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?


Sue arnold said...

Very good information for everyone, thanks Marti !

healthdesigner said...

You're welcome, Sue. I hope this encourages people to take some positive steps toward a healthy heart.