February is American Heart Month!
Supporting Your Heart & Cardiovascular Health
By Extraordinary Health writers & Comments by Christine
Dreher, CCN, CCH
With Valentine’s Day approaching and “love in the air,” it can be rather
sobering to talk about the heart in terms of heart disease. But the topic needs
to be addressed, since heart disease is the leading cause of death and a
contributor to disability for men and women alike in America. So, now that we’ve
entered the month of February—which is designated as American Heart Month—it’s a
perfect time to talk about heart health.
But many people think that the topic of heart health, particularly heart
disease, is a topic that should be discussed for the benefit of other people,
but not for them personally. Nothing could be further from the truth, though.
Heart disease, also called coronary artery disease (CAD) or ischemic heart
disease, is a major killer and instigator of disability.
In fact, each year, approximately 600,000 Americans die from heart
disease—that’s one out of every four deaths—making heart disease the leading
cause of death for both men and women.
It’s also a strain on the economy, workforce and families, costing $312.6
billion each year and leading to disability, preventing people from working,
from enjoying family activities and resulting in a lower quality of life.
But what’s behind heart disease? Heart disease is a result of
atherosclerosis, or “hardening of the arteries.” In atherosclerosis, fatty
deposits of cholesterol and other cellular waste products build up in the heart
arteries’ inner linings. This results in artery blockages and prevents
oxygen-rich blood from reaching the heart. Oxidation from free radical damage is
also an important trigger of atherosclerosis as is systemic, unrelenting bodily
inflammation that can also directly and adversely affect the plaque in single
arteries and throughout the arteries leading to the heart.
And here’s the kicker: heart disease is preventable because there are steps
you can take to help reduce your risk of heart disease, including eating a
healthy diet. Some heart-healthy foods and drinks to enjoy (organic, of course)
are salmon, tuna, flaxseed, chia seed, spinach, broccoli and other greens; sweet
potatoes; red bell peppers; tomatoes; papaya; cantaloupe; blueberries, almonds,
walnuts, extra virgin olive oil; red wine (with
Resveratrol) in moderation; and
dark chocolate, with a 70 percent or higher cocoa content.
Additionally, staying at a healthy weight, controlling your blood pressure
and blood sugar levels, lowering your cholesterol, getting enough exercise and
not smoking—to name a few more—can help lower your risk for heart disease.
In fact, for women, having just one risk factor such as high blood pressure,
smoking or being overweight, doubles their risk for heart disease. Yes; that’s
right. Just one risk factor doubles a woman’s risk for heart disease. That’s why
it’s so important to take steps to lower your risk for heart disease in all ways
So, go ahead and enjoy the month of February, including Valentine’s Day and
all the excitement associated with it.
But don’t forget to show your heart some extra love, too, not only during
February, but all year long.
Additional information, products, and resources to support heart and
cardiovascular health: Suggestions by Christine Dreher, CCN, CCH
Vitamin K supports cardiovascular health (including heart health) and
is an excellent calcium regulator—moving excess arterial calcium into bone
tissue where it belongs and is needed, but removing it from the arteries where
it doesn’t belong. A deficiency of vitamin K2, in particular, can lead to
arteriosclerosis and osteoporosis. Adequate vitamin K2 intake, however, can
support cardiovascular, bone, skin, brain and even prostate health.
more information, see our Garden of Life Vitamin Code Raw K-Complex product
page. Also, see the article
“So What Makes Vitamin K So Special?” to learn more about Vitamin K’s
amazing health benefits.
The Cardio Connection & CoQ10: Did you know that CoQ10 is not a
vitamin Instead, it is often hailed as a “vitamin-like substance.”
Technically, it is a coenzyme, which means that it combines with enzymes in
promoting metabolic reactions in the body. It is “vitamin-like” in that CoQ10
is required by the body, but what makes CoQ10 interesting is how the body uses
it, especially it's cardio protective abilities.
Read the "The Cardio Connection & CoQ10" article here.
Resveratrol is a powerful antioxidant found in nature in the skin of
red grapes, pomegranates and blueberries. It is well researched and known for
its protective health benefits for the nervous (including the brain) and
cardiovascular systems (including blood vessels, heart and good cholesterol),
supporting normal cell growth, boosting metabolism, and supporting longevity
and immune balance.
See our Garden of Life Raw Resveratrol product page for more information.
- Omega-3 fatty acids help to support cardiovascular health.
Garden of Life’s Minami CardiO-3 formula provides high concentrations
of Omega-3 fatty acids, with specific EPA and DHA ratios to support
triglyceride and cholesterol levels. Please see our
Garden of Life Minami CardiO-3 product page for more information.
- Avoiding Trans Fats: Trans fats are more harmful than saturated
fats. In addition to lowering HDL (good cholesterol) and raising LDL (bad
cholesterol), trans fats have been tied to a number of other negative effects
in our body. See the article
“Trans Fat Free and Healthy” for more information.
- For weight management, see the article
“Winning the Weight War.”
- For Blood Sugar Support, see the article
“Cinnamon, the Spice that Makes Blood Sugar Nice” and
“Herbal Profile on Cinnamon and Blood Sugar Health.”
- Causes and Prevention of Inflammation:
Epidemic of Inflammation: Causes & Natural Treatment – an Interview with
Master Herbalist, Founder & Formulator of New Chapter (Audio
Note: The content provided in this article is intended for informational and
educational purposes only and is not intended to take the place of professional
medical advice. You are encouraged to consult with your medical health care
provider regarding any health concern or health-related condition you may have.