Get Pumped About Heart Health
Unless your heart health has been directly threatened, you may not spend too much time thinking about the condition of this life-sustaining muscle.
However, nine out of ten Canadians have at least one risk factor for heart disease.
Conditions like hypertension and high cholesterol are some of the leading causes, yet they don’t display any symptoms outside of a blood test. Luckily, nearly 80% of early stage heart disease can be prevented by making healthy choices in the name of healthy blood pressure and cholesterol.
What should I be concerned about?
Two of the most common factors that can lead to heart disease are hypertension and high cholesterol. These are also highly preventable, and by making some simple lifestyle adjustments, you can avoid or amend these conditions.
What is hypertension?
Hypertension is another term for high blood pressure. Blood pressure is the effort your blood exerts against the walls of the blood vessels, which is dependent on the blood vessels’ resistance and how hard the heart is working.
How does high blood pressure damage your heart?
Over the long term, hypertension can lead to atherosclerosis, wherein plaque builds up on the walls of the blood vessels causing them to narrow. As this happens, hypertension becomes worse as the heart must work harder to pump blood through the circulatory system. This can lead to heart failure, heart attacks, kidney failure, aneurysm, different types of heart disease or a stroke.
What is considered healthy blood pressure?
Your blood pressure is commonly measured via the brachial artery in the arm using a blood pressure monitor with an inflatable cuff. Two values are noted in a blood pressure reading: systolic pressure, and diastolic pressure. Systolic pressure is the measurement of pressure in the artery when the heart contracts, and diastolic pressure is the measurement of pressure in the artery when the heart relaxes between beats. A normal reading is considered less than 130/85, and optimal blood pressure is considered less than 120/80.
What about cholesterol?
It’s likely that you’ve heard of cholesterol in a negative context, but the truth is, cholesterol at healthy levels is vital to our bodily functions.
• Helps provide structure to cell walls
• Makes up the digestive bile acids found in the intestine
• Aids the body in Vitamin D production
• Aids the body in hormone production
Cholesterol is essential for these things, but high levels of this compound can be problematic. High cholesterol is not usually accompanied by visible symptoms, but if left untreated, you could be at risk for coronary heart disease or heart attack.
What causes high cholesterol?
Remember atherosclerosis from earlier? Well, when cholesterol builds up, it can also contribute to the creation of plaque in your arteries. This can be caused by consuming an excess of foods that contain saturated fat and trans fats, usually found in fried and highly processed foods. High cholesterol can also be genetic, so be sure to get tested if you know family members who suffer from this.
How can I lower high blood pressure and cholesterol?
Fortunately, it’s a simple matter of making a few lifestyle changes if you need to lower your blood pressure and cholesterol. This includes:
• Regular exercise
• Reducing stress when possible
• Cutting back on or cutting out alcohol consumption and smoking
• Following a healthy diet full of whole foods (plenty of fruits and vegetables)
• Reducing salt intake (under 5g per day to reduce hypertension)
• Consuming healthy fats
• Omega-3: oily fish such as anchovies, sardines or salmon, chia seeds and flaxseeds
• Omega-6: mayonnaise, almonds, cashews and sunflower seeds
• Omega-9: various vegetable and seed oils
Supplementing to Support Blood Pressure and Cholesterol
When you can’t get all the nutrients you need from your diet, or want to take preventative measures because of genetics or lifestyle factors that impact your health, there are always supplements to help you out!
Red Yeast Rice
Red Yeast Rice has long been used to naturally lower cholesterol in Traditional Modern Medicine, as it is considered to be a natural source of statins. Statins work to inhibit the activity of a key enzyme in the biological pathway that creates cholesterol. Although there are pharmaceutical statin medication options, their active ingredients use the same biological pathway that creates important nutrients such as CoQ10 and vitamin D, leaving you open to developing nutrient deficiencies over time.
Speaking of CoQ10, this nutrient is the primary antioxidant in our cells that is responsible for fueling our mitochondria. It shields cells from harmful bacteria and viruses, while also preventing oxidative damage. CoQ10 production decreases as we age, but we still require large amounts of CoQ10 to keep our heart healthy. Inno-Q-Nol contains active ubiquinol, guaranteeing stability for highest potency.
You may know fish oil as a reliable source of omega-3’s, but Krill Oil delivers a higher absorption rate and raises omega-3 levels faster than the omega-3’s from fish oil. Wild krill is also at the very bottom of the food chain, which means it contains the lowest levels of toxins, offering contaminant-free omega-3 fats.
Shop with confidence, knowing all our wellness products have been pre-screened to be PURE, GREEN, SAFE, and FAIR. Founded by a fellow mom, Alicja is one of Canada’s most respected experts in natural product quality and safety.