Sunday, February 5, 2012

February Is Heart Health Month

  • Heart disease is still our #1 killer disease in America.  
  • 80 million Americans have high cholesterol.

Everyone understands the importance of a healthy heart, but maintaining one can prove difficult. Cardiovascular health can be compromised by diet, genetics, a sedentary lifestyle, smoking, and an array of other factors. Moreover, our bodies are often deficient in substances critical to healthy heart function.

Following a good prevention program of exercise, a diet high in fiber, low in fat, and keeping our cholesterol level at 180 or below, can significantly reduce our risk. Including 6 to 9 fresh vegetables (in soups and salads) every day ... nature’s primary source of vitamins and minerals, especially antioxidants ... is essential for heart health. The following supplements may also help:

Top 10 Supplements for a Healthy Heart

CoQ 10 - which supports energy production in the cells and is especially important for heart health. Increases oxygenation of heart tissue. Strengthens the heart muscle.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids – reduces clots in blood vessels, lowers triglycerides, and raises HDL (good cholesterol). Helps prevent hardening of the arteries.

Probiotics – lower cholesterol in three ways: limit cholesterol production in the liver, the probiotics create an acid environment which converts cholesterol into a form the body cannot absorb, probiotics consume the cholesterol (like pac-man).

B-Complex - The New England Journal of Medicine reports that high homocysteine levels create a 30 times greater chance of heart attack, no matter what our cholesterol level is. B-complex with folic acid protects from having high levels of homocysteines. 90% of Americans are deficient in B-complex. Stress, sugar and processed foods rob the body of B vitamins.

Vita-E – Heart disease risk factors are reduced by 30%-40% when taking 400 IU of vitamin E. (That’s four pints of peanut butter). Strengthens the immune system and heart muscle, improves circulation, and destroys free radicals.

Calcium-Magnesium – Studies show that calcium & magnesium help balance the delicate ratio of minerals in our cells that affect blood pressure and proper heart function. Vital for a healthy heart.

Vita-C – Tufts University recently reported that higher levels of vitamin C relate to higher HDL (the good stuff). Extremely important as a regulator of high blood pressure.

Garlic – It lowers cholesterol and has been shown to lower blood pressure, triglycerides and blood glucose in diabetics. Promotes good circulation.

The last two products are specific to Shaklee. Although I always recommend the Shaklee products, I am sure there are other high quality products out there (not drug store brands), that would produce the same results. But these two products are very unique and highly effective:

Cholesterol Reduction Complex - a proprietary formulation with clinically proven ingredients that help prevent the absorption of cholesterol and lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. It contains plant sterols and stanols that, when added to a healthy diet, have been shown in numerous studies to significantly reduce LDL cholesterol.

Fiber Plan Drink Mix – has been clinically tested and proven at Stanford University School of Medicine to lower cholesterol. One serving is the equivalent of 20 slices of whole wheat bread, 6 apples, or 3 1/2 bowls of oatmeal.

 In addition to the ten supplements listed above, You also want to be sure that you are taking
  • a good-quality multi vitamin/mineral product - shortage of levels of basic nutrients will put blood lipids out of balance.

  • a high-quality soy protein powder - the heart is a muscle and muscles need protein. The American Heart Association, in a November 13, 2000 press release, recommended using soy protein to reduce saturated fat and cholesterol in the diet.
I hope you find this information helpful. If you would like to discuss a program specific to your goals, please feel free to contact me.

What are some of the things you are doing to maintain heart health?