Do you know your heart health numbers?
According to the New Zealand Heart Foundation (1), you need to pay attention to two heart health-related numbers: blood pressure and cholesterol ratio. Here’s a quick overview of what each measure is, what numbers count as “healthy”, and what you can do to help keep them that way.
Blood pressure: how hard your heart is working
Every minute of every day, your heart works to pump blood out to the extremities of your body. It does this through a complex network of blood vessels: arteries, veins and capillaries. The harder your heart has to work to push the blood where it needs to go, the higher the pressure that blood exerts on the insides of your blood vessels.
Blood pressure is usually described in two numbers. The first relates to the pressure when your heart muscle contracts; and the second is when it relaxes between beats. Except in very special situations, lower numbers are generally healthier; and a “normal” blood pressure is under 130/80 (2).
Cholesterol ratio: how much of your cholesterol is where it should be
Cholesterol is a type of fat that plays a wide range of important roles in your body (3). However for cholesterol to do its job properly, it needs to be present in the right amounts, and be located in the right places (generally, your liver or your cells).
You have two types of cholesterol carriers in your bloodstream: LDL (low density lipoprotein) and HDL (high density lipoprotein). LDL (known as “bad cholesterol”) carries cholesterol away from your liver to your cells, depositing any extra it finds in your blood vessel walls along the way. HDL does the opposite: picking up spare cholesterol from around your body and transporting it back to your liver.
Your cholesterol ratio is your ratio of Total Cholesterol (HDL + LDL) to HDL alone. A healthy cholesterol ratio is considered to be 4 or less. At this level, you have enough HDL to keep your cholesterol where it needs to be to do its job in your body.
How to confirm your numbers are healthy – and then keep them that way!
The most reliable way to discover your heart health numbers is to ask your doctor to do a heart health check. That way, you’ll know you’re healthy – and if anything is amiss, your doctor can tell you what to do about it. Assuming your numbers are all good, however, here are some ways you can ensure they stay that way.
1. Maintaining a generally healthy lifestyle
Perhaps it’s not surprising that most of the actions that help you live a healthy lifestyle are also good for your heart health numbers. In practice, that means:
- Enjoying a diet that’s rich in fresh, tasty fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean protein; and limiting sugar and saturated or trans fats.
- Moving your body more – getting at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise each day.
- Quitting tobacco (if you smoke), drinking less alcohol and caffeine, and managing your stress effectively.
2. Taking Aged Garlic Extract
Garlic has been around since the days of ancient Egypt. Over time, it has been used around the world to support everything from respiratory health, to digestion, to energy levels, to “male potency”. (4)
Today, Aged Garlic Extract is a special, highly researched form of garlic that has been shown to help maintain both healthy blood pressure (5) and cholesterol levels (6).
This extract is created from organically grown garlic cloves that are then naturally aged for up to 20 months. The proprietary aging process not only creates valuable new compounds that weren’t present in the raw garlic, but it also helps to remove the characteristic garlic odour.
3. Taking CoQ10
Co-enzyme Q10 (also known as Ubidecarenone, Ubiquinone, or simply CoQ10) is a unique nutrient that’s found in the mitochondria of cells all around your body. Several studies have shown that CoQ10 provides a wide range of heart health benefits, including helping to maintain both normal blood pressure and cholesterol ratios (7).
Nutra-Life Kyolic Garlic plus CoQ10 is a heart formula that supports cardiovascular system health, maintains normal blood pressure in healthy people and maintains normal cholesterol levels in healthy people. Buy it now from our secure online shop.
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Do you know your blood pressure and cholesterol ratio numbers?
Do you take any natural supplements for heart health, and if yes what are they and do you think they help?