Take it to Heart: 4 Ways to Support Heart Health

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Although heart failure is common in the US, there are many ways to support a healthy heart, such as exercising, eating well, and managing stress.
  • Sundown® has many heart-healthy supplements, including CoQ-10, Omega-3s, Red Yeast Rice, and more.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, causing one in every four deaths.1 And while heart disease is scary, there are many healthy habits you can choose that can help support a healthy heart. 

Let’s take a look at how a healthy heart works and four simple ways you can support a healthy heart. 

Let’s get into it!

How does the heart work?

The heart is, quite literally, the center of all life in the body. It is the center of the circulatory system, a network of blood vessels that deliver blood and oxygen to all majors organs. 

The heart is divided into two pumping systems, the right and left side, with two chambers that pump blood on each side. The right side of the heart receives oxygen-poor blood from your veins and pumps it to the lungs, where it picks up oxygen and gets rid of carbon dioxide. The left side of the heart receives oxygen-rich blood from the lungs and pumps it through the arteries to the rest of your body.2

If everything works properly, the heart will supply the right amount of oxygen to all organs.

Four ways to take care of your heart

1. Exercise regularly

Regular exercise is one of the best ways to promote heart health. Exercise can reduce “bad” cholesterol levels in the blood (the low-density lipoprotein [LDL] level), as well as total cholesterol, and can raise the “good” cholesterol (the high-density lipoprotein level [HDL]).3 

That’s not all: exercise also promotes healthy physiological changes, such as encouraging the heart’s arteries to dilate more readily. It can also help your sympathetic nervous system (which controls heart rate and blood pressure) to be less reactive.4 

What kind of exercise is best for heart health? 

Exercise of any kind – resistance training (strength work), stretching and balance, and aerobic exercise – will offer tremendous health benefits. In particular, aerobic exercise improves circulation, which results in lowered blood pressure and heart rate. Examples of aerobic exercise include walking, running, swimming, cycling, playing tennis, and more.5 

How much exercise do I need to improve my heart health?

For adults, the American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes per week of vigorous aerobic exercise, or a combination of both preferably spread throughout the week. Moderate-intensity aerobic activities include brisk walking, water aerobics, dancing, gardening, or biking slower than ten mph.6

Remember: a little movement means a lot. If you struggle to exercise enough each week, something is always better than nothing. 

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2. Eat heart-healthy foods

Equally as important as regular exercise is eating heart-healthy foods. A nutrient-rich diet is one that includes a variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, skinless poultry and fish, nuts and legumes, and oils such as olive oil, avocado oil, flaxseed oil, or sesame oil.7 Try to limit foods that are high in calories but low in nutrients. 

What are good fats, and what are bad fats?

You may have heard of fats referred to as “good fat” or “bad fat.” Bad fats refer to trans fats –  a byproduct of a hydrogenation process used to turn healthy oils into solids and prevent them from becoming rancid. Good fats, on the other hand, come mainly from vegetables, seeds, and nuts. Olive oil, avocados, and most nuts are all sources of “good fats.”8

Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are also considered “good fats” and are well-known for promoting heart health. Good sources of omega-3 fatty acids include salmon, mackerel, flaxseeds, and walnuts.9

Sundown Omega Supplements

Triple Omega 3-6-9 Softgels provide flax, fish, and borage oils in easy-to-absorb softgels to help support heart and circulatory health.* 

Omega-3 with D3 Gummies are the perfect omega supplement for people who don’t like swallowing pills. In grape, strawberry, or raspberry flavor, each delicious serving contains omega-3 and vitamin D3 and is 100% non-GMO. 

Organic Flaxseed Oil Softgels are perfect for vegetarians and vegans. Each serving contains 1000 mg of readily-absorbed, organic flaxseed oil. 

3. Manage your stress

Everyone experiences and reacts to stress differently. However, how much stress you experience and how you respond to it can lead to a wide variety of health problems – including effects on your heart. While more research is needed on how exactly stress impacts the heart, it is evident that stress may affect behaviours and factors that increase heart disease risk. When stressed, self-care is often neglected, leading to unhealthy habits such as smoking, physical inactivity, and overeating, and ultimately raising blood pressure and cholesterol levels.10

Managing stress is a good idea for all aspects of your health, including your heart. Try to recognize the unhealthy habits or behaviours you resort to when stressed and develop healthy alternatives. 

Sundown supplements for stress

Magnesium 500 mg Caplets are a great way to help you relax. Magnesium helps with occasional stress and supports a calm and relaxed mood.

Feeling Positive – St. John’s Wort Capsules offer 300 mg of St. John’s Wort – a flowering plant commonly used to help support a positive mood.* 

Stress Saver L-Theanine Capsules combine L-theanine’s calming effects with a relaxing herbal blend of chamomile, lemon balm, and lavender extract.

4. Take a supplement

Heart-healthy supplements can offer the added support your heart needs. Let’s look at a few supplements that help support a healthy cardiovascular system. 

Coenzyme-Q10

Coenzyme-Q10, also known as CoQ-10, is an enzyme that the body naturally produces to generate energy in the cells. It is stored in the mitochondria, the powerhouse of the cell that is responsible for energy production. CoQ-10 production decreases with age, and many older people are deficient in this compound. Ubiquinol is an active and bioavailable form of CoQ-10. Ubiquinol is naturally present in the body, with around 95% of plasma CoQ-10 in the form of ubiquinol.

CoQ-10 helps support heart function.11

CoQ-10 Softgels are easy for the body to absorb, and as always, are non-GMO, gluten-free, dairy-free, and free of artificial flavors. 

CoQ-10 Gummies provide all the benefits of CoQ-10 in a tasty, peach-mango gummy form. 

Red Yeast Rice

Red yeast rice is a type of fermented rice that is produced using a specific species of mold. Red yeast rice has been cherished for thousands of years for its culinary usage and popularity in Chinese herbology.

Sundown Red Yeast Rice Capsules contain 1200 mg of red yeast rice powder and are a great addition to your diet. As always, these capsules are non-GMO, gluten-free, dairy-free, and free of artificial flavors. 

Garlic

Garlic isn’t only useful in the kitchen. Garlic and garlic supplements may positively affect heart health by preventing cell damage.12 13

Sundown Odorless Garlic Softgels provide all the garlic extract benefits without the garlic odor for heart and circulatory function.*

The heart of the matter

No matter your age or level of health, it is never too early to start thinking about your heart health. Exercising regularly, eating well, managing stress, and taking heart-supporting supplements are great ways to promote heart health.

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Sources:
  1. https://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/facts.htm
  2. https://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/tx4097abc#:~:text=The%20right%20side%20of%20your,the%20rest%20of%20your%20body
  3. https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/full/10.1161/01.CIR.0000048890.59383.8D
  4. https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/the-many-ways-exercise-helps-your-heart#:~:text=Regular%20exercise%20also%20improves%20factors,arteries%20to%20dilate%20more%20readily
  5. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/3-kinds-of-exercise-that-boost-heart-health#:~:text=How%20much%3A%20Ideally%2C%20at%20least,per%20week%20of%20moderate%20activity
  6. https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/fitness/fitness-basics/aha-recs-for-physical-activity-in-adults
  7. https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/nutrition-basics/aha-diet-and-lifestyle-recommendations
  8. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/the-truth-about-fats-bad-and-good
  9. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/the-truth-about-fats-bad-and-good
  10. https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/stress-and-heart-health
  11. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26512330/
  12. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16335787
  13. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19060427/

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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