The human heart beats continuously around 70 times a minute, all day, every day for around 80 years. That’s nearly three billion beats. It pumps nutrients and energy to every part of the body and helps clear waste products. As with every other part of the body, the cardiovascular system can only give as good as it gets.
Tips for A healthy heart
- Give your heart a workout with regular exercise. This helps to keep the muscle strong and pumps blood around the body enhancing circulation. In addition, it will help to keep your weight in check.
- Smoking increases the risk of cardiovascular problems, so don’t do it.
- Relax. Just like smoking, long-term stress may increase the risk of cardiovascular conditions.
- Cholesterol needs to be kept under control. For most people, diet can help with this. Also, limit how much animal foods you consume – these are high in saturated fats, that in excess, can contribute to unhealthy cholesterol levels and fatty build up on blood vessel walls.
- Eat lots of fruit and vegetables. They contain important antioxidants that help protect the heart and blood vessels.
- Include fish in your diet. Eating 2-3 serves a week increases the good omega-3 fats, and these are good for our hearts. Good seafood sources of omega-3 are from deep sea fish such as salmon, sardines, tuna and mackerel.
- Limit caffeine intake as it’s a stimulant e.g. coffee and tea. Also limit alcohol consumption.
The possibility that a diet high in fish oil could be beneficial to heart health was suggested decades ago, following studies of Eskimo communities in Greenland. Today, medical research shows that omega-3 fats found in fish oil can help maintain a healthy cholesterol level. 2 to 3 serves per week should be consumed or a fish oil supplement can be taken.
Traditional European medicine has long used Grapeseed to support heart health. It is now known to have greater antioxidant power than vitamin C or E. The active ingredients in Grapeseed are particularly effective at reducing oxidative damage to connective tissues, including blood vessels.
This herb is traditionally used to support the cardiovascular system and as a heart tonic. It may help to improve the supply of blood and oxygen to the heart, as well as assisting circulation to the body’s extremities. Hawthorn also helps maintain healthy capilliaries.
Co-enzyme Q10 (CoQ10)
Coenzyme Q10 occurs naturally in the body but as we get age, the production slows down. It’s particularly importantly for energy production inside our cells, and one of the most demanding muscles for energy is the heart. As the heart muscle never stops pumping, its need for energy and co-enzyme Q10 is therefore large. In addition to supporting heart health, CoQ10 regenerates both vitamin E and vitamin C, which strengthens the body’s antioxidant network.
Vitamin E has antioxidant properties, this means it helps to slow down aging and free radical damage within the body. In particular, vitamin E helps to reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol from oxidation, helping to protect the capillaries and arteries. Vitamin E also enhances circulation and supports healthy heart functioning.
Magnesium is an important mineral for the cardiovascular system. It helps to maintain a healthy heart and a healthy cardiovascular function.
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Published November 20, 2012
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