Are you familiar with atherosclerosis? It’s a condition in which plaque builds up in your arteries, compromising blood flow throughout your body. It’s sneaky, silently developing over many years. It starts when the endothelium (the lining of your arteries) becomes damaged and results in the formation of a fatty substance called plaque that causes the lining to malfunction. When plaque builds up it further damages the arterial lining and can eventually trigger a heart attack or stroke if it becomes unstable.
There are a number of factors that contribute to endothelial damage and plaque buildup. Some are things you have less control over like advancing age or familial heart disease. But, thankfully, there are several preventable risk factors like high blood pressure (hypertension), blood glucose, and coronary artery calcium levels that you can do something about. Be smart about your heart health with the following tips.
Maintain Healthy Blood Pressure Through Diet & Exercise
High blood pressure–at or above 140/90 mmHg–can injure the lining of your arteries, causing plaque to build up more quickly. Aptly named the “silent killer,” high blood pressure has no symptoms, so it’s easy to ignore. But left untreated, it can lead to stroke, enlarged heart, congestive heart failure, atherosclerosis, mental decline, and early death. Making a few simple changes, like diet and exercise, can help keep your blood pressure in a healthy range.
A healthy diet that’s low in sodium, refined sugar, and caffeine, and high in vegetables with some fruit, legumes, lean protein, and healthy fats can prevent and treat hypertension. One diet that has proven effective is the Mediterranean diet.
Additionally, aerobic exercise–like walking, jogging, rowing, swimming, or biking–not only helps lower blood pressure, it also increases blood flow throughout the entire body. Aerobic exercise is so effective that German researchers found it reduces both systolic and diastolic blood pressure in people that are resistant to medical treatment for their hypertension.
Utilize Heart-Smart Supplements
A healthy lifestyle can help protect your cardiovascular system and enhance circulation. But adding the following supplements can give your arteries the extra protection they need as you age:
- Aged Garlic Extract (AGE) may have the single biggest impact on heart health of any known dietary supplement. Research suggests that it supports healthy blood pressure and reduces oxidized LDL cholesterol levels, lowers homocysteine levels, and improves the elasticity of blood vessel walls. Supplements containing AGE, like Kyolic Formula 100 or Kyolic Formula 106, support and strengthen your cardiovascular system by reducing major risk factors and promoting overall heart health.
- Coenzyme Q10 is a cofactor for producing energy to all the cells in the body. It also supports healthy circulation by inhibiting the formation of blood clots and acts as an antioxidant. For optimal heart function and cellular energy, try incorporating a formula that includes Coenzyme Q10, like Kyolic 110.
- Fish Oil protects blood vessels thanks to two omega-3 fatty acids, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), which help reduce blood pressure and triglyceride levels. To truly reap all the artery-healthy advantages fish oil has to offer, it’s smart to add an EPA/DHA fish oil supplement, like Kyolic Omega-3, to your everyday supplement routine.
- L-Arginine is an amino acid that boosts nitric oxide levels, which causes blood vessels to relax and improved blood flow throughout the body. To get the benefits of this amino acid, try taking a supplement like Kyolic Formula 108, which blends together Aged Garlic Extract and L-Arginine to promote total heart health.
- Nattokinase is a powerful enzyme that can enhance circulation by thinning the blood and preventing blood clots. Enhance your circulation with a formula such as Kyolic Formula 109, which is a great source of Aged Garlic Extract and Nattokinase and is designed to help relax and support healthy blood pressure throughout different pathways.
- L-theanine is best known for its ability to calm the mind. But this amino acid, which is found in green tea, can also help maintain blood pressure. Even if you like green tea, you would have to drink copious amounts to get these potential benefits. Opt for a supplement instead, like Kyolic 109, which contains 12 mg of Suntheanine (L-theanine) per capsule.
Be heart smart and keep conditions like atherosclerosis at bay. With a healthy lifestyle that incorporates a diet designed for heart health, aerobic exercise, and heart health supplements you can prevent risk factors, like high blood pressure, of cardiovascular disease.
This article is for informational purposes only. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.