Your Cardiovascular System and Healthy Ageing
Help your Heart
Our cardiovascular system includes our heart and blood vessels (arteries, veins and capillaries) so keeping this system healthy is very important, especially as we get older. The common diseases that affect the cardiovascular system are Coronary Heart Disease (narrowing or blockage of the arteries that supply the heart muscles) and Stroke (when blood supply to the brain is interrupted or reduced and the resulting lack of oxygen and nutrients can cause damage to the brain).
There are a number of risk factors for cardiovascular disease and the good news is that nutritional therapy, along with more exercise and reducing stress, may help reduce a number of them.
Risk factors include:
- high blood pressure (hypertension)
- oxidative stress (damage caused by oxidized LDL cholesterol)
- insulin resistance and diabetes
- being overweight or obese
- elevated levels of homocysteine
- Inflammation in the blood vessel walls which initiates atherosclerosis (a major precursor of cardiovascular disease that can go unnoticed for years)
- Metabolic syndrome, which is a combination of obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure, is a major risk factor for heart disease, stroke and other vascular diseases. This is usually preceded by Insulin resistance (a condition where insulin becomes less effective at lowering blood sugar levels resulting in higher and higher blood sugar which worsens the insulin resistance).
How Nutrition can help keep your heart healthy
Choosing nutrient-dense foods with a low glycaemic load, focusing on a wide variety of vegetables, with fewer refined grains and sugars is key. In a one-to-one consultation we will look at addressing any relevant risk factors with both diet and, if required, targeted supplementation.
You might want to consider genetic testing to help personalize recommendations in even more depth. Individual genetic variations can affect the way you respond to the food you eat and supplements you take. For more information please contact Jo
Help your heart!
Eat a rainbow: choosing a range of different coloured vegetables every day provides you with a variety of different antioxidants and health promoting phytochemicals.
Swap sweet snacks for wholefoods like fresh fruit, nuts and seeds
Ditch the processed foods and get cooking using natural ingredients. See the recipe section for inspiration
Include healthy fats from oily fish, olive oil and avocados
Move more: doing more activity and exercise helps keep your cardiovascular system in good shape and helps your waistline too