Heart disease and stroke are two of the three leading causes of death in Canada. In fact, every seven minutes, a Canadian dies from cardiovascular disease. But there’s good news: we know more than ever before about how to prevent heart disease and stroke. To help promote a strong and healthy heart – and to celebrate Heart Month – here’s a top 10 list of tips from Dr. Jamie McManus, Chair, Medical Affairs, Health Sciences, and Education, Shaklee Corporation:
Take time to de-stress
- Eat more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains
One of the best weapons for fighting off heart disease is eating a healthful diet. So forgo the hamburger and French fries and fuel up on whole grains and plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Lose weight, especially belly fat
Excess belly fat has been linked to high cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood pressure. Losing just 5% to 10% of your body weight can make a big difference in reducing heart disease risk.
- Boost your vitamin D intake
Vitamin D helps build and maintain strong bones, but recent research suggests it may also play a role in heart health. If you’re like most North Americans and not getting enough from your diet or sun exposure, Shaklee Vita-D3™ can be a great supplement option.
- Consume more fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids found in fatty fish help reduce risk factors for heart disease, including high triglycerides and high blood pressure. Canada's Food Guide advises Canadians to eat at least two servings of fish – preferably the kinds that are highest in omega-3s – every week. Consider OmegaGuard®, Shaklee’s pharmaceutical-grade fish oil supplement, especially if you don’t eat fish.
- Consider Coenzyme Q10
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a fat-soluble, vitamin-like substance vital for energy production, especially in the heart. As an antioxidant, it also helps promote healthy arteries. While your body does make CoQ10, factors such as aging, poor diet, and the use of statin drugs for lowering cholesterol may increase the body’s need for CoQ10. Shaklee Coenzyme Q10 softgels are an excellent source of this heart-healthy antioxidant.
- Move more: aim for 30 minutes a day, at least 5 days of the week
Regular physical activity promotes a healthy heart. It helps lower blood pressure and cholesterol, helps control weight, reduces anxiety, and improves blood circulation.
- If you’re a smoker, get help to stop today!
Cigarette smoke can damage your heart and blood vessels as well as increase your risk for many cancers. When it comes to heart disease prevention, any amount of smoking is bad.
- Don’t forget regular health screenings
High blood pressure, high cholesterol, and high blood sugar are all risk factors for heart disease. Talk to your doctor today about these important health screenings.
- If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation
Moderate alcohol intake may help reduce the risk of heart disease. Moderate drinking is defined as one drink a day for a woman and two drinks a day for a man.
Over time, chronic stress can wreak havoc on our bodies – slowing digestion, weakening immune function, and increasing the risk of heart disease and other chronic conditions. So take time to de-stress your life. Think about what you truly must get done, set priorities, and learn to say no. And if life gets too hectic, reach for Shaklee Stress Relief Complex