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There are still incredible statistics relating to poor heart health in Australia. One in six Australians are affected by cardiovascular health issues, accounting for more than 3.7 million Australians. This is astounding given the knowledge we have on nutrition, diet and lifestyle and the health support available to Australians.(1,2)
At the very core of reducing the risk of heart problems, it is crucial to consider the following lifestyle and supplement suggestions that may help you on the path to a healthier cardiovascular system:
Exercise regularly, participate in physical activity such as walking, jogging, swimming etc. for 30 minutes, 4 times a week.
Eat healthy from a variety of fresh foods including fruits and vegetables, lean meat and fish to provide the body with essential nutrients for cardiovascular health.Here are a few sites as a guide to making healthier eating choices.
Eat a rainbow – ensure your plate for lunch and dinner includes colourful fresh fruits and vegetables www.nutritionaustralia.org
Include good fats in meals daily
Reduce Salt intake because high sodium intake has implications relating to elevated blood pressure.(6, 7)
Reduce Alcohol because it turns to glucose (sugar) in the body and contributes to blood sugar issues and weight gain.
DO NOT smoke as smoking is a major cause of heart problems, causing oxidative stress and inflammation. It also robs the body of essential nutrients needed for a healthy heart. (8,9)
Include a visit to your healthcare practitioner for regular blood pressure checks if you have a family history of heart problems.
There is no firm rule about what defines high blood pressure (hypertension).
In general, the lower “normal” range in blood pressure is better. The information below is a useful guide.(1)
The following herbs have been used in traditional herbal medicine and may contribute to a healthy heart:
Hawthorn Berries – Crataegus laevigata has been used since ancient times to support and maintain the cardiovascular system.Hawthorn supports the flow of blood to the heart muscle, and assists the heart in its action. It also has an effect on the blood vessels of the body, allowing blood to flow more freely and easily. Hawthorn berries are naturally rich in antioxidants OPC and polyphenols helping protect the body against the effects of free radicals.(10)
Olive Leaf extract – Olea europaea has been used for thousands of years in the Mediterranean for medicinal and cooking purposes. The Mediterranean diet, researchers have concluded, incorporates antioxidant compounds such as polyphenols, found in olive leaf that can boost overall health.(10, 11, 12)
Garlic – Allium sativum is best known garlic and used in many cultures as a culinary herb, but it is also a great heart tonic.(10, 13)
When combining prescriptive medication with complementary medicines, always seek advice from a qualified healthcare professional.
Love your heart and live a healthier life.