Your beating heart

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Did you know that our hearts beat about 100,000 times a day and more than 2.5 billion times during an average lifetime? It also does the most physical work of any other muscle in the body. Even at rest, the heart works twice as hard as the leg muscles of a person sprinting.1

You may not think about your heart much but it’s worth reminding ourselves every once in a while how vital it is. Our heart is nestled between our two lungs in the center of the chest. It is a beating muscle that continually pumps blood to the rest of the body via a network of blood vessels in order to deliver oxygen and nutrients to organs and cells, and to aid the removal of carbon dioxide and waste products. Without your heart pumping efficiently you can’t get oxygen or nutrients to your brain or other vital organs and you won’t get your muscles to perform even the most basic of tasks, so it pays to be heart smart.

Ways to keep your heart healthy

Simple diet and lifestyle habits can help the heart do its job. It’s important to:

  • Avoid smoking or exposure to second‐hand smoke, which is a major risk factor for heart problems.
  • Aim to include at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity such as brisk walking on most, if not all, days of the week to help manage your weight, cholesterol and blood pressure levels, support your overall heart health and help you to feel more energetic.2
  • Maintain a heart healthy diet with plenty of colorful vitamin and mineral rich fruits and vegetables, whole grains and legumes, unsalted nuts and seeds, two to three serves of oily fish each week and moderate amounts of meat and poultry. Importantly, limit trans fats from deep‐fried food or commercially baked goods like cakes, pies and biscuits.3
  • Make sure your weight is in a healthy range, as carrying extra weight can have implications for your heart. For healthy weight loss make small easy changes to your diet and lifestyle by replacing biscuits with fruit, moving more and sitting less, and finding a form of physical activity that you enjoy such as dancing, horse‐riding, walking, gardening, cycling or swimming.
  • Have regular check‐ups with your healthcare professional to monitor your blood pressure, cholesterol and waist circumference.
  • Consider taking a krill oil supplement like Nature’s Own Mega Krill Oil 2000mg, a high strength source of omega-3 essential fatty acids that supports heart health.

How to keep your cholesterol down

Cholesterol isn’t all bad and is actually essential for many metabolic processes including the production of hormones, bile and vitamin D.4 It’s carried around the body by two key transport systems – LDL (low density lipoproteins) deliver cholesterol to the body’s cells and HDL (high density lipoproteins) remove excess cholesterol from the cells and returns it to the liver. Problems arise when there is too much LDL cholesterol circulating in our bloodstream. This can lead to fatty deposits developing in our blood vessels and heart problems, so it’s important to keep them under control. To maintain healthy cholesterol levels:

  • Exercise regularly to raise HDL “good” cholesterol levels and reduce LDL “bad” cholesterol levels.4
  • Lose excess body weight through a healthy, balanced diet and regular physical activity.
  • Avoid smoking which increases the ability of LDL cholesterol to cause damage.4
  • Limit foods that are high in saturated or trans fats which can raise cholesterol levels. This includes fatty meat, processed meat such as sausages or salami, chips, deep‐fried food, cakes, biscuits and pastries.4
  • Increase your soluble fiber intake from fruit and vegetables, oats, lentils, flaxseeds, peas and psyllium husks, which help to lower LDL cholesterol levels.5
  • Take Nature’s Own Mega Krill Oil 2000mg. Just one capsule daily may assist in the maintenance of healthy cholesterol levels in healthy people and maintain the LDL:HDL cholesterol ratio.

Learn about which Nature's Own product may be appropriate for you.

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Published February 19, 2014
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