Mens Health Month: Heart Health
Less than a century ago deaths from infectious diseases were common, and death most often followed a short period of illness. Now though, chronic disease is the leading cause of death, and death is most commonly preceded by long periods of moderate or severe poor health. According to the latest government report the number of years lived in poor health has increased since 2011: Men could now expect to live 16.2 years in poor health!
For this reason, this Men’s Health Month I’ll be sharing a number of blogs dedicated to the ways all of us can look after our health, to try and ensure a better quality of life. Starting this week, with heart health.
WHY LOOK AFTER YOUR HEART?
The heart is the engine which keeps the body running. If it fails, the body fails. So, taking steps to ensure a healthy heart is one of the key ways we can ensure a healthy quality of life.
IN THE DIET:
- Eliminate ‘white’ and refined foods from the diet as far as possible. Instead, eat plenty of fresh vegetables and wholegrains. ‘White’, processed and refined foods have been stripped of all their nutritional value – they are just empty calories! They will also have a negative impact on blood sugar levels and the waistline, contributing to increased risk of heart disease and diabetes.
- Eat plenty of good fats. Omega 3 rich foods offer protection from high cholesterol and heart disease, so eating oily fish or using fish oil supplements is a good idea. Avoid trans fats – found in deep fried foods, many margarines and shop bought cakes and cookies – as these are known to raise the risk of heart disease.
SUPPORTIVE SUPPLEMENTS FOR THE HEART:
- RED YEAST RICE: Red Yeast Rice contains a substance called Monacolin K. Research has shown that taking 10mg of monacolin K every day can help to support healthy cholesterol levels. If looking for a Red Yeast Rice supplement for healthy cholesterol, it’s important to check that the daily dose does provide that all-important 10mg Monacolin K.
- BEETROOT: Research has shown that drinking a large glass of beetroot juice every day can help to effectively reduce blood pressure. However, this is not to everyone’s taste. Luckily many companies now produce a high strength beetroot capsule, to provide the goodness of beetroot without the need to drink the juice.
- CO-Q-10: Co-Enzyme Q10 is found in every cell of the body and is involved in the production of energy, meaning that it is very important to energy demanding organs like the brain, the liver and yes – you guessed it – the heart.
- ON STATINS??? Research has shown that CO-Q-10 could help to support healthy blood pressure, a healthy heart and better energy production. This supplement could also be really important for people who take statin medications to lower their cholesterol. Statin medications can save lives, but they are commonly associated with side effects such as increased fatigue and muscular pains. It is though that this could be due to the statin medication reducing CO-Q-10 levels, and that supplementing with CO-Q-10 whilst on this medication could help to reduce those side effects.
Keep your eyes peeled for the next installment in my Men’s Health Month blog series, where I’ll discuss Mental Health.
Written by Jenny Logan DNMed (Jenny is a nutritional therapist who has worked with clients in health food stores and private clinics for over 20 years).