Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in Canadians. There are numerous lifestyle strategies one can follow to benefit heart health.
Consumption of nutritious foods is important in maintaining optimal cardiovascular health. This means plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, legumes, raw nuts and seeds, and whole grains. A high fiber diet is important in maintaining lower cholesterol levels. Processed foods, fried fruits, and those rich in saturated fats tend to clog arteries and thicken the blood. Essential fatty acids ie. “good fats”, such as Omega 3 oils, are essential in promoting a healthy cardiovascular system. Exercise is another key component. Individuals should exercise a minimum of 4 times a week for 30 minutes.
Cholesterol production occurs in the liver. Cleansing and supporting liver function is key to improving heart health and lowering cholesterol levels.
Supplements containing red yeast rice extract are gaining popularity for their cholesterol lowering abilities. The extract helps to reduce total cholesterol levels, lower LDL “bad” cholesterol levels, and increase HDL “good” cholesterol levels.
Other nutrients important in cardiovascular health are those that reduce homocysteine levels, such as folic acid, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12. Elevated homocysteine levels are an independent risk factor for developing heart attack, stroke and peripheral vascular disease.
Dr. Alene Falomo, ND, RAc
The information above is intended for informational purposes only and not for diagnosis or treatment recommendations. Always consult with your health care provider if this is suitable for you.