Healthy Living begins with the healthy heart: Focus on Heart Health
Posted on 2016-02-01
February is when the Canadian Heart and Stroke Foundation raises awareness and funds for heart health research. It also happens to be the month of Valentine’s Day, so it’s a perfect time to focus on the health of your heart.
Unfortunately, heart disease is the #1 killer of North Americans, just barely in front of cancer at #2. But what really is heart disease? It’s actually not just one condition, but rather many conditions related to the heart. The most common type of heart disease is Coronary Artery Disease where there is narrowing of the arteries due to blockages made up of fatty acids, calcium and plaque. This can prevent oxygen rich blood from reaching the heart and can cause angina (chest pain) and heart attack. A few other types of heart disease include arrhythmia, atrial fibrillation and pericarditis (infection) among several others.
The heart is the organ that keeps our life-giving blood moving throughout our bodies and not only does the blood carry vital oxygen to our cells and carbon dioxide from our cells, but also nutrients from our food so that we can survive.Therefore, if our heart is impaired, then our whole body is impaired. It’s important to keep our hearts, and cardiovascular system in general, in tip-top shape. But heart health isn’t just about cholesterol and blood pressure measurements. It also has to do with getting the nutrients it requires like omega oils, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and even positive emotional health. There is a reason why the heart is the symbol for love.
Our hearts expel A LOT of energy everyday keeping our blood moving. So just like when you exercise for a long time, you need to replenish and repair what has been used up and damaged. Here are a few of our favorite nutrients to help keep your heart healthy.
Strauss Heart Drops is a wonderful herbal formulation that comes in liquid tincture. The ingredients have been specifically chosen, and at the most effective ratios, by world-renowned herbalist Jim Strauss to provide the cardiovascular system various compounds to help bring it back into balance. The first herb is garlic which has been proven to lower LDL cholesterol, provide strong antioxidant activity and helps to dilate blood vessels to lower blood pressure. It also has anti-bacterial properties, and may help to reduce stickiness of platelets. The second herb is Hawthorn which is widely known as a heart tonic and is very popular in western herbal medicine. It has been used to strengthen the heart muscle, reduce arteriosclerosis, help with valve defects, enlarged heart and angina. Cayenne is the third ingredient that is used to enhance circulation and strengthens the action of the heart but without increasing blood pressure and can help the other herbs get to the parts of the bodies to exhibit their therapeutic effect. It also may help to reduce stroke and heart attack risk. Bilberry is included and is known for it’s positive effects on circulation in the arteries and veins and has blood thinning effects which also helps nutrients get to where they need to go in the body. Motherwort was chosen for it’s effects on enhancing the beat of the heart but not increasing heart rate meanwhile it decreases blood pressure by relaxing arteries. Lastly, White Willow is used for it’s natural blood thinning effects. Overall, Strauss Heart Drops are used to remove calcium and plaque build up from the arteries to enhance normal oxygen and blood flow. In this way, it helps to normalize circulation, blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Another great support for the heart is Grandhealth Astaxanthin, a natural carotenoid pigment derived from Haematococcus pluvialis microalgae that has powerful antioxidant properties. It is a type of green algae that when exposed to a change in it’s environment, for example, heat or salt levels, it creates antioxidants to protect itself. One of the most powerful antioxidants the algae creates is called astaxanthin which turns the algae from a green color to red. Astaxanthin has been shown to combat exercise-induced fatigue and reduce oxidative stress and inflammation in patients with cardiovascular disease. It can also help reduce triglycerides and increase HDL cholesterol. Plus, it speeds up post-workout recovery.
Another great support for the heart is Natural Factors CoQ10, otherwise known as ubiquinone or in it’s other form, ubiquinol, is a star supplement when it comes to heart health. As mentioned above, the heart muscle requires a lot of energy to keep blood pumping throughout the body and CoQ10 is what gives those heart cells the energy to do this. Since CoQ10 is an antioxidant it can also help provide protection from free radicals and it has been shown to increase mental sharpness. This powerful nutrient should definitely be in the arsenal against heart disease and as a side note, statin drugs do deplete CoQ10 levels in the body so supplementation is important if you are on statins. Also, the ubiquinol form is much better absorbed and therefore utilized in the body then ubiquinone. So if you’re looking for the best effect with CoQ10, Another great support for the heart is Natural Factors CoQ10 (ubiquinol) is the way to go.
Last but not least, Kyolic Extra Strength Garlic is a powerful preparation to help keep the cardiovascular system, and many other parts of the body, healthy. Shown in clinical studies to reduce blood pressure and LDL cholesterol, it also has blood thinning properties. Further to those extraordinary benefits, garlic has been shown to enhance circulation and slow progression of arterial calcification. Another very common use for garlic is to help the immune system get rid of infection from various types of bacteria, viruses and fungus which can also help to take a load off the body and therefore, the heart.
Strauss Heart Drops, Grandhealth Astaxanthin, Natural Factors CoQ10 and Kyolic Extra Strength Garlic is a winning combination to keep your heart beating at it’s best while keeping your arteries clean and blood pressure balanced.