Heart disease is also known as cardiovascular disease (CVD) or coronary heart disease (CHD) and includes illnesses associated with the heart and vessels.
Cancer is the disease people fear the most, but heart disease is what kills the most people. In fact, heart disease is the number-one killer of both men and women worldwide.
Some Facts About The Heart:
Your heart is about the size of your two hands clasped together
The heart has its own electrical supply and will continue to beat when separated from the body.
The heart will beat about 115,000 times each day.
The heart pumps about 2,000 gallons (7,570litres) of blood every day.
The human heart weighs less than 1 pound (0.45kg). However, a man’s heart, on average, is 2 ounces (57grams) heavier than a woman’s heart.
A woman’s heart beats slightly faster than a man’s heart.
The beating sound of your heart is caused by the valves of the heart opening and closing.
If you were to stretch out your blood vessel system, it would extend over 60,000 miles (96,560.64km).
Heart cells stop dividing after infancy, which means heart cancer is extremely rare.
An adult heart pumps about 5 litres of blood per minute at rest. But when you run or exercise, your heart may pump 3-4 times that much to make sure your body gets enough oxygen and fuel.
An estimated 17.9 million people died worldwide from cardiovascular diseases in 2019, representing 32% of all global deaths.Of these deaths, 85% were due to heart attack and stroke.
Heart disease isn’t something that comes on suddenly like the cold or the flu. It develops slowly, manifesting itself over years and starting, in some instances, as early as childhood. It can be so sneaky, in fact, that 64 percent of women and 50 percent of men who die suddenly from a heart attack had no known symptoms.
On average, not smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, and controlling blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol can add 10 years to a person’s lifespan!
Signs & Symptoms
- Chest pain and tightness (often triggered by physical or emotional stress); women may notice pain in the back, arm, neck, or abdomen
- Fatigue with exertion
- Shortness of breath
- Swelling in your feet and ankles
Leading Risk Factors
This is why it is so important to know your heart disease risk. Even if you are genetically prone to heart disease, it does not mean that getting it is inevitable. Heart disease is preventable—mostly by the way you choose to live your life!
These are the leading risk factors contributing to heart disease.
- A diet high in saturated fat
- Lack of exercise
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol, especially high LDL cholesterol
- Elevated triglycerides
- Overweight, especially excess weight around the waist
- Elevated levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), a sign of low-grade inflammation in the bloodstream
The more risk factors you have, the greater your risk of developing heart disease.
Anatomy Of An Artery
Cardiovascular disease is an umbrella term for “hardening of the arteries,” the accumulation of plaque on artery walls. Plaque is caused by fatty deposits in the bloodstream that cling to artery walls and harden. As plaque accumulates, arteries narrow and restrict the flow of oxygen-carrying blood to the heart.
The heart muscle is so efficient at extracting oxygen from the blood that an artery can be 70 to 90 percent blocked before any symptoms, such as pain or tightness in the chest, appear. When one or more of the coronary arteries become completely blocked, the result is a heart attack. When the blockage occurs in an artery leading to the brain, the result is a stroke.
Unfortunately for some, a heart attack or stroke is the first warning sign that something is wrong.
Whether you’ve had a heart attack or want to avoid one, it is never too late to take action to protect your heart.
Dietary Recommendations: Heart-Smart Supplements
Here are some nutritional supplements that are able to help decrease your risk of developing heart disease:
Antioxidants: Protect against free radical damage and oxidation of LDL cholesterol. Vitamin E also protects against blood clotting, and vitamin C is used to make collagen, a substance that strengthens our blood vessels. Vitamin C with bioflavonoids is extremely important as a regulator of high blood pressure.
It is thought that antioxidants function best when taken together as they offer synergistic and protective effects in combination.
B-Complex Vitamins: Vitamins B6, B12, and folic acid help to lower homocysteine levels, which is a newly recognized factor for heart disease. Vitamin B1 is really important in preventing the heart from enlarging. Respiratory and breathing problems will occur when you are deficient in vitamin B1. Some of the B vitamins help the arteries constrict and some help with vasodilation.
Calcium And Magnesium: Several studies have found that these minerals can promote modest reductions in blood pressure. Both are essential for proper muscle contractions and blood vessel health. Important in the proper functioning of the cardiac muscle. Connected to over 300 enzyme actions controlling glucose, proteins, and fats. Use chelated forms.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Omega-3 fatty acids are essential nutrients that help reduce inflammation caused by atherosclerosis. They also lower levels of triglycerides, fatty blood components that block your arteries. High triglyceride levels are linked to atherosclerosis and diabetes.
Study shows that consumption of omega-3 fatty acids, commonly found in salmon fish, is linked to lower blood pressure, better blood lipid profiles, including lower triglycerides, and a reduced risk of death from heart disease.
Coenzyme Q10: CoenzymeQ10, or CoQ10, or ubiquinone, is a chemical that plays a crucial role in a cell’s ability to extract energy from food. Because the heart is the hardest working muscle in your body, it’s essential that your heart have a constant supply ofCoQ10 so it has the energy to do its work. This chemical decreases with age!
Study shows that taking CoQ10 supplements reduces oxidative stress and increases antioxidant enzyme activity, relieving symptoms of cardiovascular disease.
Multivitamins And Minerals: Vitamins and minerals taken in appropriate doses may aid in lowering heart disease risk. Whole foods should be the main source of nutrients, and research shows that many people fall short of recommended intakes.
Green Tea: For centuries, people around the world have consumed green tea for its health benefits. The study looks at one of its chief components, the antioxidant epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), for its ability to protect the heart. The study shows significant benefits with the consumption of up to six cups of green tea per day.
Garlic Allium Complex: Contains active allicin and bioactive compounds to support heart health. Garlic phytonutrients can help to maintain healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Supports healthy immune responses and normal cell growth and renewal.
Features powders and extracts from a variety of allium vegetables — garlic, onion, chive, and leek.
Enteric coating maximises the product’s stability and absorption and ensures the formation of 4,200 mcg of active allicin in the intestines.
Studies have shown that the highest of fibre consumers had a 15 to 30 percent lower chance of coronary artery disease, cardiovascular-related mortality, the incidence of stroke and type two diabetes. The latest dietary guidelines call for 25g of fibre a day for females and 38g a day for males.
If you have had a heart attack, eat plenty of fibre because it may improve your long-term chances of recovery, say US researchers. Heart-attack survivors were more likely to be alive nine years later if they followed a high-fibre diet, a study in the British Medical Journal found.
Every 10g-per-day increase in fibre intake was linked with a 15% drop in death risk
Eating right is only part of the formula that prevents heart disease or makes living with heart disease a lot less risky. Incorporate these lifestyle factors into your life.
Smoking. Don’t smoke, and avoid second-hand smoke, as this increases many risk factors for heart disease.
Exercise. Most healthcare providers agree that an active lifestyle that includes exercise is very vital when it comes to protecting your heart. Exercise is considered walking at least 30 minutes a day at least five days a week.
Lose Excess Weight. Losing even 5–10 percent of excess weight can lower cholesterol and blood pressure. The majority of people who have a heart attack are overweight.
Avoid Trans Fats. Trans fats are double trouble. They are bad because, like saturated fat, they lead to a buildup of fat on artery walls.
Saturated fats and Trans fats are unhealthy fats due to their chemical structure. Too much of these fats can increase the amount of bad cholesterol (LDL cholesterol) in our blood, which leads to clogging of blood vessels and can cause heart disease.
Saturated fats are found mainly in animal foods such as fatty meats, dairy foods (milk, cheese, yoghurt – especially the full-fat ones) and butter.
Artificial trans fats (or trans fatty acids) are created in an industrial process that adds hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils to make them more solid. Trans fats are easy to use, inexpensive to produce and last a long time. Trans fats give foods a desirable taste and texture. Many restaurants and fast-food outlets use trans fats to deep-fry foods because oils with trans fats can be used many times in commercial fryers.
The manufactured form of Trans fats may be found in a variety of food products, including:
- Baked goods, such as cakes, cookies and pies
- Microwave popcorn
- Frozen pizza
- Refrigerated dough, such as biscuits and rolls
- Fried foods, including french fries, doughnuts and fried chicken
- Nondairy coffee creamer
- Stick margarine
Transfat also has an unhealthy effect on your cholesterol levels.
There are two main types of cholesterol:
Low-density lipoprotein. LDL, or “bad,” cholesterol can build up in the walls of your arteries, making them hard and narrow.
High-density lipoprotein. HDL, or “good,” cholesterol picks up excess cholesterol and takes it back to your liver.
Transfat increases your LDL cholesterol and decreases your HDL cholesterol.
Reduce Stress Levels. Stress causes the liver to increase the production of cholesterol, which is used to make stress hormones. There is a correlation between high stress and a high risk for heart attack.
Manage Your Blood Sugar Levels. If you have diabetes or are at risk for diabetes, work on improving your blood sugar levels with exercise and a low-glycemic diet.
Get Social. Research shows that people who are socially active and have a network of friends are less likely to have a heart attack than people who are socially isolated.
BOARD OF CONSULTANTS PRODUCT RECOMMENDATION
Listed below are the world best nature-based nutrients carefully selected and recommended by our Board of Consultants for this health challenge that can help to enhance your healthy living and boost overall wellness. To get the details of each product, click on the image to learn more and make your purchase online any time of the day!
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