Your guide to a heart-healthy lifestyle
Did you know that the heart beats over 100,000 times per day, guiding thousands of gallons of blood to every corner of your body? In the rhythm of life, our hearts play the lead role orchestrating a symphony of systems that keeps us alive and thriving. The heart is at the centre of our cardiovascular system, a complex network of blood vessels, arteries, veins, and capillaries that ensures the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to every cell in our body. Taking care of this vital organ is a commitment to living a full and vibrant life, ensuring that we never miss a beat.
The heart's vital role
The heart is a powerful muscle that circulates oxygen, nutrients, energy and various hormones throughout our bodies, while also removing waste products. This dynamic organ also collaborates with other systems to regulate our heart rate and blood pressure.
So, how exactly does it all work? Let’s take a closer look:
Blood circulation and oxygen supply
After blood has been used by the brain and body and becomes deoxygenated, it returns to the heart’s right chamber. This deoxygenated blood embarks on a brief journey to the lungs, where it acquires a fresh supply of oxygen. Once replenished, oxygen-rich blood confidently returns to the heart's left side, ready for its circulation back to the brain and throughout the rest of the body.
As the heart works tirelessly to circulate blood throughout the body, it employs the help of our arteries, veins, and capillaries. Arteries carry oxygenated blood away from the heart to the body's tissues, while veins return deoxygenated blood back to the heart. Capillaries are tiny blood vessels that play a mighty role in facilitating the exchange of nutrients and oxygen between our bloodstream and our tissues.
Think of your heart as a traffic controller for nutrients. Digested nutrients are absorbed into the blood through capillaries in the small intestine. Nutrient-rich blood from the small intestine then enters the heart via the inferior vena cava. After a pitstop in the lungs for oxygenation, the heart swiftly dispatches this cargo to nourish every cell via arteries and capillaries, enabling efficient nutrient exchange and waste removal.
The heart not only delivers essential nutrients and oxygen throughout the body, it also efficiently transports waste to the designated organs. As blood circulates, it gathers undesired substances or metabolic waste via the capillaries, such as carbon dioxide. The heart then efficiently directs this waste-laden blood to the kidneys and liver - the body’s primary waste disposal organs.
Research shows that in the steady state, the heart contains various subsets of immune cells. These immune guardians, present even before birth, play a crucial role in ongoing maintenance. In times of adversity, such as heart attacks or infections, these immune cells act as superheroes,
swiftly responding to clean up damaged tissue, eliminate harmful germs, and aid in the heart's
Understanding heart conditions
As resilient as our hearts are, without proper care they can undergo significant strain, impairing their ability to care for the body. Did you know that 9 in 10 Canadians have at least one risk factor associated with heart conditions? Although heart conditions are commonly caused by lifestyle choices, genetics can also determine an individual's susceptibility to heart disease. If close family members have a history of heart issues, there may be an increased risk for others within the family. Let’s take a moment to understand some of the challenges that may interrupt our heart’s harmony.
Think of a heart attack like a traffic jam on a vital highway to your heart. It occurs when a section of your heart doesn't get enough oxygen because the road (your coronary arteries) is suddenly blocked by a buildup of plaque. Plaque is formed from deposits of cholesterol, fat, cellular waste, and other substances which often stem from lifestyle choices, such as a diet high in saturated fats. Other risk factors associated with plaque buildup include: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, smoking, and stress. This disruption can potentially damage or even stop the heart. Common warning signs include: chest pain, difficulty breathing, cold sweats, sudden dizziness, and pain in the shoulder, arm, back, neck, or jaw.
Coronary artery disease (CAD)
Coronary artery disease is also similar to encountering roadblocks on your heart's expressway. It hinders the smooth flow of blood in the coronary arteries, which are responsible for delivering blood to the heart muscle. Congestion is caused by the narrowing of these arteries due to the buildup of fat, cholesterol and other substances, also known as plaque. Signs of CAD vary among individuals but frequently go unnoticed until chest pain occurs, often associated with a heart attack or cardiac arrest.
Hypertension or high blood pressure
Generally, hypertension is a blood pressure reading of 130/80 mm Hg or higher. This happens when the force of blood against artery walls consistently surges, adding strain to the heart and
blood vessels. This heightened pressure, if left unchecked, may lead to complications such as
heart attacks or strokes.
Take charge of your heart health
As heart disease is largely preventable, lifestyle changes are some of the best ways to show your heart some love. Here are our top tips:
- Avoid diets high in saturated fats, cholesterol, and sodium which can elevate blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
- Add foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids to your diet such as fatty fish (salmon and mackerel), walnuts, and flaxseed.
- Exercise regularly to strengthen the heart muscle, improve blood circulation, and lower blood
- Limit smoking and excessive alcohol consumption. The chemicals in tobacco can damage blood vessels and reduce oxygen flow to the heart, while excessive alcohol intake can lead to high blood pressure and irregular heart rhythms, making your heart more susceptible to disease.
- Practice healthy stress management. Chronic stress catapults the heart into overdrive, elevating blood pressure, inflammation, and the risk of heart-related
- Schedule regular check-ups with your doctor to keep a pulse on your heart
Supplements to support a healthy heart
How can we support the organ that never rests? Given the heart’s extraordinary workload, it requires robust support to keep beating over 100,000 times a day.
This comprehensive formula is designed to address cardiovascular issues such as elevated blood lipid levels. Formulated with magnesium for optimal heart muscle function, it offers 200mg of CoQ10 along with polyphenols, herbs and vitamins which aid in the maintenance of healthy cardiovascular function.
The most bioactive form of CoQ10, ubiquinol is the body’s secret weapon for maintaining heart health, sustaining energy levels and shielding your cells from wear and tear. This formula helps boost energy levels and aid in migraine prevention, with enhanced absorption from the MCT oil base.
Formulated with magnesium and vitamins K2 and D3 Inno-Cal Mag Advanced offers superior calcium absorption and distribution. As
calcium deposits can contribute to plaque, K2 aids calcium regulation. Inno- Cal-Mag Advanced also helps encourage optimal muscle function - and the heart is one of our hardest working muscles. It also helps to maintain healthy bones, cartilage, teeth, and connective tissue.
There’s no better time than now to begin your heart-healthy journey. Shower your heart with healthy habits and it will be your steadfast companion for years to come.