Did you know that about 610,000 people die of heart disease in the United States every year? (1) That’s about 1 in every 4 deaths. (1) Or did you know that today, about 85.6 million Americans have some form of cardiovascular disease? (2) Heart disease is more popular than we think and can definitely sneak up on us when we least expect it. Did you know that 1 in 3 adults in the United States has high blood cholesterol, which is a MAJOR risk factor for heart disease and stroke? Having high cholesterol usually has no signs or symptoms and can sneak up on you. (1) Other risk factors for heart disease include diabetes, being overweight and obese, poor diet, physical inactivity, and excessive alcohol use. Okay so enough of the statistics. How do we combat cardiovascular disease and keep our hearts healthy and happy?
One way is through diet. A balanced diet. Think of the plate we eat at dinner time. What does our plate look like? A balanced plate should look like this: ½ your plate filled with vegetables (non-starchy vegetables), ¼ your plate filled with starches (things like rice, potatoes, bread, etc.), and ¼ your plate filled with a protein source. For our vegetables we want to eat the rainbow in color and variation. The more color the better (this means that there are antioxidants and polyphenols= good for your body). When eating a starch we want to choose those high in FIBER! (For more on fiber click here.) This means choosing the WHOLE WHEAT option or WHOLE GRAIN option. Stay away from the refined carbs like white breads and pastas. When eating protein we want to choose lean meats. That means minimizing the amount of red meats that we eat and choosing options like fish, ground turkey, lean chicken, etc. When thinking about fats, we want to make sure our fats are heart healthy & nutrient dense fats (meaning we get the most bang for our buck). These fats have in them monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (the good for you fats) which include, nuts, seeds, olive oil, avocado, and avocado oil. We want to make sure we are minimizing the amount of the bad fats like saturated fat and trans fat. We can find these on the back of a label. We want to have dairy products in moderation. Finally, we want to be sure to HYDRATE with alkalized ionized water! We should be aiming for at least ½ our body weight in fluid ounces. The diet sound a little familiar? Well it is based off of the Mediterranean diet. Why? The Mediterranean diet has been shown to have a very low incidence in heart disease. So when it comes to eating, make sure you are choosing for your heart and your health.
Supplementation. Organnics Absolutely Pure Ultra Amino Energy supplement! Why? Well, heart disease often begins with high cholesterol, which can lead to decreased blood flow to the heart. Amino acids are a great way to help increase blood flow to the heart. One amino acid in particular that has been known to have potential heart benefits. Arginine or L-arginine changes into nitric oxide (NO). Nitric oxide is a powerful neurotransmitter that helps blood vessels relax and also improves circulation. (3) This means that this amino acid can help improve blood flow in the arteries of the heart. This may improve symptoms of clogged arteries, chest pain, or angina, or coronary heart disease. (3) With improved blood flow to the heart, this may also help people with hypertension. I should also note, that in conjunction with a heart healthy diet, we could lower cholesterol and this would help with blood flow overall. As an added bonus this product is not only contains the building blocks of protein (amino acids), but is even more wonderful by providing energy while working out. This supplement also, helps with building lean muscle mass as well as a strong cardiovascular system during a workout. An additional added benefit this product will give you incredible energy. It has green tea leaf extract, organic american ginseng, organic matcha root, and a very small amount of natural caffeine direct from coffee bean. So if you are looking to improve your energy and cardiovascular system, look no further this is the home run you have been looking for.
Exercise. Movement is life. We have to keep our bodies active and moving. According to the NIH, it is recommended that adults should do a minimum of 2 hours and 30 minutes, or 30 minutes 5 days a week, of moderate-intensity aerobic activity a week. Health experts recommend this level of activity to reduce the risk of chronic disease later in life. Also, 60 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity activity on most days of the week will help adults avoid gradual weight gain. This physical activity also can be done in smaller chunks of time over the day. (4) Overall, this will keep our hearts happy, bodies happier, and our minds clear.
Happy Heart Month!
Keep those hearts happy!