2a-hfn-theme-heart-disease-enDid you know that 9 out of 10 Canadians have at least 1 risk factor for heart disease, but only 12% are award of it?  Let’s beat heart disease by eating and drinking away the factors that cause it.

Six factors involved in heart disease are:

  1. Calcium build-up in arteries
  2. Inflammation
  3. Elevated cholesterol levels
  4. High blood pressure
  5. Eating too much sugar
  6. Being inactive or overweight

Love your heart! According to scientific studies, here are healthy lifestyle choices that may help beat the factors involved in heart disease:

  1. Dracula hates it, but we love it!

Studies show aged-garlic supplements may reduce calcium build-up in arteries. Garlic is “used in herbal medicine to help maintain cardiovascular health in adults,” according to Health Canada.

  1. Enjoy a cup or two of coffee

Indulging in a regular coffee consumption is linked with lower atherosclerosis (an inflammatory disease), according to the journal Heart.

  1. Cut your cholesterol

Cholesterol builds up in arteries creating plaques. Plaques block blood flow to the heart. Dig into more plant-based foods, which are naturally high in cholesterol-trapping fibre.

  1. Seek out Vitamin K2

The Journal of Nutrition says vitamin K2 helps prevent calcium build-up in arteries. Dietary sources include natto and miso.

  1. Replace your sweets

Sugary treats promote obesity and heart disease. We consume 22% more calories today than in 1970, attributed primarily to a greater sugar intake. Try alternative natural sweeteners such as stevia, agave or xylitol.  

  1. Probiotics can regulate inflammation.

In Nutrition Review, when researchers analyzed 26 clinical studies they concluded probiotics reduce many markers of inflammation. Some probiotic species also lower cholesterol levels.

Researchers around the world have discovered there are many factors that cause heart disease. However, we now know that we can beat each one of these factors of heart disease by choosing to eat, drink and bust-a-move. Go on and love your heart!

     7. Use your knife on a plant instead.

Diets rich in plant-based proteins were linked to lower blood pressure, says the Journal of the American Medical Association.

    8. Bust-a-move, do a downward dog or trek down a path. Being active promotes heart health and promotes weight management.

Quick Facts about Heart Disease:

  • Nine out of ten Canadians have at least one risk factor for heart disease, but only 12% of Canadians are aware of it.
  • More women are dying from cardiovascular disease than men.
  • Poor diet and a lack of exercise are leading risk factors of heart disease.
  • Obesity, high blood pressure and cholesterol are associated with heart disease.
  • Aging is a risk factor for heart disease.
  • Metabolic Syndrome, a cluster of cardiovascular risk factors related to overweight and insulin resistance, is growing in its prevalence.

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References:
Steinke L, et al. Abstract 3661: “Energy Drink” Consumption Causes Increase in Blood Pressure and Heart Rate. Circulation 2007;116:11-183.
http://circ.ahajournals.org/cgi/content/meeting_abstract/116/16_MeetingAbstracts/II_831-a
Choi, Y et al. Coffee consumption and coronary artery calcium in young and middle-aged asymptomatic adults. Heart, 2014; 101
http://heart.bmj.com/content/early/2015/02/06/heartjnl-2014-306663
Geleijnse, JM et al. Dietary intake of menaquinone is associated with a reduced risk of coronary heart disease: the Rotterdam Study. J Nutr 2004;134(11):3100-3105.
http://jn.nutrition.org/content/134/11/3100.long
Sparks, D. L., Martin, T. A., Gross, D. R. and Hunsaker, J. C. (2000), Link between heart disease, cholesterol, and Alzheimer’s disease: A review. Microsc. Res. Tech., 50: 287–290. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/1097-0029(20000815)50:4%3C287::AID-JEMT7%3E3.0.CO;2-L/abstract;jsessionid=9BE8E2EDC1FB34F253AB3624C0FE9EF9.f04t04?deniedAccessCustomisedMessage=&userIsAuthenticated=false 
AHA Statistical Update. Executive Summary: Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics – 2012 Update. Circulation 2012;125:188-197.
http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/125/1/188.full
Budoff, M. Aged garlic extract retards progression of coronary artery calcification. J Nutr 2006; 136(6):741S-744S.
http://jn.nutrition.org/content/136/3/741S.full
DiRienzo, DB. Effect of probiotics on biomarkers of cardiovascular disease: implications for heart-healthy diets. Nutr Rev. 2014 Jan;72(1):18-29.
http://nutritionreviews.oxfordjournals.org/content/72/1/18.long
Mohamad, MI et al. The Effect of Vitamin D Supplementation on Glycemic Control and Lipid Profile in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. J Am Coll Nutr. 2015 Sep 21:1-6.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26391639