February is all about HEARTS: the ones that say “I love you,” and the ones that let us live a life we love. In honor of American Heart Month, our focus is on what we can all do to reduce our risk of developing heart disease, still the No. 1 killer of both men and women in the United States.
That’s the bad news. The good (we think GREAT) news is that research increasingly shows that with the exception of a small genetic component, heart disease can largely be prevented by changes to your LIFESTYLE…and these are changes you can easily implement. One step at a time…
Here are 5 heart-friendly lifestyle fixes to choose from in 2017, adapted from a blog post by Dr. Mark Hyman, one of our favorite functional medicine doctors. For the complete post, click here.
1. Eat a Healthy, Whole Foods Diet. Aim for 8-10 servings of colorful fruits and veggies each day.
2. Steady Your Blood Sugar. Stabilize blood sugar by eating protein, healthy fats and healthy carbohydrates at every meal. Avoid processed sugars.
3. Increase Your Fiber Intake. Work your way up to 50g of fiber (veggies, nuts, seeds, and low-sugar fruits like berries) per day.
4. Avoid processed, junk foods. That includes sodas, juices and diet drinks.
5. Get Out and Move! Research shows 30-45 minutes of cardiovascular exercise at least five times/week can benefit your heart.
To go along with these lifestyle hacks, there are also a few supplements that are naturally good for your most vital organ. One of our favorites at Rising Tide is Ubiquinol (the reduced form of CoQ10, and the form your body naturally uses). Studies show that supplementing with CoQ10/Ubiquinol plays a critical role in the creation of cellular energy needed by important organs like the heart and brain. It’s also super important if you’re taking statins, which are known to lower natural levels of ubiquinol in the body and heart. We love the ubiquinol products by Bluebonnet, now in smaller vegetarian softgels for easier swallowing.
Another great heart-healthy supplement is the mighty Pomegranate, shown to prevent—and in some cases reverse—cardiovascular disease. A growing body of evidence suggests that the compounds in pomegranate known as punicalagins are cardioprotective due to their powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. We like Pomegranate Complete by LifeExtension, which includes aspects of the whole pomegranate plant—even the seeds and the flowers! Just one softgel provides equivalent antioxidant content of approximately 24-30 pomegranates!
Make 2017 the year you get serious about your heart. We promise, any changes you make to help your heart will be beneficial for the rest of your parts, too!