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Product Focus - Heart Health

We rarely stop to give our heart the thanks it deserves. But we really ought to. The workhorse of our body, this vital organ drives gallons of blood, oxygen, hormones, fuel, and other essential cells to every corner of our anatomy. We think it’s about time to show our cardiovascular companion as much love as our significant other this Valentine’s Day. Here, we take a look at some simple ways how.

POWER UP YOUR NUTRITION

Supercharging your diet is one of the most actionable steps you can take to support your heart. Focusing on nutritional balance and avoiding the likes of sugar, saturated fat, and ultra-processed treats will help your cardiovascular system remain happy and healthy for years to come.

Add more plants

Eating more plant foods (say hello to vegetables, fruit, pulses, grains, legumes, nuts and seeds) is one of the best things for your heart. And the science for this is pretty undisputed. The work of Caldwell Esselstyn (1980-present day), The Lifestyle Heart Trial (1990), and The Courage Trial (2007) all provide plenty of evidence that plant-based eating can improve overall cardiovascular health (1).

Did you know that laughing is good for your heart? It reduces stress and has a positive effect on your immune system.

Consider your gut health

The gut microbiome is the community of a hundred trillion microbes that reside in your digestive tract. The way your microbiome operates is similar to that of a chemical factory. It has a close relationship with most systems in the body, including the nervous, endocrine, immune, and vascular, all of which are connected to heart health. So, looking after your gut means looking after your heart.

Feed your gut

• Aim for 50g of dietary fibre (whole grains, fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds) each day to feed your gut bugs. Additionally, try to include more soluble fibre, like chicory root, which contains a special carbohydrate called FOS that helps to maintain normal intestinal health.
• Diversify your food! Aim to eat 30 different plant foods every week to boost microbiome diversity
• Eat fermented foods regularly (the 3 K’s: kefir, kombucha, and kimchi)
• Consider live bacteria products, which are known to support digestive health

Improve your nutrient game

Besides pumping in the fresh produce and passing on the bacon, there are heaps of heart-healthy nutrients you should try to eat in abundance.

Magnesium

Magnesium is involved in over 300 biochemical processes in the body. Aside from playing a role in bones and energy production, magnesium also supports muscle function, including the heart. Eat it: dark chocolate.

Vitamin K2

Vitamin K2 is another popular choice for heart health. Without enough vitamin K2, calcium is unable to bind to the bone matrix. Instead, it freely deposits in blood vessels, which affects heart function. Eat it: kale.

Garlic

Garlic has long been recommended to support heart health as it may help to maintain normal cholesterol levels. Eat it: use garlic liberally in cooking.

 

 

Plant sterols

Naturally present in vegetable oils and grains, plant sterols are structurally similar to the body's cholesterol. These compounds may help block the absorption of dietary cholesterol in the bowel, as well as maintain normal blood cholesterol levels in the circulation. Eat it: extra virgin olive oil.

Omega-3

Mainly found in oily fish, long-chain omega-3 fatty acids – docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) – contribute to the normal function of the heart, based on a daily intake of 250mg. Eat it: salmon or plant-based microalgae.

CoQ10

CoQ10 is a naturally occurring enzyme found in every cell, with the highest concentrations in the heart. It’s often recommended to support the cardiovascular system. Eat it: liver.

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FOLLOW A HEART-HEALTHY LIFESTYLE

Of course, your diet isn’t the only thing that matters. If you want to keep your heart in fine fettle, you need to think about your lifestyle, too.

Get enough sleep

Whether it’s down to a demanding work schedule, active social life, or the all-seeing eye of social media, skimping on sleep can have serious complications for your cardiovascular health. Sleep deprivation can lead to an increase in stress hormones, like cortisol, and inflammation – both of which play a role in heart and circulatory diseases. Ensuring you get enough sleep each night is vital.

Support your sleep hygiene

• Avoid using technology 90-minutes before bed • Remove all screens from your bedroom
• Don’t use your phone as an alarm clock
• Consider sleeping with the bedroom window open (the optimal sleeping temperature is around 16-18 degrees)
• Fit blackout blinds in your bedroom
• Live by the ‘no caffeine after noon’ rule
• Embrace morning light with regular outdoor breaks
• Exercise and socialise earlier in the day
• Try a lavender scented pillow spray


 

Keep moving

Movement can’t be left out of the conversation on heart health. Just like any other muscle in the body, exercise helps the heart become stronger, making it more efficient and better prepared to pump blood throughout the body. Find a form of movement that you love and stick with it. Your heart will thank you for it.

Stay connected

Social isolation can have devastating effects on health, especially when it concerns the heart. According to a study conducted by the University of York, a lack of social connection may increase the risk of major cardiovascular events (2). With this in mind, make a conscious effort to stay connected to your family, friends, local community, and whoever you call your tribe.

Here are our top supplement suggestions to support heart health

MagAsorb® Ultra 150mg

•Highly absorbable citrate form
•For a reduction in tiredness & fatigue
•For normal psychological function

120 Tablets £11.50

Garlic 3000mg

•Garlic may help maintain normal cholesterol levels as part of a healthy diet
•2mg allicin per tablet
•Unique odour control coating

180 Tablets £12.95

Fish Oil 1300mg

•715mg EPA & 286mg DHA per capsule
•Contributes to the maintenance of normal blood pressure*
•Sustainably sourced
* A beneficial effect is obtained with a daily intake of 3 grams of DHA and EPA
 

60 Tablets £13.95

Vitamin K2 90µg

•Premium quality vitamin K2
•Supports cardiovascular function
•Naturally-derived form

60 Capsules £9.95

CoQ10 100mg

•Popular strength CoQ10 for long-term use
•Excellent level for those on statins
•Natural source
 

120 Capsules £24.00

Plant Sterols 800mg

•May help to maintain normal blood cholesterol levels in the circulation*
•A useful contribution to your daily intake
•100% pure, free plant sterols
* A beneficial effect is obtained with a daily intake of 3 grams of DHA and EPA

90 Tablets £14.95

Want to learn more about heart health? Click here

References:

(1) Esselstyn C. B. (2017). A plant-based diet and coronary artery disease: a mandate for effective therapy. Journal of geriatric cardiology : JGC, 14(5), 317–320.Wheatley, D. and Bass, C. (1991). Can Lifestyle Changes Reverse Coronary Heart Disease? The Lifestyle Heart Trial. British Journal of Psychiatry, 158(2), 264-267; Boden WE, O'Rourke RA;Teo KK, et al. (2007) Optimal medical therapy with or without PCI for stable coronary disease. New Engl J Med. 356:1503–1516

(2) Valtorta, N., Kanaan, M., Gilbody, S., Ronzi, S. and Hanratty, B. (2016). Loneliness and social isolation as risk factors for coronary heart disease and stroke: systematic review and meta-analysis of longitudinal observational studies. Heart, 102(13), 1009-1016.

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