Last weekend Team RLEI hosted its February Facebook Party. Here’s a recap of the information shared…
Welcome! Tonight I’m going to quickly share 10 tips about loving your heart in all the right ways. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men AND women. It’s responsible for 1 in every 4 deaths! Making sure your cardiovascular system is strong and in the best shape possible should be a priority for all of us.
Love (and laughter) are of course the best medicine of all that ails the heart. And I mean that literally! A study in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine found that people who spent time with their romantic partners experienced a greater dip in blood pressure than those who hung out with a stranger. When you partake in a warm embrace with someone you love (like a parent, child, or spouse), your body releases oxytocin, the feel-good hormone, which has the power to reduce stress hormones and lower blood pressure, according to research from the University of North Carolina. And recent research from the University Of Maryland School of Medicine presented at the 2011 European Society of Cardiology (ESC) annual conference found a link between mental stress and the narrowing of blood vessels, which can restrict blood flow and lead to atherosclerosis. Laughter, however, had the opposite effect. So get the pals you love most together for a good chuckle more often. (Everyday Health)
I’m feelin’ the love just talking about it so let’s get started. And thanks in advance for following along!
I’m just going to grab my glass of wine (red, white, or rose?), to sip on while we talk about heart matters…
TIP #1. Can a glass a day really help keep the cardiologist at bay? “Red wine, in moderation, has long been thought of as heart healthy. The alcohol and certain substances in red wine called antioxidants may help prevent heart disease by increasing levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (the “good” cholesterol) and protecting against artery damage.
While the news about red wine might sound great if you enjoy a glass of red wine with your evening meal, doctors are wary of encouraging anyone to start drinking alcohol. That’s because too much alcohol can have many harmful effects on your body. Still, many doctors agree that something in red wine appears to help your heart. It’s possible that antioxidants, such as flavonoids or a substance called resveratrol, have heart-healthy benefits. Those who drink moderate amounts of alcohol, including red wine, seem to have a lower risk of heart disease. However, more research is needed before we know whether red wine is better for your heart than are other forms of alcohol, such as beer or spirits. Neither the American Heart Association nor the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute recommend that you start drinking alcohol just to prevent heart disease.” (Mayo Clinic)
We’ll come back to the topic of resveratrol by the end here, but the verdict is to drink in moderation (1 glass a day) or not at all.
TIP #2. Know the warning signs and symptoms of a heart attack so that you can act fast if you or someone you know might be having one. Heart attacks have several major warning signs and symptoms:
• Chest pain or discomfort.
• Upper body pain or discomfort in the arms, back, neck, jaw, or upper stomach.
• Shortness of breath.
• Nausea, lightheadedness, or cold sweats. (CDC)
The common consensus is to keep a bottle of Aspirin in your medicine cabinet or with your First Aid Kit. If you think you may be experiencing a heart attack, chew a tablet immediately.
“Most heart attacks develop when a cholesterol-laden plaque in a coronary artery ruptures. Relatively small plaques, which produce only partial blockages, are the ones most likely to rupture. When they do, they attract platelets to their surface. Platelets are the tiny blood cells that trigger blood clotting. A clot, or thrombus, builds up on the ruptured plaque. As the clot grows, it blocks the artery. If the blockage is complete, it deprives a portion of the heart muscle of oxygen. As a result, muscle cells die — and it’s a heart attack. Aspirin helps by inhibiting platelets. Only a tiny amount is needed to inhibit all the platelets in the bloodstream; in fact, small amounts are better than high doses. But since the clot grows minute by minute, time is of the essence.” (Harvard Medical School)
TIP #3. You can’t ignore the cholesterol connection. “Having a high level of HDL cholesterol — the good cholesterol — is more important than having a low level of LDL — the bad cholesterol — in protecting individuals from heart attack, according to a study published in the March issue of American Heart Journal by researchers from the Indiana University School of Medicine and pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline, Inc. The researchers looked at the history of heart disease, age, sex, race, weight and other heart disease risk factors in almost 7,000 patients. The patients were predominately inner city residents and included a large number of African Americans, women, smokers and overweight people. The researchers found the strongest predictor of future heart attack was previous heart disease; age was the second strongest predictor and the third strongest predictor was HDL level.” (Science Daily)
Shaklee’s “Cholesterol Reduction Complex”† is a proprietary formulation with clinically proven ingredients that help prevent the absorption of cholesterol and lower LDL cholesterol.
• Made with a powerful blend of sterols and stanols, which are found naturally in plants, fruits, vegetables, and grains
• Delivers 2,000 mg of plant sterols and stanols daily
• Plant sterols and stanols have been clinically proven by more than 80 studies to lower LDL cholesterol
• Delivers daily 100% of the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) recommendation for plant sterols and stanols*
† Products providing 800 mg or more daily of plant sterols and stanols consumed with two different meals, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease. Cholesterol Reduction Complex provides 1,000 mg of plant sterols and stanols per serving, and 2,000 mg daily when used as directed.
To lower cholesterol, NIH recommends eating less saturated fat and cholesterol, exercising, losing weight, eating more soluble fiber, and consuming 2,000 mg of plant sterols and stanols daily.
TIP #4. They bring tears to the eyes, but also joy to the heart. I’m talking about onions! If I had to pick 1 food as my can’t-live-without-heart-food, it would be the onion. (The red onion is worth worshipping.) There are many plant foods you could choose, but onions can be added to practically anything you make, raw or cooked. So versatility puts it at the top.
Onions act as anticoagulants, also known as blood thinners, which in turn prevents the red blood cells from forming clumps. These blocks and clots can lead to heart disorders or cardiovascular diseases.
So get the tissues out and start chopping! (Sorry, still searching for a “no tear” technique that actually works.)
TIP #5. Use whatever method you can to lower your high blood pressure (hypertension). “Blood pressure is measured as two numbers, written one over the other and recorded in millimetres of mercury – for example, 120/78 mm Hg. The top (higher) number is the systolic pressure – the pressure in the arteries as the heart is contracting – and the bottom (lower) number is the diastolic pressure – the pressure in the arteries when the heart is relaxed between beats. High blood pressure is defined as a repeatedly elevated systolic pressure of 140 or higher OR a diastolic pressure of 90 or higher…High blood pressure is called the “silent killer” because it often has no warning signs or symptoms, and many people do not realize they have it; that is why it’s important to get blood pressure checked regularly.” (World Heart Federation)
Practicing deep breathing techniques for 20 minutes, one to two times each day, may have a positive effect on blood pressure, as well as drinking 1-2 cups of green tea daily, listening to music, High intensity interval training (HIIT), which involves short bursts of exercise and frequent rest periods, and chiropractic adjustments of the atlas bone, a vertebra that helps support the head.
Studies have shown the key ingredients in Shaklee’s “Blood Pressure” address two important mechanisms that are known to impact blood pressure levels already in the normal range.
• Promotes blood circulation
• Promotes healthy blood vessels
So Keep Calm and lower your blood pressure.
TIP #6. What are vampires so scared of? Garlic contains a compound called allicin, which has many medicinal properties. Supplementation of garlic has proven benefits for both blood pressure AND cholesterol. The amount of allicin needed is equivalent to about 4 cloves of garlic per day. Garlic is in the same family as onions, so this is basically my 2nd favorite heart food. Try Shaklee’s “Garlic Complex” if you want an intense and concentrated amount easily and efficiently.
TIP #7. Be still that irregularly beating heart with magnesium. “When you don’t have enough magnesium, the muscle and nerve functions of the body are diminished, and you can get muscle cramps; this occurs because calcium causes muscles to contract, magnesium helps them relax. Correct mineral balance allows the muscles to cycle naturally. However, with excess calcium there’s too much contraction in the muscle cycle, which, if it affects the heart, can lead to a heart attack. That is why having magnesium regularly is so important for the heart. The left ventricle of the heart requires a lot of magnesium, and the body will steal magnesium from muscles and bones to make sure there’s enough for the heart.” (Well Being Journal)
A lack of magnesium can also cause the amount of calcium in your blood to drop, leading to an irregular heartbeat. It’s not the only cause (read on for a lot more on the subject) but it could be a simple issue to address if you do indeed have a magnesium deficiency in your diet.
You can add Shaklee’s “VitalMag” to your regimen if needed.
TIP #8. We’re not getting enough fiber from carbohydrate foods, but we are getting too much saturated fat with our protein in the Standard American Diet.
“I recommend a plant-based diet because I know it’s going to lower their blood pressure, improve their insulin sensitivity and decrease their cholesterol.”- Dr. Kim A. Williams, the president-elect of the American College of Cardiology
Here’s some Heart Food For Thought: Harvard researchers tracked the health habits of about 110,000 people for 14 years, and found that the higher folks’ intakes of fruits and vegetables, the lower their chances of developing cardiovascular disease. Specifically, people who averaged eight-plus servings of fruits and veggies a day were 30 percent less likely to have a heart attack or stroke, compared to those who had less than 1.5 daily servings. (U.S. News & World Report)
Certain fruits and vegetables are better sources of both soluble and insoluble fiber than others. Many whole grains are good or excellent sources of dietary fiber. (Any food made from wheat, rice, oats, corn, or another cereal is a grain product.) Dietary fiber is the term for several materials that make up the parts of plants your body can’t digest. Fiber is classified as soluble or insoluble.
• Soluble fibers are able to swell and hold water.
• When eaten regularly as part of a diet low in saturated fat and trans fat soluble fiber has been associated with increased diet quality and decreased risk of cardiovascular disease.
• Soluble fiber modestly reduces LDL (“bad”) cholesterol beyond levels achieved by a diet low in saturated and trans fats alone.
• Oats have a greater proportion of soluble fiber than any other grain
• Insoluble fiber has been associated with decreased cardiovascular risk and slower progression of cardiovascular disease in high-risk individuals.
• Wheat, rye, rice, and most other grains are primarily composed of insoluble fiber.
Legumes, beans, and peas are also excellent sources of both soluble and insoluble fiber. (American Heart Association)
If you’re not getting enough fiber in your diet, supplementation may be key here too.
TIP #9. CoQ10 levels decline as you age, which is not good news for the heart.
“Coenzyme Q10 is a fat-soluble compound that can be synthesized by the human body and hence cannot be considered a vitamin. Coenzyme Q10 is a member of the ‘ubiquinone’ family, referring to the ubiquitous presence of these compounds in living organisms. Coenzyme Q10 is also consumed in the diet. Coenzyme Q10 is primarily found in the energy-producing center of the cell known as the ‘mitochondria’. Therefore, the organs with the highest energy requirements, such as the heart and the liver, have the highest coenzyme Q10 concentrations. Research suggests that the beneficial effect of coenzyme Q10 in the prevention and treatment of heart disease is mainly due to its ability to act as an antioxidant.
Levels of coenzyme Q10 are low in people with congestive heart failure, a debilitating disease that occurs when the heart is not able to pump blood effectively. This can cause blood to pool in parts of the body, such as the lungs and legs. Decreased blood levels of coenzyme Q10 have been observed in individuals with diabetes, cancer, and in people taking lipid lowering medications. Various factors, such as aging and stress, can lower the levels of coenzyme Q10 in the body and as a result the ability of cells to withstand stress and regenerate declines. The levels of coenzyme Q10 in the body almost inevitably decline with age.” (Nutri-Facts)
Shaklee’s CoQHeart® with Q-Trol® delivers 100 mg of coenzyme Q10 to help replenish levels in your blood and facilitate the production of energy in your cells. Based on laboratory studies, it also helps protect arteries against the oxidation of low density lipoproteins (LDL), which may help promote blood vessel function.
(Note: Non-VEG product.)
TIP #10. Back to resveratrol, which IS great news for the heart starting at the cellular level…
Shaklee’s “Vivix” contains a triple patented, all natural blend of diverse polyphenols designed to help neutralize free radicals. Our scientists optimized the combination of different polyphenols to create a NEW, more balanced and powerful formula to protect DNA from oxidative stress and slow the formation of damaging AGE proteins that can lead to cellular aging.
• Protect and repair DNA
• 40% lower rate of telomere shortening
• 13x more powerful than resveratrol alone
• Based on muscadine grape – one of nature’s rarest, most potent fruits
You can eat OR drink your fruit in this case! Available in NEW liquigels, no refrigeration needed. Value: $100 SRP.
Thanks for joining tonight! I hope there was something informative here that made it worthwhile. You can find any of the Shaklee products mentioned in further detail here:
You can also purchase them directly online or call or email our office at 949-645-7373 and firstname.lastname@example.org and we’d be happy to help!