Take care of your heart this season and ensure the beat goes on! Look inside for surprising facts about your heart, and what you can do to prevent heart disease. 
5 Must-Have Heart Nutrients
Fish Oil
CoQ10
Garlic
Probiotics
Chia Seeds (fibre)
 
Fact: Nine in 10 Canadians have at least one risk factor for heart disease or stroke (including children). Thus, it’s not surprising to learn that about 10% of Canadians are hospitalized for heart disease each year.  Are you at risk? Physical inactivity, obesity, high blood pressure and cholesterol put you at a higher risk of heart disease.
 
What can you do about it?
Fact: Prevention efforts, along with drug and medical procedures, have helped to decrease the rate of heart disease by 75%. Some of the easiest ways to prevent heart disease are changing some simple food choices, taking a supplement, and taking time to reduce stress and be active.
 
Raise Your Forks and Fight
Fact: More than half of Canadians eat less than 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Whether you find them inconvenient, unavailable or unappetizing, you need to eat fruits and vegetables. Need some help? We have lots of ways to help you get more fruits and vegetables into your diet from snack bars, to powdered drink mixes, to supplements.
They can also help you get more heart-healthy fish oil into your diet. According to Canadian fish oil expert, Dr. Bruce Holub of the University of Guelph, the cardio-protective effects of fish oil are widespread and include lowering blood triglycerides. Fish oil also has anti-inflammatory effects, causes blood vessel relaxation, prevents of clots and arrhythmias. Epidemiological (population) studies have shown the more fish you eat the lower your risk of dying from coronary heart disease. Controlled intervention trials have found fish oil supplements can reduce death after heart attacks.
 
Shop Differently
According to the Canadian Community Health Survey on Nutrition, over 85% of men and 60% of women consume more than the recommended amount of sodium. The study discovered the main source of sodium in our diets comes from processed foods. Consuming too much sodium causes blood pressure to rise (hypertension), increasing the risk of heart disease. Look for low sodium items next time you shop.
 
Laboratory Secrets
Researchers have discovered garlic and CoQ10 may help prevent heart disease. Garlic can reduce mild hypertension (high blood pressure), beneficially alter blood lipid levels, and prevent plaque formation. CoQ10, an antioxidant, can significantly reduce systolic blood pressure up to 17mmHg and diastolic blood pressure by up to 10mmHg.
 
Taking the First Step
Don’t kid yourself – how active are you, really? Only 15% of adults meet recommended goals of 150 minutes/week of moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity. The least active group are adults ages 60-79. Being active helps strengthen the heart muscles, improving cardiovascular health. It also helps with weight management, another risk factor for heart disease.
 
Chill Out
Fact: Research shows an association between life stress and heart disease. Stress can kill you – 23% of Canadians report having a high degree of stress. Meditation, yoga, essential oils, massage, antioxidant supplementation – there are countless ways to reduce stress and its effects.
Facts:
* About 10% of Canadians are hospitalized for heart disease each year.
* Prevention efforts have helped to decrease the rate of heart disease by 75%, along with drug and surgical procedures.
* Every 7 minutes a Canadian dies of heart disease or stroke.
* Nine in 10 Canadians have at least one risk factor for heart disease or stroke.
* High blood cholesterol is prevalent in 40% of Canadians.
* Canadians get more than 20% of their daily calories from foods other than the four recommended food groups.
* For one quarter of Canadians, fat makes up 35% of their diet – that is above the threshold where health risks increase.
* More than half of Canadians eat fewer than 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day.
* More than one third of all the money spent on food in Canada is spent in food service outlets.
* More than 60% of Canadians are overweight or obese.
* Estimates show between 26-31% of Canadian children are overweight or obese. Obese children have an increased risk of remaining overweight or obese as adults.
* Only 15% of adults are active (150 minutes/week of moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity). The least active group are adults ages 60-79
* Only 9% of boys and 4% of girls meet Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines.
* Research shows an association between life stress and heart disease – 23% of Canadians report having a high degree of stress.
 
Risk Factors for Heart Disease or Stroke:
Physical inactivity
Obesity
High blood pressure
High blood cholesterol
Diabetes
Smoking
Alcohol