You’ve seen the statistics on heart disease. Despite a variety of pharmacological, surgical and scientific breakthroughs, poor cardiovascular health is sending far too many people to an early grave.
Once heart health deteriorates, Western medicine has a vast tool kit to draw from: beta blockers and other pharmaceutical drugs, stents, surgery, etc. But they all come with a long list of side effects and potential dangers.
What works best is a proactive approach. That’s because it’s easier to avoid illness than it is to cure it. Good cardiovascular health can be maintained — even regained — just by adopting a few good habits, a healthy diet and an active lifestyle. And natural, targeted supplements can be an important and effective part of that solution.
Blood vessels — your river of life
It’s well-established that the Western diet, and the sedentary lifestyles that goes along with it, contributes to poor cardio health. One of the worst contributors is oxidative stress.
For example, when free radicals, (highly reactive molecules) from toxins, unhealthy foods or other sources, encounter LDL cholesterol they oxidize it — essentially making the cholesterol “rancid.”
Cholesterol and other lipids are essential components of the membrane of each cell, providing a host of essential functions as a selective barrier for incoming and outgoing messages, nutrients and other critical molecules involved in normal cell function. When the cell membrane is compromised, communication and function deteriorate.
Another mechanism involved in cardiovascular health is the protein galectin-3, which is found circulating in the bloodstream. Many studies have shown that when it comes to cardiovascular health, maintaining healthy galectin-3 levels is a must.
Calcium has now been shown to be a two-edged sword when it comes to cardiovascular health. Calcium is not always routed to and absorbed by your bones. Rogue calcium that stays in your blood stream contributes to build up in your arteries. Excessive calcium supplementation is now being discouraged for this reason.
So what can you do to win the battle for better heart health? There are several integrative solutions you can try…
Antioxidant Support: Antioxidants founds in foods such as brightly colored fruits and vegetables are shown to provide effective cardiovascular benefits — likely due to their high levels of polyphenols and other phytonutrients. Additionally nutrients such as vitamin C, beta carotene, and vitamin E are well known antioxidants that help counter the effects of oxidative stress.
Calcium Metabolism: Making proper use of the calcium in your body is important. People suffering from osteoporosis and arterial calcification often lack vitamin K, the vitamin that helps calcium go where it can do the most good in your body — like in your bones. Beneficial bacteria in your guts helps your body make vitamin K. Encouraging a thriving gut microbiome by eating fermented foods such as live culture yogurt, kefir, and raw sauerkraut is helpful in this process. Leafy greens are also a good vitamin K source. Other potential helpers are vitamin D, which has long been associated with bone mineralization, and magnesium, which is also critical for healthy calcium metabolism.
Galectin-3: Maintaining healthy galectin-3 levels can be accomplished using a safe, well-tested natural supplement made from the citrus peel — modified citrus pectin (MCP). The usual pectin used as an additive for thickening jam and jelly has large molecules too big to enter the circulation. The molecules in modified citrus pectin are a smaller structure, easily absorbed in the GI tract, and better able to enter into circulation where they not only bind to and remove heavy toxic metals, but also promote health levels of galectin-3 for better cardiovascular health.
Other useful supplements include garlic, hibiscus, Hawthorne berry, and CoQ10, which have all been shown to promote cardio health.
The Mediterranean diet, with a fare of fresh vegies, fruits, lean protein, nuts and seeds, wild caught fatty fish such as wild Alaskan salmon and sardines, and olive oil (and olives) is widely recognized as a heart healthy food plan. Nix the sugar, fruit juice, white flour products, trans fats and other processed foods.
Exercise, as always, is essential, and can be as simple as a daily brisk walk. A regular practice of stress reduction techniques such as meditation, yoga, or chi gong have lasting physiological and psychological impact, reducing harmful stress hormones. Add in the targeted natural supplements and you have the recipe for maintaining robust cardiovascular health.