The body’s circulatory system is responsible for carrying oxygen and nutrients to the body.

The circulatory system consists of the heart, blood and blood vessels in our body.

The heart is a muscular organ which pumps blood carrying oxygen and nutrients needed by the body through our blood vessels.

A strong heart therefore ensures the constant supply of these much needed nutrients and oxygen to the body. (1)

Keeping A Strong Heart

Blood Pressure

blood pressure monitor

A person’s blood pressure is a good indicator of heart health.

Blood pressure is measured in two readings:

Systolic – The blood pressure against artery walls when the heart is pumping blood.

Diastolic – The blood pressure against artery walls between heartbeats when the heart is relaxed.

Those with pre-hypertension should make heart-healthy lifestyle changes to reduce the risk of complications relating to blood pressure. (2)

American Heart Association Recommended Blood Pressure Levels

Blood Pressure CategorySystolic (mm Hg) Diastolic (mm Hg)
NormalLess than 120AndLess than 80
Pre-hypertension120-139Or80-89
High (Stage 1)140-159Or90-99
High (Stage 2)160 or higherOr100 or higher

Cholesterol

One major heart disease risk factor is cholesterol, and cholesterol levels are considered abnormal when:

Total cholesterol is 200 mg/dL or higher

HDL or “good” cholesterol is less than 40 mg/dL

LDL or “bad” cholesterol is more than 160 mg/dL (3)

Exercise

cycling

As the heart is the organ that works hard at pumping blood through the body everyday, aerobic exercise is recommended to strengthen the heart.

Try biking, hiking, jogging or swimming to maintain a healthy and strong heart. (4)

Eating for A Healthy Heart

Follow a diet with these nutrients in check to maintain a healthy heart:

Antioxidants help prevent the clotting of bad cholesterol in our blood arteries which could result in blockage or cardiovascular diseases. (5)

Flavonoids help support the blood capillaries, increase intracellular vitamin C levels and protect the storage of vitamin C in our bodies from oxidation and destruction. (6)

Garlic is known to inhibit the tendency of blood clots, the lowering of cholesterol and the normalization of blood pressure. (7)

garlic

Essential Fatty Acids such as omega-3 fatty acids are key nutrients needed for efficient metabolism of cholesterol.

People consuming foods high in these nutrients regularly register a lower rate of heart disease. (8)

Minerals such as potassium, calcium and magnesium in suitable amounts can normalize blood pressure.

Working as electrolytes, these minerals keep our muscles beating. (9)

B Vitamins

Vitamin B12 helps support heart muscle function, while vitamins B6 and B12 help reduce chances of heart disease by metabolizing amino acids. (10, 11)

Katsuobushi Oligopeptide is Bonito fish peptide powder derived from dried Bonito fish.

katsuobushi

It is discovered to moderately inhibit ACE (angiotensin converting enzyme) activity and maintain good circulatory health.

Angiotensins are peptides that act as vasoconstricting agents, which cause the narrowing of blood vessels, hence increasing blood pressure. (12)

Co-enzyme Q10: Energy Nutrient for a Healthy Heart

coenzyme q10

The Co-enzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is an antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals, promotes a healthy heart, and supports energy production in cells.

Since CoQ10 us crucial for energy production, the heart, which demands high levels of energy, has the highest concentration of CoQ10.

CoQ10 creates as much as 95% of cellular energy used by the body.

Without this nutrient, we will not be able to transport or produce energy needed by our bodies.

Researchers have also concluded that 10 milligrams of CoQ10 given daily to heart patients strengthens the heart, allowing it to reach higher levels of energy before pain or oxygen deprivation occurs.

Other Benefits of CoQ10

Fighting off illness requires many of our immune cells to be active.

As this activity needs a great deal of energy on the cellular level, CoQ10 stimulates the energy production for this function, hence playing a crucial support role in boosting immune defenses.

Apart from being an energy nutrient, it is also a powerful antioxidant and free radical scavenger.

CoQ10 helps protect against free radical damage by supporting cell regeneration and healthy blood vessels, and preventing oxidation.

CoQ10, like vitamin E, slows down tissue damage by decreasing the effect of free radical molecules.

Research has shown that treatment implementing co-enzyme has reduced fine lines and wrinkles, and shown to reduce age spots. (13)

References:

1. National Library of Medicine. Heart. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMHT0015637/. [Accessed 19 November 2016].

2. American Heart Association. 2016. Understanding Blood Pressure Readings. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HighBloodPressure/AboutHighBloodPressure/Understanding-Blood-Pressure-Readings_UCM_301764_Article.jsp#.WC27Dvl97IU. [Accessed 19 November 2016].

3. WebMD. 2016. Heart Disease and Lowering Cholesterol. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/guide/heart-disease-lower-cholesterol-risk#2. [Accessed 19 November 2016].

4. Soares-Miranda L, Siscovick DS, Psaty BM, Longstreth WT Jr, Mozaffarian D, 2016. Physical Activity and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease and Stroke in Older Adults: The Cardiovascular Health Study. Circulation Research, [Online]. 133(2), 147-55. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26538582 [Accessed 19 November 2016].

5. Ye Z, Song H, 2008. Antioxidant vitamins intake and the risk of coronary heart disease: meta-analysis of cohort studies. European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, [Online]. 15(1), 26-34. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18277182 [Accessed 19 November 2016].

6. Julia J. Peterson, Johanna T. Dwyer, Paul F. Jacques, and Marjorie L. McCullough, 2012. Do Flavonoids Reduce Cardiovascular Disease Incidence or Mortality in US and European Populations?. Nutrition Reviews, [Online]. 70(9), 491–508. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4130174/ [Accessed 19 November 2016].

7. Varshney R, Budoff MJ, 2016. Garlic and Heart Disease. Journal of Nutrition, [Online]. 146(2), 416S-421S. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26764327 [Accessed 19 November 2016].

8. J. Chris Bradberry and Daniel E. Hilleman, 2013. Overview of Omega-3 Fatty Acid Therapies. Pharmacy & Therapeutic, [Online]. 38(11), 681–691. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3875260/ [Accessed 19 November 2016].

9. Houston MC, Harper KJ, 2008. Potassium, magnesium, and calcium: their role in both the cause and treatment of hypertension. The Journal of Clinical Hypertension, [Online]. 10(7 Suppl 2), 3-11. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18607145 [Accessed 20 November 2016].

10. Friso S, Lotto V, Corrocher R, Choi SW, 2012. Vitamin B6 and cardiovascular disease. Subcellular Biochemistry, [Online]. 56, 265-90. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22116704 [Accessed 20 November 2016].

11. Pawlak R, 2015. Is vitamin B12 deficiency a risk factor for cardiovascular disease in vegetarians?. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, [Online]. 48(6), e11-26. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25998928 [Accessed 20 November 2016].

12. Youko Umeki, Hitomi Hayabuchi, Manami Hisano, Motonaka Kuroda, Masashi Honda, Bunei Ando, Masanori Ohta and Masaharu Ikeda, 2008. The Effect of the Dried-Bonito Broth on Blood Pressure, 8-Hydroxydeoxyguanosine (8-OHdG), an Oxidative Stress Marker, and Emotional States in Elderly Subjects. Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition, [Online]. 43(3), 175–184. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2581762/ [Accessed 20 November 2016].

13. Juan Garrido-Maraver, Mario D. Cordero, Manuel Oropesa-Ávila, Alejandro Fernández Vega, Mario de la Mata, Ana Delgado Pavón, Manuel de Miguel, Carmen Pérez Calero, Marina Villanueva Paz, David Cotán, and José A. Sánchez-Alcázar, 2014. Coenzyme Q10 Therapy. Molecular Syndromology, [Online]. 5(3-4), 187–197. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4112525/ [Accessed 20 November 2016].

Published on 21 Nov 2016

Summary
A Holistic Approach To Improve Your Heart Health
Article Name
A Holistic Approach To Improve Your Heart Health
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Curious about what can be done to improve your heart health? Try out these practical and timeless strategies today.
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Yeo International
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