Improve Your Heart Health

Taking a deep breath in and then letting it out.  Do you ever think about where that oxygen goes or how it gets there?

Inside the tiny air sacs at the end of bronchioles, (air tubes in the lungs). The alveoli are where the lungs and the blood exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide.  Oxygen moves across the capillaries and into your blood.  A protein called hemoglobin in the red blood cells then carries the oxygen around your body.

Keeping the heart healthy is so important.  The heart is responsible for pumping blood around the body, delivering oxygen and nutrients to your cells.  Like most of your organs it also helps to pump out and remove waste.

The next question is what are good things to maintain in the diet to ensure the heart is staying clean, health and strong?  Thus, keeping the rest of the body clean, health and strong.

OMEGA 3

This polyunsaturated fatty acid benefits the heart in many ways.  

  • Lower triglyceride levels in the blood

  • Reduces risk of developing an irregular heartbeat.

  • Slows down the rate that plaque builds up in the arteries.

  • Slightly lowers blood pressure.

  • Reduces the inflammation throughout the body, that could damage your blood vessels and lead to heart disease or a stroke.

Three types of Omega 3 to look for are:

 ALA is an essential omega-3 fatty acid meaning that your body cannot make it so you must get if from the diet.  EPA and DHA are not considered essential since they can be produced from ALA; however, this process is not very efficient and therefore cannot be relied upon to produce significant amounts of EPA and DHA.  Fish oils would show the significant amounts of EPA and DHA, as the fish did the break down for you.  DHA levels help for brain cell growth and EPA helps reduce inflammation.

COENZYME Q10

CoQ10 is a vitamin like substance, found throughout the body.    It is involved in the production of cellular energy and seems to have antioxidant functions. Levels of CoQ10 in your body decrease as you age. CoQ10 levels have also been found to be lower in people with certain conditions, such as heart disease. CoQ10 has been shown to improve symptoms of congestive heart failure. CoQ10 helps reduce blood pressure. Some research also suggests that when combined with other nutrients, CoQ10 might aid recovery in people who have had bypass and heart valve surgeries.

FIBER

Soluble fiber found in beans, oats, flaxseed and oat bran help lower blood cholesterol levels by lowering bad cholesterol levels. High-fiber foods may have other heart-health benefits, such as reducing blood pressure and inflammation. Fiber is classified as soluble, which dissolves in water, or insoluble, which does not dissolve.

Soluble fiber: dissolves in water to form a gel-like material. It can help lower blood cholesterol and glucose levels. Soluble fiber is found in oats, peas, beans, apples, citrus fruits, carrots, barley and psyllium.

Insoluble fiber: promotes the movement of material through your digestive system and increases stool bulk, so it can be of benefit to those who struggle with constipation or irregular stools. Whole-wheat flour, wheat bran, nuts, beans and vegetables, such as cauliflower, green beans and potatoes, are good sources of insoluble fiber.

The amount of soluble and insoluble fiber varies in different plant foods. To receive the greatest health benefit, eat a wide variety of high-fiber foods.

L-CARNITINE

L- Carnitine is an amino acid needed to transport fats into the mitochondria (the place in the cell where fats are turned into energy). Adequate energy production is essential for normal heart function. Several studies using L-carnitine showed an improvement in heart function and a reduction in symptoms of angina.

GARLIC

Garlic promotes heart health through cholesterol reduction. It is also known to prevent sell damage and lower blood pressure. Garlic is an excellent source of antioxidants, including selenium, vitamin C and quercetin. Antioxidants to help prevent or slow cell damage caused by unstable molecules called "free radicals."

- Natasha Eagleson, Wellness Lead, Enjoy Centre