. Check out adaptogenic herb Ashwagnadha which naturally helps you fight stress.
Get up, stand up.
Research suggests that staying seated too long is bad for your health. One study showed that those who sat the most were associated with a 147% increase in cardiovascular events. It's important to get those steps in and get exercise when you can, especially if you have a job where you sit all day. Stand up when you can and take a walk throughout the day. Another great idea is to use a standing work station, or make sure to exercise most days.
Avoid smoking. And secondhand smoke.
Studies show that those exposed to secondhand smoke have a higher risk for heart disease. Other studies show that smokers have more than twice the risk for a heart attack as nonsmokers. Time to kick that bad habit? We think so.
Supplements for Heart Health
While the above tips are very important in maintaining a healthy heart, it never hurts to take the extra step and include supplements. The following supplements have been shown to improve heart health, and can be found at any of our Mother Earth Natural Health stores or here online.
Hawthorn - Hawthorn has many benefits when it comes to heart health. Hawthorn berries have been used since the 1st century to treat heart disease and irregular heart beat, chest pain, high blood pressure, and more. This supplement is still used to treat many of these conditions, but may have some drug interactions. Always speak to your physician before starting new supplements when you are on medications.
Magnesium - Low levels of magnesium are linked to heart disease.
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) - This substance is made by our bodies, and our cells use it to produce the energy our body needs for cell growth and maintenance. It also functions as an antioxidant and protects the body from damage.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids - These fatty acids lower the body's production of triglycerides, which in high amounts can lead to coronary artery disease, heart disease and stroke. Try our Double Strength Fish Oil Omega-3 Gold, Triple Strength Fish Oil Omega-3 Gold. We also have a synergistic formula to help support a healthy heart, Omega-3+CoQ10+D3.
Green Tea - This supplement, or tea, can help lower cholesterol, and can also aid in losing weight.
Bottom Line to a Healthy Heart
We've learned here that there are many different ways to improve heart health. Healthy fats, good dental hygiene, adequate sleep, stress reduction, exercise, avoiding smoking, and supplements are all some of the ways we can achieve a healthy heart. While there are many more steps you can take, these first few will be a great start towards a healthy heart.
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