National Heart Month
As February is officially National Heart Month, this is a great opportunity to look at how we can look after this vital organ through diet and natural supplements. The heart is part of the cardiovascular system, which also includes miles of blood vessels which run through the body. These vessels consist of veins and arteries which transport blood to the heart and to other organs. The health of the blood vessels is also important in maintaining a healthy heart.
The best way of maintaining a healthy heart is keeping to a healthy diet, regular exercise and lowering stress levels. A diet rich in vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds provides important vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids that are important for heart health. The Mediterranean diet, which consists of plenty of vegetables and fruits, has long been considered the ideal diet for a healthy heart.
Smoking, high sugar and salt intake, regular heavy drinking (or binge drinking), inactivity, high (saturated) fat foods are all factors in causing hypertension, heart failure and poor circulation. For example, smoking is a known cause of atherosclerosis, which causes narrowing of the arteries. This can lead to high blood pressure and angina.
Heart disease and diabetes are illnesses that are on the increase, especially in younger people. These conditions are very much linked, as one can lead to another. The rise in the number of people who are obese is another risk factor for the heart, as well as diabetes.
The number of prescriptions that are written for hypertension is constantly on the increase, but there are a number of natural remedies for maintaining a healthy heart and keeping blood pressure at a healthy level. Magnesium, vitamin C, l-arginine, co-enzyme Q10, omega 3 fatty acids and garlic are a few supplements that can improve cardiovascular health.