Our heart health becomes more important as we age. Two of the major health issues when we are at an unhealthy weight are hypertension and diabetes, and they affect each other.
Most people with diabetes will eventually develop high blood pressure, along with other heart and circulation problems. It is sobering to note that every 34 seconds someone in the US will experience a heart related event. It is also reported that one person will die every minute due to heart related incidences. Heart related events are the leading cause of death in the US.
Fortunately, there is a lot we can do to support our body and improve our cardiovascular health. Our heart is one of the most important organs pumping blood, oxygen, and nutrients throughout our system.
Some of the well-known negative risk factors include:
Overindulging in alcohol
While some factors like age and a family history can not be changed many of our risk factors are within our control. Taking steps to create a heart healthy diet is the easiest to start with.
Many people have fallen into the habit of buying easy processed foods which are void of any real nutritional value. It is important to start increasing the number of whole foods that have a variety of nutrients in them.
Increase the amount of vegetables and fruits in each meal. When you consume colorful fruits and vegetables it will increase the number of antioxidants you are taking in. Antioxidants have been shown to reduce oxidative stress and inflammation which can decrease your circulation.
Although eggs got a bad reputation for a while, new findings are showing that they can have a positive impact on health. Eating one egg a day was associated with lower risks of cardiovascular disease. Consider cooking an egg with some vegetables for a healthy start to the day.
Another item that we are learning more about is fats. Not all fats are created equal and many of them can be healthy for us. Many people know the benefits of extra-virgin olive oil, but there are others that are healthy too. I have switched to using avocado oil which has anti-inflammatory properties and can withstand higher heat when cooking. Coconut oil is also beneficial, evidence is showing that it can raise high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels.
Heart Healthy Supplements
Sometimes getting nutrients from diet alone can be difficult. It is important to work with your health care provider to see if you should add supplements to your routine. Below are a few supplements that may be beneficial to consider.
Aged garlic extract – there has been some research that aged garlic extract can help with the buildup that causes reduced blood flow in arteries.
Coenzyme Q10 – as our body ages the ability to produce CoQ10 can decrease. CoQ10 helps provide energy to heart cells and protect against free radical damage. Work with your health care provider to determine if you need this supplement.
Magnesium – due to diets high in processed foods and farming that has depleted soil nutrients many people do not get enough. Low magnesium has been linked to the formation of calcium deposits in arteries.
These are just a few of the supplements that can help support heart health.
Heart health should be a priority since so many of the risk factors are within our control to change. Make sure to start incorporating a healthy diet and work with your health care provider if you need supplements.
A healthy heart will help you be at your ideal weight living your ideal life.