As we approach the end of February we come to the end of Heart Month, a month when we have hit pause and taken stock of our heart health. With many conditions related to heart health, including angina, heart attack, heart failure, blood pressure and cholesterol, we want to make sure we do what we can to stack the odds in our favour of having a healthy heart. Risk factors for greater susceptibility to heart conditions include diabetes, obesity, smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, poor nutrition and poor lifestyle. Therefore great lifestyle changes include taking regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, reducing alcohol intake, stop smoking and getting a full nights sleep.
In a study from 2013, the impact of the Mediterranean diet on heart health was examined and showed that those people following the Mediterranean diet were 30% less likely to have a heart attack or stroke. This diet is rich in fruits and vegetables (a rich source of antioxidants, believed to protect the DNA from damage and boost antioxidant defences), whole grains, legumes and fish, with reduced meat consumption. It favours high consumption of monounsaturated fatty acids from olives and olive oils and omega 3 fatty acids from oily fish such as mackerel, sardines and salmon, nuts and seeds. Vegetable oils, nuts and legumes are rich in phytosterols, which are recommended for lowering LDL cholesterol.
Check out this list of top nutritional supplements that could assist you on
your healthy heart journey:
1. Flax seeds - source of soluble fibre which may help maintain healthy cholesterol levels
2. Garlic - may help maintain healthy arteries
3. Antioxidant formula - may help prevent oxidation of LDL cholesterol
4. Arginine - helps support blood flow
5. L-carnitine - provides energy for the heart
6. Folic acid - help maintain healthy homocysteine levels in the body
7. Red Yeast Rice - may help support healthy cholesterol
8. Essential Fatty Acids - may help support healthy blood flow, arteries and cholesterol
Ref: Heart Health, Jenny Bodenham