Your heart is your engine. And like any engine, it needs maintenance. It’s really rather easy. Just focus your efforts on diet and exercise—the two major factors in cardiovascular health.
Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables that are rich in antioxidants
Excess free radicals contribute to the formation of plaque inside the arteries, which is dangerous to your heart. Fruits and vegetables, however, fight these free radicals and also provide an excellent source of dietary fiber, which helps control levels of cholesterol by preventing it from being absorbed in the blood stream. So fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables in a variety of colours.
Tip: Eat plenty of garlic. It’s the number one choice for heart health. If you can’t stand the smell or the taste, we have a solution for you: Maxi Garlic Extra Strength provides all the benefits of garlic, without the inconvenience.
Include “good” fats
Omega-3 fatty acids should be your first choice in fats. They help improve blood levels of cholesterol and triglycerides, reduce inflammation and contribute to better artery elasticity. You’ll find them in some vegetable sources (e.g., flax, hemp or chia seeds, walnut and some vegetable oils), but the most efficient omega-3 fatty acids for cardiovascular health are from cold-water fish such as salmon, tuna, mackerel and sardines.
Tip: To prevent cardiovascular disease, a healthy person should get at least 500 mg of omega-3 (EPA and DHA) per day. Those at high risk should get 1000 mg. Since that would mean eating fish almost every day, a fish oil supplement can be a welcome alternative. One softgel a day of our Omega-3 100 mg will rpovide 500 mg of omega-3 fatty acids: enough to keep your heart healthy if you are already in good health. If, however, you have heart disease the appropriate dosage is two to three softgels per day. In such cases, we recommend our Omega-3 40/20, which is a more concentrated, more targeted formulation for heart health.
For those who wish to stay with vegetable omega-3s, we also have a flaxseed oil supplement.
Exercise is essential to overall health, including the cardiovascular system. After all, the heart is a muscle, and all muscles weaken if they aren’t put to work. Exercise also helps to lower blood pressure, maintain a healthy weight, relieve stress, and more. And the benefits you get from exercise are directly proportional to the effort you put into it.
So how much do you need? In general, aim for 30 minutes of physical activity, at least four days a week. This 30-minute period can be split into three 10-minute sessions, which can make it easier to get the necessary exercise. Interestingly, the benefits of one exercise session persist for around 48 hours. If you exercise once every two days you can maintain these benefits over the course of the week.
For the amateur athlete who trains regularly, or for people who want to start training, these products can help keep you on track:
Ultra energex: This product contains a variety of plants that can help your body deal with physical strain. It will give you more energy and endurance, and also facilitate recuperation afterwards. It comes in convenient plastic ampoules, which you can easily bring to the gym or take with you for outdoor activities.
Nutriforme Proteins +: Fight off craving before or after working out and offer your body all the protein it needs!
Go Joints Active living/sports : Don’t let joint pain stop you from training. This glucosamine product is especially formulated for active people who want to stay that way and also protect their joints.
Tip: Find and keep your motivation by choosing an activity that will help you enjoy exercising. And don’t forget to combine it with a diet that will make you enjoy eating healthy, too!
Other factors to consider: stress
Did you know stress can put a strain on your cardiovascular system? Heart health is a great excuse to include a little R&R in your schedule.
If stress is more pronounced, our Relaxen Day can help. It reduces the impact of stress during the day without causing drowsiness or slowing you down in your busy work schedule. If stress keeps you counting sheep at night, Relaxen Night can help you get the sleep you need.
Is cholesterol still the top priority?
We talk a lot about cholesterol and medical doctors seem to have identified it as enemy #1. We know that plaques, which block the arteries, contain cholesterol. We also know that high cholesterol levels increase the risk of plaque formation. But cholesterol is not the only player in the game. Lowering bad cholesterol is advisable when it is too high, but this strategy will be much more efficient for heart health if it is combined with an exercise program, a healthy diet and a good stress management plan.
To help you maintain adequate levels of cholesterol, we offer Cholestol. Developed and studied at the University of Sherbrooke, Cholestol has been shown to reduce bad cholesterol (LDL), while preserving good cholesterol (HDL). The ideal time to take it is when cholesterol levels start to rise, before they are really problematic.
But remember: to preserve the health of you heart, it’s important that you address all of the risk factors!