February is Heart Health Month!

Oh, the heart! The most vital organ for survival isHearth Healthy Month - Shine Natural Medicine a part of the cardiovascular system. Its main function is to make sure oxygen is in continuous circulation for all the cells to use. The heart affects every part of the body! Diet, lifestyle, and overall well-being make a huge impact on cardiovascular health. No wonder an entire month is dedicated to the heart! (Hello, February Heart Month!)

Keeping the heart pumping is a great way to maintain good cardiovascular health. In fact, a sedentary lifestyle is one of the risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Regular exercise can improve most of the other risk factors of cardiovascular disease. Exercise promotes weight loss, reduces blood pressure and LDL levels (“bad” cholesterol), and improve HDL levels (“good” cholesterol) and insulin sensitivity. So not only does exercise keep the blood pumping and oxygen circulating, it impacts all other aspects contributing to cardiovascular disease.

The U.S. Surgeon General suggests 30 minutes of moderate exercise on most days of the week. What is moderate exercise? We suggest 30 straight minutes of moderate sweating. A warm up may take about 5-10 minutes to build up to the 30 minutes of moderate sweating, then a cool down of another 5-10 minutes— total workout time would be around 50 minutes to an hour. That may sound daunting, but anything that can be exercise! Housework and yard work can count towards your exercise time.

Another effective way to protect your cardiovascular health is through proper nutrition. As Hippocrates said, “Let food be thy medicine.” Eating a whole foods diet consisting of a balance of good fats (avocado, grass fed beef, wild caught fish, olives, coconut, etc.), fiber (mainly vegetables), protein, and carbohydrates will help improve lipid levels.

Lipid or cholesterol levels are important to monitor when it comes to cardiovascular health because they can correlate to how well our body’s vessels, arteries and veins, are functioning, how healthy our cell walls are, and how well many hormones are made. Cholesterol can gather in the linings of the vessels making it difficult for blood to flow. Cholesterol is also a main component of our cell walls and is the starting point for many of our hormones, including estrogen and testosterone.

Maintaining a healthy balance of cholesterol is vital to great cardiovascular health. Shine Supplements - Shine Natural MedicineDecreasing the consumption of oxidative fats, such as canola or other vegetable oils, fried foods, and increasing dietary fiber and healthy fats will improve cholesterol levels. Our other favorite way to maintain healthy cholesterol levels is fish oil! Omega 3 fatty acids are known to be heart protective, giving the cardiovascular system the nutrients it needs to keep the heart and vessels in tip-top shape. Our OmegaShine fish oil comes in capsule or liquid form with a balance of EPA and DHA to protect the heart and decrease inflammation.

Monitoring your cardiovascular health is paramount to knowing how well your body is functioning. Regular, yearly check-ups with your doctor is a great way to start! At Shine Natural Medicine, our doctors can order you blood tests that check your cholesterol, blood sugar, and oxidative damage. After your results are in and interpreted, our doctors can draw up a treatment plan specific to your needs for effective treatments and lasting results!

Call or stop by our Solana Beach, CA location for more information on our supplements and how you can start today to optimize your heart health by scheduling an appointment with one of our doctors!