Nearly 1 out of 3 deaths in Singapore is a result of heart diseases or stroke, making cardiovascular disease one of the top causes of mortality in the local population.
The good news is heart disease is a preventable disease. You can still decrease your risk of heart disease through dietary and lifestyle modifications. Here we will share with you some tips that can help to keep your heart healthy.
1. Cut Down on Salt Intake
Overconsumption of salt can lead to high blood pressure. In the long run, high blood pressure can damage your artery walls. Bad cholesterol then begin to build up at the site of injury, which narrow your arteries and in turn increase their chances of becoming blocked. If the arteries that supply blood to your heart muscle become blocked, it can trigger a heart attack.
Thus, you are recommended to limit your salt intake to 5g of salt or one teaspoon a day. This can lower your blood pressure and enhance your heart health. Learn how you can reduce your consumption of salt here: https://lifestreamgroup.com/health-tips/5-tips-to-reduce-your-salt-intake. Individuals aged 18 – 39 should go for a blood pressure check every 3 years. Those who are aged 40 and above, or have hypertension, should check their blood pressure at least once yearly.
2. Take Ubiquinol Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)
CoQ10 is essential to the survival of the mitochondria (powerhouses of cells). Without CoQ10, the energy generated for trillions of cells will decline, leading to dysfunction and onset of diseases.
In particular, your heart needs the most CoQ10 as it has the highest energy demand. Based on studies, CoQ10 helps promote heart health by maintaining the energy levels in your heart, protecting your heart tissues against free radical damage and decreasing oxidation of LDL “bad” cholesterol (linked to blocked arteries).
Unfortunately, your body’s natural CoQ10 level drops as you age. This is due to the decrease in production and intestinal absorption of CoQ10. By 50, your CoQ10 level may be too low to support optimal health.
As such, you are recommended to take dietary supplement of CoQ10 as you grow older. CoQ10 exist in 2 forms: Ubiquinone (needs to be converted to ubiquinol before it can be used to generate energy) and Ubiquinol (“body-ready” form which is easily absorbed). As your body becomes less capable of converting ubiquinone to ubiquinol (age 30 onwards), it will be better to choose supplements with ubiquinol.
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CardioREGAIN is the gold standard formula for heart health, comprising the No. 1 most researched heart nutrients – Kaneka QH Ubiquinol CoQ10, Superba2 Krill Oil, Enzogenol Pine Bark Extract and AstaReal Astaxanthin. This supplement contains superior Ubiquinol CoQ10 which is up to 8 times more absorbable than conventional CoQ10. It is further developed with proprietary Liposomal Encapsulation Technology which optimised the efficacy of its Ubiquinol by up to 25 times above regular ubiquinol. CardioREGAIN is proven to support heart muscle health through replenishing CoQ10, decrease oxidation of cholesterol in blood vessels, and maintain vascular integrity, elasticity and healthy blood pressure.
3. Go for Whole Grains
Did you know that consuming 3 more servings of whole grains per day can decrease your risk of heart disease by 22%? The high fiber content found in whole grains can lower your LDL “bad” cholesterol, which in turn reduce your risk of developing heart disease. You are thus encouraged to incorporate more whole grains into your diet (e.g. brown rice, whole-grain bread and oatmeal).
4. Eat More Omega-3 Fats, Avoid Trans Fats
Omega-3 fats are well-known for their heart-health benefits. They help decrease inflammation (associated with heart disease due to vascular damage), triglycerides and irregular heartbeats. Consuming a minimal of 1 – 2 servings of omega-3 rich fish (e.g. salmon, sardines and tuna) weekly has been shown to lower the risk of heart disease. Alternatively, you can obtain your daily dose of omega-3s by taking krill oil or fish oil supplements.
In contrast, trans fats can elevate your risk of heart disease as they increase your LDL “bad” cholesterol and decrease your HDL “good” cholesterol, resulting in clogged arteries. Hence, you should avoid eating trans fats, which are normally found in foods like margarines, packaged baked goods, snack foods and fast foods.
5. Quit Smoking and Avoid Secondhand Smoke
Did you know that smokers are 2 – 4 times more likely to develop heart disease? What’s alarming is even non-smokers are at a greater risk (25-30% higher) of getting heart disease due to exposure to secondhand smoke!
The chemicals in cigarette smoke can cause permanent damage to your heart and blood vessels. They also increase the likelihood of blood clots, which can ultimately result in heart attacks or strokes. As such, you should ditch the cigarettes, be it real or electronic and don’t hang around with those who are smoking.
6. Sit Less, Move More
Do you sit all day in front of your computer? Here’s the bad news: researchers have observed a 147 percent increase in cardiovascular events among people who sat the most. An important point to note: Even if you exercise for ½ an hour daily, being sedentary for the rest of the day is still harmful to your heart health.
Hence, it is important that you take breaks from your desk work to move around. You should also participate in moderate exercises (e.g. cycling, water aerobics and brisk walking) for 30 minutes per day, 5 times a week.