5 Ways to Support Your Heart Health
If improving cardiovascular health is a goal for you, it’s important to keep your gut healthy and balanced! When your gut lining is compromised, metabolites can enter the body and cause inflammation, which directly affects your heart.
While genetics can play a role in your heart health and it’s useful to know your family history if you have a potential risk for any issues, there are several things you can do to prevent cardiovascular complications and give your heart the best possible chance for health.
Here are 5 great proactive ways you can start supporting your heart health today:
1. Manage your stress: While minor stress is normally and is biologically designed to protect you, constant, intense stress can have a major impact on your health. Studies suggest that long-term stress leads to high levels of cortisol, which can increase blood cholesterol, triglycerides, blood sugar, and blood pressure. All of which are risk factors for heart disease. To manage stress, tools like meditation or deep breathing can be helpful, as well as yoga, regularly getting into nature, and unplugging from technology. These things also contribute to better sleep, which can improve stress levels.
2. Consider your diet: There are certain foods that can positively impact your heart health, and some that can negatively impact it. In general, eating plenty of organic fruits and vegetables that are high in antioxidants, vitamins and nutrients. Leafy greens and berries which can protect against oxidative stress and inflammation, are great choices. While whole grains that are high in fiber can help decrease LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, thus decreasing the risk for heart disease.
3. Avoid smoking and limit alcohol: both smoking and drinking alcohol in excess can affect the cardiovascular system. Inhaling cigarette smoke can contaminate blood with chemicals, causing damage to your blood vessels, and it interferes with the delivery of oxygen-rich blood to your heart. Heavy drinking can lead to cardiomyopathy, which causes the heart to lose its ability to effectively pump blood, and can also lead to high blood pressure, which puts a strain on your heart muscle.
4. Exercise: There are so many research-backed benefits of regular exercise for your heart health: it can help reduce blood pressure and LDL cholesterol, increase HDL (“good”) cholesterol, improve oxygen flow, maintain a healthy weight, and lower stress. Aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity, 5 days a week. It doesn’t have to be strenuous exercise: aerobic activity is great for heart health, but gentle walks, yoga, and stretching are all forms of movement you can work into your day.
5. Take a quality probiotic: Imbalances in the gut microbiome are associated with metabolic disorders and, a growing amount of evidence suggests, heart disease (the leading killer of Americans). Our Heart Centered probiotic specifically targets the microbiome to produce more nitric oxide, CoQ10 and butyrate, all of which help support a healthy cardiovascular system. Many people don’t realize that these important metabolites are produced by gut bacteria!
If you feel overwhelmed at the thought of incorporating multiple new habits, just start with one thing at a time. You don’t need to do a complete overhaul to improve your health. Gradual, simple changes are much more sustainable and effective!
Click here to stock up on Heart Centered, our probiotic specifically formulated to support heart health.