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Blog posts tagged with 'circulation'

National High Blood Pressure Awareness Month – Learning the Important Factors

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National High Blood Pressure Awareness Month – Learning the Important FactorsIt's May which means it's the start of National High Blood Pressure Awareness Month. Blood pressure is something you should endeavor to support every day—not just when you think something might be amiss—because your heart works hard for you daily. That's why you should work to stomp out bad habits and take on healthy tips to take care of your heart function and other connected areas of health.

Blood pressure is the force of your blood as your heart pumps it through your arteries and throughout your body. The two readings that indicate the pressure of your blood flow are systolic (the top number), which measures your blood pressure when your heart beats, and diastolic (the bottom number), which measures your blood pressure when the heart is at rest. The target range for healthy blood pressure is anything at, or lower than, 120/80.

Family History

There are many factors, both controllable and uncontrollable, that you need to be aware of when focusing on maintaining healthy blood pressure levels, and in turn, a healthy heart. Some factors that are beyond your control can include race, family history, and age. For example, studies have shown that African Americans tend to be more susceptible to blood pressure concerns when compared to other races due to genetic factors. However, even if you have a family history of blood pressure concerns, there are still a number of ways you can positively influence healthy levels.

Knowing the Basic Do's and Don'ts

Some factors that are within your control include cutting back on certain foods. For example, a number of studies have proven that cutting back on sodium can have a profound positive influence on blood pressure and can help lower the risk of cardiovascular challenges by 25%–30%. The American Heart Association (AHA) currently recommends consuming less than 1,500 mg of sodium per day. This can easily be accomplished by eating less processed foods, canned foods, and lunch meats, which are the main culprits behind high dietary sodium. Additionally, alcohol consumption can affect blood pressure. But it's also something within your power to control. The AHA says to limit your drink intake to no more than two drinks a day for men or one drink per day for women (1 drink serving is defined as one 12-ounce beer or 4-ounce glass of wine). Besides watching what you eat and drink, you can cut back on stress and maintain a healthy weight. Although there is no evidence to suggest that stress directly causes high blood pressure, blood pressure levels can still spike during periods of tension. Try reducing stress by going for walk, doing an activity that relaxes you, or sharing a laugh with friends. Additionally, added body mass puts extra strain on your heart, forcing it to work harder. Even losing an excess 10 lbs can make a significant difference to your blood pressure health.

Nutritional Factors of Note

When dialing back on things such as sodium and alcohol, you should also remember to increase your intake of nutritious foods. To positively influence your blood pressure it is recommended that you eat at least 8 servings of fruit and vegetables per day. In particular, foods high in potassium have been shown in studies to support healthy blood pressure. Leafy green vegetables—such as kale, collards, swiss chard, and spinach—and whole grains are also rich in B vitamins that support cardio health. Choose healthier cooking options such as baking, roasting, and steaming as opposed to frying; and cut out foods containing trans fats and saturated fat. Throughout the centuries, practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) have catalogued hundreds of beneficial herbs and their various uses. Several of these herbs can be used to support healthy blood pressure. Chrysanthemum, for example, helps expand blood vessels to ease circulation. Senna also contains compounds that help reduce arterial plaque buildup, while Apocynum venetum has alkaloids that help promote healthy blood flow. Since you wouldn't normally find these herbs on your supermarket shelf, nutritional supplements may be the best source. Your heart works hard for you everyday, so it makes sense to kick those bad habits and positively influence your blood pressure levels. Simple tasks, such as cutting back on sodium and alcohol; reducing stress; and increasing your intake of nutritious foods and herbal supplements; are things everyone can do — starting in National High Blood Pressure Awareness Month. Find your healthy motivation today!


HyperBalance
 

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Be Upbeat When It Comes to Heart Health

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https://www.gardavita.com/content/images/thumbs/0000217_daily-multichew-bogo-2x-bottles.jpegAll this month of February America celebrates the amazing human heart with Heart-Health Awareness Month. While heart health consistently ranks as the top health concern in the nation, new research indicates that there are more and more everyday things you can do to sway it in a more positive direction.

Yes, You Can!

The first step in any lifestyle change is having the right attitude. A study published in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes on 600 patients found that those who took the initiative to exercise and turn their health around significantly increased their life expectancy. Another study in the American Journal of Cardiology also found that having an upbeat attitude actually protected people from heart health risks. A large part of staying positive includes reducing stress. Research published in both the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism and Archives of Internal Medicine found that stress and its associated hormones can put added pressure on your heart. So if you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, take time to unwind by engaging in relaxing activities such as reading a book, spending time with friends, or participating in physical activities.

Get Moving

Depending on various factors like age and doctor-recommended restrictions, physical activity is anything that gets you moving to burn calories. From climbing stairs to organized sports, staying active can support a healthy heart and aid circulation. At the very least, start walking; it’s fun, easy, and a sociable exercise. An article in the journal, Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology, states that walking can help normalize blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels.

Nutrition You Can Live By

Your diet plays an important role in supporting a healthy heart. Even simple things, such as remembering to eat a healthy breakfast, can help lower cardio health risks according to one Harvard study. Certain foods, when added to your diet, aid various aspects such as cholesterol, blood pressure, and weight management. Fish such as salmon, tuna, trout, herring, and mackerel contain omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to help lower blood pressure and triglycerides that can help maintain healthy cholesterol levels. The American Heart Association recommends eating these types of fish at least two times a week. Kidney beans or black beans can also be good sources omega-3 fatty acids as well as niacin, folate, magnesium, calcium, and soluble fiber. Even foods like yogurt and supplements containing probiotics have been studied recently for their cholesterol-lowering effects. Besides adding more nutritious foods to your diet, it’s important to cut back on the ones that push your heart health in the wrong direction. One observational study published in BMC Medicine found that cutting back on processed meat consumption to less than 20 grams per day could lower mortality rates by 3.3%. Lowering your consumption of red meat can also lower levels of amino acids that have been linked to heart concerns.

Healthy Snacking

Snacking doesn’t need to be the bane of your diet. Healthy snacks such as almonds and walnuts also contain omega-3s as well as fiber, folate, and magnesium that can boost your nutrition. Oatmeal, whole grains, and flaxseed can provide vitamins, minerals, and nutrients like magnesium, potassium, folate, niacin, calcium, and soluble fiber. Of course, a consistently healthy diet revolves around choosing lots of fruits and vegetables on a regular basis. Avoid fried foods, and foods and drinks with added sugars.

No Ifs, Ands, or “Butts” About It

Enough can’t be said on how much quitting smoking can boost heart health. But if you or someone you know needs yet another to convince them on how much their health can improve by quitting smoking, take a look at this study presented at a meeting held by the American Heart Association: It found that people who smoked fewer than 3.2 packs of cigarettes a day for 10 years could lower their heart illness risk to the same level as nonsmokers in eight years. Even heavy smokers who quit could improve their life expectancy by 35%.

The Power to Change Is in Everyone’s Hands

Some factors such as hereditary genes may be beyond your control, but by believing that you have the power to change your health and by following through with those changes, the power of positive thinking can go a long way. If the state of your heart is weighing heavily on your mind, adopt an upbeat attitude, be more active, eat healthier, and say goodbye to bad habits. Keep your heart in mind this February—and throughout your lifetime—by taking the steps towards greater well-being today!


Omega3Q10
 
 

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Taking Control Over Your Cholesterol Leads to Healthier Heart Support, No Matter Your Age

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High Density Helpers and Low Density Cloggers

Taking Control Over Your Cholesterol Leads to Healthier Heart Support, No Matter Your AgeDid you know there are 2 types of cholesterol? And while they both can affect each other, one is good for you and one is bad? Cholesterol is a waxy substance produced by the liver for cells, membranes and metabolism and is needed in order to create hormones, vitamin D and the bile acid that helps you digest fat. The good cholesterol is known as high density lipoprotein or HDL. Your HDL cholesterol acts as the street sweeper of your blood vessels. They clean the walls of your blood vessels, and support a healthy heart and good circulation.

Low density lipoprotein (LDL) is the bad cholesterol flowing through the bloodstream that tends to deposit on the walls of arteries. Collecting in the blood vessels and accumulating over time, LDL cholesterol can contribute to poor circulation and is thought to be a significant contributor for many heart related concerns for adults as they continue to mature. HDL helps lower LDL levels by gathering up the bad cholesterol but overall the body only needs a limited amount of cholesterol, beyond that is a cause for further health issues.

Numbers Game

You can monitor your cholesterol levels by taking a cholesterol test or lipid panel. Looking at your genetics or family history can be an indicator as to your cholesterol, as well as looking at your diet, how active you are, and your habits (smoking, tobacco use, medications.) The average recommended cholesterol levels, range from 100-120 for HDL and around 60 or above for LDL. It is usually advised to keep your total cholesterol number around 200 or below. Ways to stay away from high cholesterol numbers include keeping a diet low in saturated fats, trans-fats, and sugars, as well as avoiding foods that are high in cholesterol content themselves - such as burgers and cheese fries - as these can all increase your LDL cholesterol.

Taking Action to Heart

While staying away from the bad, you can take on the good to help support healthier cholesterol levels. Fish, walnuts, almonds and other nuts that are rich in polyunsaturated fats are beneficial because of their omega-3 fatty acid content which has been proven to help support lower triglyceride levels and better HDL numbers. Fruits and vegetables that specifically contain plant sterols or stanols can help block your body’s absorption of cholesterol. But you can’t always get everything your body needs directly from your diet, supplementing your nutrition directly with fish oil, or flaxseed oil and borage oil as a vegetarian option, can help provide you with a healthy amount of omega-3 fatty acids. The B vitamin niacin can also provide support for healthy HDL levels and works best in junction with a low cholesterol-focused diet. Combining a healthy diet, proper supplementation, and at least 30 minutes a day of exercise can help support higher HDL levels and combat LDL cholesterol. The road to a healthy heart runs through your blood vessels. Help keep your heart’s highways clean by taking the necessary steps towards healthier levels cholesterol levels, no matter your age. Today is the perfect day to begin a healthier lifestyle!


Triple Omega 3-6-9
 

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Clearing the Heart’s Highways for Healthy Blood Pressure Support

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Clearing the Heart’s Highways for Healthy Blood Pressure SupportYour veins and arteries are the highways of your heart, carrying fresh, oxygenated blood to the rest of your body while bringing deoxygenated blood back to the heart to be recycled. Blood pressure is the force in which blood flows through the arteries. It’s normal for your blood pressure to rise during strenuous activity, such as exercise, and fall when you’re resting or asleep. Consistently high blood pressure, however, means that your heart is working extra hard to pump blood around your body all the time, which can be stressful on the heart, veins, and arteries.

Under Pressure from Numbers

When the heart beats, the force it creates as blood flows through the arteries is called your systolic measurement. This is the first number you will see on blood pressure measurement (BPM) results, which is the higher number. The second number in BPM is called the diastolic measurement. This number represents the pressure exerted by blood flowing through your arteries when your heart is at rest or between beats. The average BPM should be below 120/80. Readings that are slightly higher do not necessarily mean that you have high blood pressure, but it does indicate that you have a higher risk of developing heart health challenges.

External Pressures Can Raise Your Internal Pressure

Tobacco use can contribute to an unhealthy heart and high blood pressure by narrowing the blood vessels, making it even more difficult for blood to circulate. Excessive alcohol intake (more than two drinks a day) can also raise blood pressure readings. The last factor affecting blood pressure is a big one: stress. Quitting smoking and curbing drinking habits can be manageable with the right assistance, but stress can be trickier to deal with. While avoiding all stress is impossible, relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, massage, and yoga may help ease your worries—and your heart.

Everyday Aids to Your Heart’s Roadways

There are many ways you can easily begin to protect your heart and support healthy blood pressure levels, and some tips are as easy as adding more fruit and vegetables to your meals. Fresh fruit and veggies are low in cholesterol and saturated fat, and high in potassium, magnesium, and fiber that have been linked to good heart health. The antioxidant, CoQ10, as well as omega fatty acids have also been found to promote healthy blood pressure levels and provide circulation support. Exercising is another top way to promote a healthy cardiovascular system. Gentle exercises such as walking, stretching, and swimming are all ways to keep you active and moving, which aids healthy circulation and helps the body utilize oxygen more efficiently. Check with your doctor before starting any new exercise program or ask your physician to help you find a suitable program that matches your level of fitness condition. The journey towards healthier blood pressure doesn’t require drastic measures—all it takes is better nutrition, regular exercise, and cutting back on bad habits. The benefits of consistent, healthy habits add up over time and can not only help you improve your current lifestyle, but can put you on the path towards overall better living throughout your lifetime.


Omega3Q10
 

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