Good cardiovascular health provides numerous benefits, including reduced risk of heart disease (Mozaffarian et al., 2016), improved cognitive function (Sabia et al., 2017), and a longer lifespan (Chiuve et al., 2014). It’s no secret that the heart is key to our ability to function, so making sure your heart is happy and healthy means that you will be too. In this article, we will discuss four essential ways to support cardiovascular health: consuming healthy foods, incorporating exercise into your routine, avoiding inflammatory foods, and including antioxidants in your diet.
One of the best ways to improve cardiovascular health is to consume heart-healthy foods. These foods are rich in nutrients that can lower blood pressure, reduce cholesterol levels, and decrease the risk of heart disease. According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, some of the best foods for cardiovascular health are:
Fruits and vegetables: These are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that help reduce inflammation and protect the heart.
Whole grains: Whole grains like oatmeal, brown rice, and whole wheat bread are high in fiber, which can help lower cholesterol levels and prevent heart disease.
Lean protein sources: Lean meats, fish, beans, and nuts are excellent sources of protein that are low in saturated fats, which can help reduce the risk of heart disease.
Healthy fats:Foods that are high in healthy fatsFoods that are high in healthy fats like avocado, olive oil, nuts, and seeds can help reduce inflammation and protect the heart.
Incorporating Exercise and Activity
When it comes to improving heart health, aerobic exercise is one of the most effective ways to achieve it. The heart is a muscle, like any other muscle in the body, it can be strengthened through exercise (Kemi & Wisloff, 2010). Activities such as jogging, swimming, cycling, walking, and running all raise your heart rate and make you breathe harder for an extended period. This increases the workload on the heart, which makes it stronger and better able to pump blood throughout the body.
The benefit of a stronger heart is an improved circulatory system that delivers more oxygen and nutrients to the body’s tissues. This also encourages your body to produce more red blood cells, which carry oxygen throughout the body (Hawkins, Wiswell, & Marcell, 2003). This increase in oxygen delivery can help lower blood pressure and improve the heart's efficiency. Additionally, regular aerobic exercise can help to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels in the blood, reducing the risk of developing heart disease (Cornelissen & Smart, 2013).
Regular exercise can also improve your quality of life. A study by Kato et al. (2018) found that individuals who engaged in regular physical activity had higher physical and mental health levels than those who did not. It showed that those who engaged in regular exercise had higher scores on measures of physical function, mental health, and social functioning than those who did not engage in physical activity. Another great reason to incorporate exercise in your life routine.
Avoiding Inflammatory Foods
Inflammatory foods can have a negative impact on your body’s cardiovascular health because they promote chronic inflammation, which is linked to the development of cardiovascular diseases (Estruch et al., 2013). Chronic inflammation can cause damage to the inner lining of blood vessels, leading to the buildup of plaque around your heart. This plaque buildup can restrict blood flow to the heart and its impacts range from chest pain to heart attacks (Zeiher & Schachinger, 2013).
According to an article by Julie M Hess, Charles B Stephensen, Mario Kratz, and Bradley W Bolling (2021, inflammatory foods include:
Processed foods: Processed foods like fast food, frozen meals, and sugary snacks are high in trans fats, added sugars, and sodium, which can increase inflammation in the body. Try to avoid them when possible.
High-fat foods: Foods that are high in saturated and trans fats like butter, cheese, and fried foods can increase inflammation and contribute to heart disease. Not only that, but they can increase your body’s cholesterol, which has its own myriad of problems, including increased risk of heart disease (Gracia-Sancho et al., 2017). Keep in mind that these foods can be included in your diet as long as everything else (Omega 6 to Omega 3 ratio) is balanced.
Refined carbohydrates: Refined carbohydrates like white bread, pasta, and rice can cause a spike in blood sugar levels, leading to inflammation in the body. An easy substitute is to consume whole grain foods instead, like brown rice, quinoa, ryes, and oats.
Overall, avoiding inflammatory foods and focusing on a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein sources can help improve cardiovascular health by reducing chronic inflammation and its negative effects on the body.
Include Antioxidants in Your Diet
Free radicals are a threat to your cardiovascular system as they can damage its cells, leading to a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease (Pellegrini et al., 2003). Antioxidants help protect your body from free radicals, which aids your cardiovascular health in turn. Antioxidants also reduce oxidative stress, a process that can cause inflammation and damage to the cells in your cardiovascular system (Valko et al., 2007).
According to an article by Harald Mangge, Kathrin Becker, Dietmar Fuchs, and Johanna M Gostner (2014), including antioxidants in your diet can help reduce inflammation and protect the heart. Good dietary sources of antioxidants include:
Fruits and vegetables: Fruits and vegetables like berries, leafy greens, and citrus fruits are rich in antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta-carotene. Typically, fruits and vegetables with bright colors, such as berries, citrus fruits, leafy greens, and tomatoes, are great sources of antioxidants (Ghosh et al., 2017).
Nuts and seeds: Nuts and seeds like almonds, walnuts, and chia seeds are high in antioxidants like vitamin E and selenium.
Whole grains: Whole grains like quinoa
Supplements to Consider
Platinum Naturals Easymulti 60+
Easymulti 60+ (with special formulas for men and women) both contain healthy antioxidants that can help your body in all the ways previously discussed. Curcumin, the active compound in Turmeric, is another ingredient in the Easymulti 60+ multivitamin that has anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation is a key factor in the development of cardiovascular disease, and reducing inflammation can help improve cardiovascular health. Overall, Easymulti 60+ is formulated to support your body’s cardiovascular system by protecting against oxidative damage and reducing inflammation.
Platinum Naturals Omega Super 800
Omega Super 800 multivitamin can be a great addition to your daily routine if you want to improve your cardiovascular health. It contains Omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for your body despite the fact your body can’t produce it. Fish oil contains both docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), while plant sources contain primarily alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). A recent systematic review of randomized controlled trials found that consumption of EPA and DHA from fish or fish oil supplements can decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease. Not only that, but you can be sure that the fish oils used in Omega Super 800 are molecularly distilled to remove any heavy metals and contaminants, including mercury, pesticides, and lead. When you take Omega Super 800, your body is absorbing fatty acids that meet all government standards for purity and potency.