February Heart Smarts – Avoid the Myths & Add Supplements

A whole food diet, regular exercise, and stress reduction go the distance in promoting cardiovascular health.  But if you want to give your heart a leg up, consider adding nutritional aids and avoid misconceptions by having a good understanding of the myths.

Vitamin K

Common in fermented foods, vitamin K isn’t generally part of the traditional western diet. To promote healthy cholesterol levels, consider adding more fermented foods to your diet.  Beetroot juice was found to reduce blood pressure.

Vitamin D

Depressive symptoms and vitamin D deficiency are known to predict cardiac events and heart failure.  In the winter months especially in our part of the world where the sun is in short supply, the days are shorter, the impact of supplementing with vitamin D predicted lower symptoms of depression.

Think you have heart health all figured out? Small misconceptions can have a big impact on your cardiovascular system, putting you at risk of heart disease. There are all sorts of myths out there, do you know fact from fiction.

  1. High Blood Pressure & High Cholesterol – may not have outward symptoms.  See your health care practitioner to have your blood pressure and cholesterol checked.
  2. I eat a low fat diet – low fat will not do your heart any favours, avoiding trans fats will. Be careful about using carbohydrate rich foods, refined grains and sugars to replace fat containing foods. High carb – low-fat diets could be your hearts worst enemy.
  3. Taking an Omega 3 everyday won’t be the be all end all and a guarantee of good heart health.
  4. Women are at risk too. Heart disease in women is the second most common cause of death in women. While you may not have symptoms of having a heart attack, like chest pain, women don’t necessarily fit the picture. Get to know all the signs of a heart attack.
  5. I can’t change my heart health with diet!  Well, yes you can!   Steer your diet towards more plant based, fresh veggies and fruits, whole grains, nuts, nut oils, and seeds.
  6. Gym time only isn’t enough.  The gym is great, but protect your heart from a sedentary lifestyle by getting up and walking around every 30 minutes if you have a desk job.

There are risk factors you can change!

  • smoking
  • excess alcohol
  • lack of exercise
  • unhealthy diet
  • obesity
  • stress
  • high blood pressure
  • high cholesterol
  • and diabetes

Plan to enjoy good food and good health. Small shifts towards movement, and proper nutrition can have big effects on your heart!