Thank you MitoQ for sponsoring today’s post! All opinions are my own.
Five Tips for a Healthy Heart
Striving to always have a healthy heart is something I have been doing since I was a little girl. It’s somewhat of a hot topic in our household because heart disease has run in my family for generations. My grandfather passed away from a heart attack at 72 years old, it was sudden and he was taken way too early. I was only two at the time so, sadly, I never even got to know him.
My mother made sure to raise my sisters and me to be hyper-aware of heart health and how you can live a healthy lifestyle (or even just follow a few daily, easy steps) to make sure your heart is as strong as possible. After all, it is the engine (so to speak) of your body so it should be kept in optimal condition! Today I am excited to share a few tips on how to keep your heart healthy!
1. MitoQ Antioxidant Supplement for a Healthy Heart
If you remember basic biology in high school, you’ll remember learning about the mitochondria(how’s that for a throwback!?). As a refresher, cells make up every ounce of our bodies and mitochondria are the “power plants” of our cells. They convert the food we eat and the oxygen we breathe into the energy our cells need to keep our organs functioning optimally. Not unlike what our hearts do for our bodies!
To support a healthy heart (and other organs) it is important to start at the cellular level. MitoQ is a new, powerful, free-radical-fighting antioxidant supplement that specifically targets and supports the mitochondria. The efficient functioning of our mitochondria is KEY to our overall health, including our heart health.
The cool thing about MitoQ (a unique form of CoQ10, the antioxidant naturally produced in the body) is that it is the world’s first antioxidant that can penetrate the mitochondrial membrane and act directly in the mitochondria, in turn supporting their ability to produce energy.
This energy production, even at such a small-scale level, is imperative because it can support organ health and recovery times, as well as help our natural resilience against the pesky free-radicals associated with aging and disease.
For context, antioxidants can be found both inside our bodies (naturally produced) and in certain foods. Antioxidants function by neutralizing free radicals (the bad guys). With age, the body’s natural production of antioxidants starts to decline, making it even more important to think about supplementing.
Taken daily, MitoQ can help support healthy heart function and cardiovascular performance. It is super important to provide extra support in the form of antioxidants and specifically by targeting the powerhouse of our cells. Taking MitoQ is my number one tip for easy, daily heart health maintenance.
2. Stay Active
Your heart is a muscle that should be treated as such. I think this is a commonly forgotten fact, but it is so, SO important to remember to exercise and strengthen your muscles (including, maybe most importantly, your heart). Exercising in some way even just three times a week could greatly decrease your risk of heart disease.
Also, having a non-sedentary job would help immensely. Research has shown that sitting for long periods of time is bad for your health no matter how much you exercise! If you have a sedentary job try to remember to get up often and walk around, or maybe park further away, so you have to walk a decent amount to and from your car. You can even get a standing desk if your workplace allows it!
3. Cut Back Salts & Avoid Trans Fats
This might be the thing I remember most that my mother reminded us of daily during my childhood. I don’t know about you, but I am ADDICTED to salts. It is my downfall when it comes to my diet, French fries are my JAM. Maybe this is genetic because my grandfather, as my mom always says, had a high-salt diet his entire life. It is what she believes was responsible for his heart disease and heart attack.
I have to consciously remind myself to skip extra salt, decline extra cheese, order a salad instead of fries, etc. Excess salt and trans fats can clog your arteries by raising your bad cholesterol levels (LDL) and lowering your good cholesterol levels (HDL). Foods to avoid? Fried foods, packaged baked goods, anything that contains partially hydrogenated oils – read your labels! Only eat food that has ZERO trans fat listed on the ingredients and make sure your DAILY sodium intake is under 2,300mg (as recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans).
4. Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is actually an essential part of maintaining a healthy heart. Not getting enough sleep (at least 7-8 hours a night) can put you at a higher risk for cardiovascular disease, no matter your age or other health habits. That’s the scary part! You could be doing everything else right but not getting enough sleep could really put a ton of stress on your heart. Some research suggests that sleeping less than 6 hours a night consistently causes disruptions in underlying health conditions and biological processes, including blood pressure and inflammation.
I know sleep can be rough during early motherhood, Luca didn’t sleep through the night until about 10 months and even now when he is teething or going through a leap we are up all night. What saved me honestly was co-sleeping with him in our bed, fewer wake-ups and easier to comfort him without fully getting up. You do what you have to do to get sleep – I am not saying you should do what I did, just mentioning my experience and how important getting sleep is to me!
5. Practice Good Dental Health
Good oral hygiene habits do more than keep your teeth and gums healthy. This includes brushing twice daily AND flossing! Research suggests that the bacteria that causes gum disease can also raise your risk of heart disease by entering the bloodstream. Studies are ongoing, but they suggest that this periodontal (gum) bacteria can cause an elevation in C-reactive protein, a marker for inflammation in the blood vessels. The inflammation may, in turn, increase your risk of heart disease and stroke. Either way, I say it’s a good idea to keep your teeth and gums in the best health possible!
I hope you found this post helpful, I would love to know more ways YOU keep your heart healthy!