What Causes High Cholesterol?

what causes high cholesterol?

If you blame your high cholesterol on your ancestors, while it might be true, that fact won’t help you lower your cholesterol.

That’s not all that causes high cholesterol. A lot of people ask, “what causes high cholesterol?”

But if you let that stop you from taking the right steps toward a solution, you’re probably headed in the wrong direction.

And while genetics is the most common cause of high cholesterol, many other causes can be controlled with the right information and the right action.

We want to share some of the leading causes of high cholesterol and help you identify ways you can lower your bad cholesterol.

What Causes High Cholesterol? 7 Causes of High Cholesterol

Your Diet – Eating high amounts of saturated fat can cause high cholesterol. Saturated fat is found in many animal products including beef, pork, veal, milk, eggs, butter and cheese. Other foods high in saturated fat include packaged food made with coconut oil, palm oil or even cocoa butter, margarine, vegetable shortening and cookies, crackers, chips and other snacks.

Your Weight – Being overweight is going to lead to increased triglycerides and decreased HDL (good cholesterol). Individuals with a high body mass index tend to have higher levels of LDL cholesterol.

Your Activity Level – Feel like you don’t exercise enough? It could definitely be leading to extra LDL cholesterol. A lack of regular exercise can increase your “bad” cholesterol and decrease the good kind.

Your Age and Gender – Unfortunately, age is another factor that causes your cholesterol to rise. After you hit age 20, your cholesterol levels begin to rise naturally.

Your Health – Skipping your annual physical can leave you in the dark about your health in general. It can also leave you in the dark about your cholesterol levels that can be caused by certain diseases including diabetes or hypothyroidism.

Your Smoking – With so many risks involved, including the fact that it can lower your good cholesterol levels, just quit smoking if you smoke now. Smoking also damages your arterial walls that make them more susceptible to plaque buildup.

Your Family History – As mentioned earlier, this is the leading cause of high cholesterol. The inherited type of high blood pressure affects one in 500 people. It’s more likely the cause of your high cholesterol if you develop high cholesterol while you’re younger. Genetics can cause an abnormality that leads to the overproduction of cholesterol in the liver.

If any of these factors are causing you to have high cholesterol, you can take action.

What can you do to lower your high cholesterol?

Of course there are obvious steps you can take like exercising and eating better. But there are a few more steps that will help you lower your cholesterol.

What can you do to lower your cholesterol?

Consider a supplement – L-arginine Plus utilizes l-arginine and l-citrulline to boosts nitric oxide levels. Increased nitric oxide has been shown to strengthen arterial walls and help lower bad cholesterol.

Learn more about L-arginine Plus here

Avoid saturated fat – Avoiding saturated fat comes down to your diet as mentioned above. But you can also eat more smart fats. Eating more fish instead of red meat, eating healthier oils like canola oil or olive instead of vegetable oil, butter, margarine or shortening.

Eat more fiber – Dietary fiber can help lower bad cholesterol. Eating more fruits and vegetables and whole grains provide healthy fiber as well as antioxidants. The fiber acts like a sponge to soak up and get rid of cholesterol through the digestive tract.

Try more fish – Fish and fish oil are loaded with cholesterol-lowering omega-3 fatty acids. To get the benefits of the omega-3 fatty acids, eat fish two or three times a week. While other sources of omega-3s include soybeans, canola, flaxseeds, walnuts and the oils from those sources, the biggest benefits have been linked to the omega-3s found in fish.

The truth is even small steps can help lower your cholesterol levels. If you’re inactive, start moving toward better health with a small step toward being more active to get started toward lowering your cholesterol. You can also start adding fish to your diet, and you may want to consider taking L-arginine Plus.

Read more about getting and maintaining a healthy cholesterol level here.

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Heart Healthy Diet – What Does it Really Mean?

There is more talk about eating a heart healthy diet than ever before.

But what does it really mean and how can eating a heart healthy diet really help improve the health of your heart? Keep reading and we’ll shed some light on the whole heart healthy phenomenon.

Heart Healthy Diet

Most people understand eating certain foods too often can be harmful to their heart and their health. But for most people, that’s about all they know and they aren’t even sure which foods to avoid and which ones they should make sure to eat.

A heart healthy diet is especially important for anyone with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, individuals who are overweight and so many other health concerns.

So what is a heart healthy diet and how can you make sure your diet is heart healthy? Here are a number of recommendations and tips on keeping your diet as healthy as possible.

Learn More: Find Out How L-arginine Plus can Help Improve Your Heart Health

Recommendations for a Heart Healthy Diet

Use as many calories as you take in – By using the calories you consume, you can prevent weight gain that can put unnecessary stress on your heart. Make sure you are getting regular exercise to avoid the calories being stored as fat.

Eat foods from all the food groups – Eating a variety of different foods can help you get more of the nutrients you need for overall better health.

Eat fewer nutrient-dense foods – Nutrient dense foods are those foods packed with calories, low in nutritional value and tiny in size. (i.e. candy bars, cookies, cakes and other snacks).

Base your eating on the following recommendations:

Eat lean meats and poultry without skin and prepare without added saturated fat and trans fat.

Eat fish at least twice a week. Research indicates eating oily fish with high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids can help lower your risk for coronary heart disease.

Eat fat-free and low-fat diary products.

Avoid partially hydrogenated vegetable oils to reduce trans fat.

Reduce saturated fat to less than 6 percent of your total amount of calories.

Avoid food and beverages with added sugars.

Prepare and eat foods with little or no salt. Aim for less than 24 grams of sodium a day and 15 grams to lower your blood pressure.

If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation. Limit yourself to one drink a day if you’re a woman and two drinks a day if you’re a man.

When eating out, always be aware of the portion size you’re eating.

Tips to Making Your Diet More Heart Healthy

What You Should Include in Your Diet:

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Beans and legumes
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Fish
  • Skinless poultry
  • Fat-free and low-fat dairy
  • Healthy fats and non-tropical oils

What You Should Limit in Your Diet:

  • Sodium and salt
  • Saturated fat
  • Sweets and added sugars, especially sugar-sweetened beverages
  • Red meats

What You Should Avoid in Your Diet:

Trans fat and partially hydrogenated oils

Follow these simple tips and you’ll be on your way to a heart healthy diet before you know it.

  • Compare nutrition information
  • Watch your calorie intake
  • Eat reasonable portions
  • Eat a variety of foods
  • Prepare and eat more often at home

Key nutrients for heart health

L-arginine – L-arginine is an amino acid that converts to nitric oxide in the body. Nitric oxide helps to expand the blood vessels and improve overall blood pressure. By improving blood pressure levels, L-arginine is one of the best nutrients available for your heart.

L-arginine is found in many foods we eat but most of us don’t get significant amounts from our diets. Supplementing with L-arginine Plus helps to provide proven amounts of L-arginine so you see improvements in the health of your heart.

L-citrulline – L-citrulline is another one of the best amino acids for the health of your heart. L-citrulline also improves the amount of nitric oxide within the body to improve blood flow.

Magnesium – Many people are seriously low on magnesium even though the benefits for your heart really stand out. Low levels of magnesium can lead to high blood pressure and worse. Magnesium helps to ensure the muscles function properly around the blood vessels.

B Vitamins – Numerous studies have shown B vitamins help reduce the risk of heart problems. Studies have shown the B vitamins help lower levels of homocysteine, an amino acid that damages inner linings of arteries, leading to blood clots.

Resveratrol – Resveratrol is the key ingredient in red wine shown to improve the health of the heart. Resveratrol prevents damage to the blood vessels, reduces LDL cholesterol and reduces the risk for blood clots.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids – For years the American Heart Association has recommended people eat fish one or two times a week to get more Omega-3 fatty acids in their diet. These unsaturated fatty acids help reduce inflammation that can lead to damaged blood vessels and increase risk for heart disease.

Resources:

http://holistichealthjournal.me/2014/02/12-key-nutrients-heart-health-infographic/

http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/HealthyEating/The-American-Heart-Associations-Diet-and-Lifestyle-Recommendations_UCM_305855_Article.jsp

http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/HealthyEating/How-to-Eat-Healthy_UCM_307257_Article.jsp

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Foods for High Blood Pressure – 8 Terrible Foods to Avoid and 7 You Want to Eat

High blood pressure can be an almost invisible problem with basically zero signs.

But it’s estimated that 67 million American adults have high blood pressure, that’s a third of all adults. And even worse, only about half of those individuals have their high blood pressure under control.

And one of the biggest factors that contribute to high blood pressure is the diet, the foods we eat directly impact our blood pressure. Eating the right foods for high blood pressure can keep you feeling healthier while the wrong foods can lead to serious problems related to high blood pressure.

Foods for High Blood Pressure

We’ve put together a list of foods for high blood pressure you’ll want to avoid to keep your blood pressure as healthy as possible while also including foods for high blood pressure you should be eating to keep your blood pressure healthy.

See our list of the 8 worst foods and the 7 foods you want to eat.

Foods to Avoid: 8 Terrible Foods for High Blood Pressure

Processed meats – Ham, bacon, sausage, hot dogs and luncheon meats preserved by smoking, curing, salting or any chemical method should be avoided. In just a three-ounce serving, you could be taking in 1,200 mg of sodium. If you already suffering with high blood pressure, that should almost be your entire day’s sodium. Find lower sodium versions if possible to reduce the damage of these types of meats.

Frozen pizza – Frozen pizzas are a combination of highly salted foods that mean serious problems for your blood pressure. With the dough, sauce, cheese and processed meats together, an individual serving can include almost 2,400 mg of sodium.

Chinese food – Most people don’t even realize something like Beef with Broccoli can be packed with as much as 3,700 mg of sodium. By cooking with soy sauce and teriyaki sauce the sodium content adds up quickly.

Ready-to-eat boxed foods – While ready-to-eat meals and side dishes are convenient, they’re also loaded with sodium. A single serving of frozen turkey and gravy or a chicken potpie can include as much as 800 mg of sodium.

Sugar-sweetened drinks – Excess sugar isn’t discussed as much sodium when it comes to blood pressure, but also has been linked to high blood pressure. Soft drinks, iced tea and even fruit juices come with a lot of sugar and it’s best to avoid all that added sugar whether you have high blood pressure or not.

Canned and pickled vegetables – When you need a substitute for fresh vegetables, canned might not be the best option. Canned and pickled vegetables are often laden with preservatives or sauces that contain high amounts of preservatives or sauces. If you are going the canned or pickled route, look for items with no salted added or reduced sodium and be sure to look at the sodium content before you buy them.

Canned and instant soup – Canned soup is one of the worst kinds of foods for your blood pressure. Canned chicken noodle soup contains as much as 760 mg of sodium in a single cup. If you’re eating a whole can – a two-and-a-half serving can – that’s 1,800 mg of sodium.

Canned Tomato Products – Canned tomato sauce and tomato juice can have 680 mg of sodium in a cup while spaghetti sauce has more than 1,300 milligrams of sodium in a serving.

Foods to Eat: 7 Foods for High Blood Pressure You Should Eat

Leafy Greens – By improving your ratio of potassium to sodium, you can begin to lower your blood pressure. Leafy greens like romaine lettuce, arugula, kale, turnip greens, collard greens and spinach are high in potassium. Choosing fresh is your best option.

Berries – Berries are rich in natural flavonoids. Flavonoids have been shown to help prevent hypertension and have been shown to help reduce high blood pressure. You can easily add blueberries, strawberries or raspberries to your diet by including them in your cereal or blending them into smoothies or by simply eating a handful for dessert.

Potatoes – Potatoes are another food high in potassium, and they’re also high in magnesium. Both minerals help lower your blood pressure. Potatoes are also high in fiber. But don’t add fattening and salty butter, or you may do more damage than good. Instead, add plain yogurt or salsa for additional flavor.

Beets – Studies indicate drinking beetroot juice can improve blood pressure. The nitrates in the juice are believed to add the most benefit and helped users reduce their blood pressure in just 24 hours. Juice beets yourself or eat the whole root for to get the benefits.

Skim Milk – Calcium-rich foods are recommended for anyone trying to lower their blood pressure. Skim milk is an excellent source of calcium and it’s low in fat.

Oatmeal – Oatmeal is high in fiber, low in fat and low in sodium that makes it one of the best foods if you’re trying to lower your blood pressure. To make it taste great, avoid adding additional sugar but opt for fruit and a small amount of honey.

Bananas – When most people think of foods high in potassium, bananas come to mind. Bananas can be sliced into your breakfast or eaten as is to get the potassium that will help lower your blood pressure.

http://www.healthline.com/health-slideshow/foods-good-for-high-blood-pressure

http://thegrio.com/2013/05/22/the-8-worst-foods-for-high-blood-pressure/

http://www.cdc.gov/bloodpressure/facts.htm

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Holiday Stress – 6 Tips to Improve Your Heart Health During the Holidays

Stress. Holiday stress.

Holiday stress hits most of us, and while stress alone may raise your blood pressure for a short time, it isn’t a direct cause of high blood pressure. However, how most people respond to the holiday stress is linked to high blood pressure.

Responses including excessive drinking, smoking, diminished quality of sleep and indulging on sugary, fatty, salty junk foods can raise your blood pressure on a long-term basis if you’re regularly responding to stress in any of these ways.

RecommendedRead More about What Causes High Blood Pressure

Holiday Stress

And stress seems to pile up during the holidays whether it’s from unrealistic expectations, financial pressures and too many commitments or so many other factors.

Learn More About the Benefits of L-arginine Plus for Your Heart

That additional stress contributes to the rise in heart problems during this time of the year as people try to deal with their holiday stress in all the wrong ways. But you can take preventative action to maintain your heart health and improve your heart health.

Check out these tips for keeping your heart as healthy as possible this holiday season and into the new year.

1. Make a Plan – By making a plan for how you’ll eat, how often you’ll exercise and how you’ll deal with your stress when it does come, you’ll be able to better stick to activities that keep your heart healthy rather than falling back to responses that contribute to causing harm to your heart’s health. It might also be helpful to plan your budget, your time and any other activities to help reduce your stress over the course of the holidays.

2. Beware of Pitfalls – Parties, family gatherings and all kinds of holiday events can be killers for your effort to eat right. At parties, you’ll be served all kinds of high-fat foods that can harm your heart’s health. To help withstand the temptation, eat before you go and be mindful of how much you eat at the event. If you’re hosting, be sure to have heart-healthy snacks and foods on the menu.

3. Stay Active – It’s easy to feel worn down and tired during the holidays, but don’t skimp on your exercise during this time of year. The combination of decreased activity and increased calorie consumption adds pounds and can impact the health of your heart negatively.

4. Know When Enough is Enough – From what you’re eating during the holidays to expectations and invites, be mindful of your stress levels and the impact your schedule and diet have on you. If you’re feeling worn down, it’s fine to turn down invites. Set realistic expectations for yourself and for others to avoid unnecessary stress and watch what you’re eating whether you feel stressed or not.

5. Plan Beyond the Holidays – As stressful as the holidays are, don’t add more stress by planning on changing everything during the month of December. Lay out a plan that will help you take steps in the right direction that starts this month and also extend that plan into January, February and March or beyond. Set realistic steps now and make a plan to make additional changes or to take additional steps that will help keep your heart as healthy as possible.

6. Don’t Forget Your L-arginine Plus – Taking L-arginine Plus can help you get the support you need for the health of your heart. If your response to stress is to reach for L-arginine Plus rather than the plate of Christmas cookies, you’re heart will absolutely thank you.

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Cholesterol Levels – 5 Steps to Getting and Maintaining Healthy Cholesterol Levels

You can’t get away from Cholesterol. It’s just impossible.

While it seems cholesterol levels are being discussed more often today than ever before, it’s also an indication of cardiovascular health that’s ignored by too many people.

Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance actually found in every cell in the body. Your body needs some cholesterol and makes enough for those needs, but cholesterol is also found in some of the foods we eat.

shutterstock_107113358

Cholesterol made by the body and the cholesterol we consume through our diet travels through the bloodstream in what’s called lipoproteins, basically composed of fat on the inside and protein on the outside.

The two kinds of lipoproteins are the low-density lipoproteins (LDL) and the high-density lipoproteins (HDL). Both types of cholesterol impact your cardiovascular health and overall health.

Having too high LDL cholesterol, often called the “bad” cholesterol, can lead to a build up in the arteries.

HDL cholesterol, the “good” cholesterol, can actually help you by carrying cholesterol from your body to the liver where it can be removed.

RELATED: Order L-arginine Plus now to help lower your cholesterol levels.

What Cholesterol Levels Mean

Most individuals with high cholesterol don’t realize they have high cholesterol because there are no signs or symptoms. However, individuals with high cholesterol have a greater chance of developing coronary heart disease.

Learning about cholesterol levels

But it’s not overall cholesterol you should be concerned about as much as avoiding high LDL cholesterol levels. The higher levels of LDL cholesterol, the greater chance of developing heart disease. The higher levels of HDL cholesterol, the lower chance of developing heart disease.

Heart disease often develops because the arteries are narrowed as a result of build up of plaque. The plaque is made up of fat, calcium, cholesterol and other substances in the blood.

Over time the plaque hardens and narrows your arteries and limits oxygen and nutrient rich blood from reaching the heart and getting distributed to important areas of the body.

If builds up continues, the plaque can rupture and cause a blood clot on the surface of the plaque. If the clot becomes large enough, it can block a majority or entirety of the blood flow through the coronary artery. And this can lead to a heart attack.

Measuring Cholesterol Levels

Getting your cholesterol levels checked can go a long way to preventing coronary heart disease and other health conditions. In the United States, cholesterol levels are measured in milligrams (mg) of cholesterol per deiliter (dL) of blood.

Measuring Cholesterol levels

Total cholesterol should be below 200 mg/dL to be considered at a healthy level. From 200 to 239 mg/dL, your cholesterol is considered borderline high and above 240 mg/dL is high.

LDL cholesterol is considered at healthy levels if you’re at very high risk for heart disease if it’s at 70 mg/dL or lower. It’s considered healthy if it’s lower than 100 mg/dL if you’re at risk for heart disease and should be 100 to 129 mg/dL for an average individual.

When it comes to HDL cholesterol, keeping it above 60 mg/dL is the healthiest while 40 mg/dL or below is considered poor.

Risk Factors for High Cholesterol

How do you know if you’re at very high risk for cardiovascular disease or even at risk? If you consider your lifestyle, family history and more, you can determine whether or not you’re at risk.

Major risk factors that affect your LDL cholesterol level:

Smoking – If you smoke, stop! It’s that simple.
High blood pressure – If you’re taking high blood pressure medication, you’re at risk.
Low HDL cholesterol – HDL cholesterol helps remove LDL cholesterol.
Family history – If your father or brother has early heart disease, heart disease before the age of 55 or heart disease in your mother or sister before the age of 65, you are also considered at risk for heart disease.
Age– Men older than 45 and women older than 55 are considered at risk.
Poor diet – Consuming saturated fat and cholesterol can lead to higher LDL cholesterol.
Weight – Your weight is a huge risk factor for heart disease as losing weight can lower LDL cholesterol and increase HDL cholesterol.
Physical Activity – If you’re not exercising, you putting your heart at risk.

5 Steps to Healthy Cholesterol Levels

Step 1Eat Better – This sounds so simple but can be so difficult for individuals to actually follow. Eating more vegetables and fruit, whole grains, food low in fat, fish, poultry and lean meats in moderate amounts can help lower your LDL cholesterol. Look to avoid high saturated fat foods and food with high amounts of cholesterol.

Step 2Exercise Regularly – This is critical for anyone, especially if you’re overweight. Getting regular exercise can help you lose weight and lower LDL cholesterol. Getting at least 30 minutes of physical activity can literally add years to your life.

Step 3Get Tested – Keep track of your cholesterol levels by getting them checked regularly. By keeping track, you can understand better what it will take to lower your bad cholesterol level.

Step 4Avoid Smoking and Drink in Moderation – You will notice huge benefits related to your health if you quit smoking. Just 20 minutes after quitting, your blood pressure will decrease. Within 24 hours, your risk of heart disease decreases and within a year, that risk is half of the risk of a smoker. If you already drink alcohol, you can increase healthy HDL cholesterol levels with a drink a day. However, drinking too much alcohol can lead to high blood pressure, heart failure and stroke.

Step 5Take L-arginine Plus – L-arginine Plus is the most effective L-arginine supplement on the market today. This proven formula helps lower blood pressure while regulating your cholesterol levels and helping to provide a healthy balance between LDL and HDL cholesterol. By helping the body produce more nitric oxide, L-arginine Plus works to expand the blood vessels to improve blood flow.

Click here to get L-arginine Plus now

What Can You Do Today to Improve Your Cholesterol Levels?

If you’re at risk for cardiovascular disease because of your age or weight or lack of physical activity or even genetics, you don’t have to lower your cholesterol all in a single day. It will take time, but you can start today.

Start today by taking a walk, eating more whole grains and by ordering L-arginine Plus. These may seem like small steps, but they’ll go a long way to helping you get your cholesterol to a healthy level.

Resources:

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-cholesterol/in-depth/cholesterol-levels/art-20048245

www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-cholesterol/in-depth/cholesterol-levels/art-20048245

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/magazine/issues/summer12/articles/summer12pg6-7.html

http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/hbc/

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Joint Pain Relief – 3 Keys to Getting Real Relief from Your Joint Pain

For many people, the weather cooling down means suffering with joint pain.

With the colder weather come changes in joint fluid thickness, a worsening of arthritis and more knee pain. It all adds up to more pain for too many people.

RECOMMENDEDLearn More about the all-new Joint Plus for Joint Pain Relief

But joint pain isn’t limited to colder weather. It’s also a condition you can treat naturally. Instead of reaching for medication to treat your joint pain this fall and winter, try the following.

Joint Pain Relief

Eat Healthier – Omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin K and Vitamin C curb inflammation, sooth pain and prevent a loss of cartilage. A diet rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin K and Vitamin C will help you feel less stiff while helping your overall health too.

Avoid omega-6 fatty acids including corn oil, which has been shown to signal painful inflammation. You can also swap refined grains for whole grains. The high fiber helps to reduce inflammation.

Exercise More Often – A major reason cold weather is linked to joint pain is more people are less likely to exercise and be active. Getting more couch time is going to leave you feeling more stiff with more pain. Exercise ensures your joints are more lubricated and pain-free.

If it’s too cold to exercise outdoors, get exercise indoors. Low-impact aerobic exercises will help the joints and improve your range of motion. Also try lifting weights to build joint supporting muscles that can reduce your joint pain.

Find the Right Supplements – Glucosamine and chondroitin are popular joint supplements because they help support healthy cartilage and increase joint lubrication. Taking additional Vitamin D can also help keep your bones strong while preventing joint pain.

Many people suffering from joint pain have also found relief with the all-new Joint Plus we recently released. As an oral spray supplement, Joint Plus works quickly to provide relief from joint pain with an easy-to-use spray.

Formulated with peppermint leaf, skullcap herd, devil’s claw root, turmeric herb, mullein leaf, burdock root, Oregon grape root and natural minerals in an Ultra-pure deionized water, Joint Plus makes it convenient and easy to get rid of joint pain.

Joint Plus works because the body immediately absorbs the formula and puts it to work for you. It’s the perfect solution to winter joint pain, to help athletes suffering with joint pain or anywhere feeling aches and pains that won’t seem to go away.

Learn More About Joint Plus to Reduce Your Joint Pain

Joint pain can severely limit an individuals’ quality of life. Whether colder temperatures are causing the problem or something else, you don’t have to suffer any longer.

Eat healthier, stay active and utilize the supplements that are available and you’ll be able to significantly limit, if not eliminate, your joint pain.

Resources:

http://www.weather.com/health/aches-pains/does-cold-weather-joint-pain-20120404

http://www.everydayhealth.com/arthritis/arthritis-pain-relief-for-winter-weather.aspx

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What Causes High Blood Pressure?

What Causes High Blood Pressure?

More than 67 million Americans are living with high blood pressure.

And it’s practically and invisible problem.

Even for those who aren’t seeking help for high blood pressure, it’s a good idea to be aware of what causes high blood pressure.

It’s important to be aware of what cause the problem because there really are no symptoms that come with high blood pressure. But if you are aware of the causes, you can do your best to avoid the health problems that come with it.

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What Can Cause High Blood Pressure?

There are multiple factors that contribute to high blood pressure for most people including:

  • High Sodium Consumption – High sodium consumption is a bad idea for anyone but especially dangerous for the elderly, African Americans, those who are obese and individuals with kidney problems.
  • Genetics – Those with one or both parents who have hypertension are twice as likely as the general population to develop high blood pressure.
  • Abnormalities in the Arteries – Stiffness or a lack of elasticity in the tiny arteries can develop and cause your blood pressure to spike especially in individuals who are obese and inactive.
  • Your Diet – High sodium consumption is just one cause of high blood pressure related to your diet. Not getting enough potassium, excessive alcohol consumption, eating too much processed foods, frozen foods, boxed food and soda can also lead to high blood pressure.
  • Smoking – Smoking immediately raises your blood pressure temporarily, but even worse is the fact that the chemicals in tobacco can damage the lining of your artery walls. This leads to a narrowing of the arteries and an increase in blood pressure.
  • Lack of Exercise – Regular physical activity, at least 30 to 60 minutes five times a week, can significantly lower your blood pressure. Passing on exercise is a sure way to develop high blood pressure.
  • Stress – Anxiety and stress can temporarily increase your blood pressure. Learn to cope with stress in a healthy way and you’ll avoid the spike in blood pressure it can cause.

A recent study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology indicates belly fat can increase your blood pressure because of the way it affects the kidneys.

Dr. Aslan Turner, an interventional cardiologist at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, followed 900 individuals for seven years. Using abdominal magnetic resonance imaging to assess abdominal fat at the start of the study.

The individuals with high levels of abdominal fat were at higher risk for developing high blood pressure. Fat particularly around the kidneys leads to higher blood pressure. The abdominal fat also increases the risk for high cholesterol and diabetes, which can increase the risk of heart attack and stroke, according to the American Heart Association

Here’s a extremely informative video about high blood pressure

What Can You Do to Prevent High Blood Pressure?

Blood pressure generally rises with age unless you take preventative action.

Experts recommend you avoid smoking, get regular exercise and eat a healthy diet to prevent high blood pressure. The American Heart Association recommends the following to prevent or treat high blood pressure and heart disease:

– Eat a variety of nutritious foods from all the food groups, especially whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and low fat dairy products

– Eat at least 2 servings of fish per week, particularly fish high in Omega-3 fats, sucha as salmon, trout and herring

– Limit sodium intake to 1,500 mg or less per day

– Limit alcohol intake to 2 drinks per day for men and 1 drink per day for women

– Reduce consumption of beverages and foods with added sugar

– Burn as many calories as you take in each day. Get at least 30 minutes of exercise most days, or at least three 10-minute exercise periods during the day

You’ll also find dozens of studies showing the benefits of the amino acids L-arginine and L-citrulline. These key amino acids help increase nitric oxide within the body. Nitric Oxide is powerful molecule directly associated with blood pressure. Nitric Oxide helps expand and strengthens the blood vessels to improve your overall blood pressure and improve cardiovascular health.

Taking L-arginine Plus can help significantly reduce your risk for high blood pressure.

Resources:

http://blog.heart.org/study-belly-fat-may-lead-to-high-blood-pressure-by-affecting-kidneys/

http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/hbp/causes.html

http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/

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Symptoms of High Blood Pressure

Blood pressure symptoms and your heart

What’s interesting about high blood pressure not a lot of people realize is that it’s primarily a symptomless condition.

Misconceptions about those who have high blood pressure, or HBP or hypertension, often leave people waiting for something such as nervousness, sweating, difficulty sleeping or headaches to alert them before they address the problem. Unfortunately, there are rarely alerts to the problem.

And that’s why it’s vital for everyone to know his or her blood pressure numbers and work toward preventing high blood pressure from developing.

RELATED: Concerned about your high blood pressure, take action by taking L-arginine Plus – Read more about it here

The truth is your body may be struggling right now and you wouldn’t even know it because you’ve never experience any symptoms of high blood pressure.

How can you know if you have High Blood Pressure?

Generally, your healthcare provider can help you understand your blood pressure. They’ll often track your blood pressure over time.

The American Heart Association recommends blood screenings during your regular healthcare visits or once every two years to help you discover any concerns before they become real health problems.

If your blood pressure numbers are higher than normal, you may be encouraged to monitor your blood pressure at home over a certain period of time before you’re officially diagnosed with high blood pressure. A high reading once does not indicate you have high blood pressure, however anyone can take action to ensure their levels stay healthy.

What You Should Know about Blood Pressure Symptoms

All too many of us attempt to self-diagnose just about any time something seems wrong. In a way, it can help. But when it comes to blood pressure, waiting for symptoms before getting help can really lead to major, more serious health problems.

What you should know about symptoms of high blood pressure is that no matter how you’re feeling, you should get your blood pressure checked regularly.

It’s also important to know you should be taking steps to prevent problems even if your results come back showing healthy blood pressure levels.

What is a Healthy Blood Pressure?

As you probably know, blood pressure is recorded as two numbers with the Systolic number on top and the diastolic number on the bottom.

Your systolic number measures the pressure of the blood in the arteries when the heart beats or in other words when the heart muscle contracts.

The diastolic number measures the pressure in the arteries between heartbeats when the heart muscle is resting and refilling with blood.

You can find the American Heart Association recommendations as to what a healthy blood pressure is on the chart below.

Symptoms of High Blood Pressure

Of course, your doctor can help you understand you blood pressure better based on your age and based on your individual circumstances.

For your health, be sure to get your blood pressure checked regularly. Also take preventative action no matter how healthy you feel today.

Exercising and eating a balanced diet can help prevent and even reduce high blood pressure. Taking L-arginine in L-arginine Plus can also help.

Resources:

http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HighBloodPressure/AboutHighBloodPressure/Understanding-Blood-Pressure-Readings_UCM_301764_Article.jsp

http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HighBloodPressure/SymptomsDiagnosisMonitoringofHighBloodPressure/What-are-the-Symptoms-of-High-Blood-Pressure_UCM_301871_Article.jsp

Posted in Health, High Blood Pressure, L-Arginine, Nitric Oxide | Comments closed

How to Keep Your Heart Healthy – 88 Ways to Protect Your Heart

How to Keep Your Heart Healthy

Most people suffering with symptoms of heart disease may not even realize their heart is suffering until it’s too late.

That’s why it’s important to take steps to protect your heart no matter your age or gender.

Here are 88 ways you can start down the road to protecting your heart and preventing heart disease.

1. Eat a steak – Eating lean beef helps your heart by providing the body heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, immunity-boosting selenium and homocysteine-lowering B vitamins.
2. Catch a scary movie – Horror movies – and anything else that causes your heart to race – help to strengthen your heart according to researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Kicking up your heart rate with a movie every so often can be like hitting a reset button for your heart and help it keeping beating.
3. Avoid running outside during hazy days – Research has shown air pollution can limit oxygen supply in the blood and make it more likely to clot.
4. Keep away from smokers – Taking in secondhand smoke just 30 minutes three times a week puts you at a 26 percent greater chance of developing heart disease so avoid it.
5. Take L-arginine – The amino acid L-arginine is converted to nitric oxide within the body. Nitric oxide helps the blood vessels expand and improved blood flow. Taking an L-arginine supplement like L-arginine Plus can help reduce blood pressure and bad cholesterol levels.
6. Take a swim – Researchers have found men who burn even just 50 calories a day participating in strenuous exercise are 62 percent less likely to die of heart disease compared to men who participate in less strenuous activities like walking or golfing.
7. Get your monounsaturated fat – Foods like macadamia nuts, high in monounsaturated fat, have been shown to help lower bad cholesterol levels.
8. Get on your bike – Men suffering from depression are more than twice as likely to develop heart disease than men who aren’t depressed. Exercise, including riding a bike, naturally helps relieve depression.
9. Take time to think – Daily meditation has been shown to help reduce anxiety and depression by more than 25 percent. How does that relate to heart disease? Those suffering with coronary artery disease with the most mental stress were three times more likely to die than those with less stress in their lives according to a University of Florida study.
10. Punch to prevent – According to a Harvard Study; men who internalize anger are twice as likely to develop heart disease. Find healthy ways to express your anger like punching a punching a punching bag.
11. Aspirin can help – University of North Carolina researchers found consuming aspirin regularly cut the risk of coronary heart disease by 28 percent. Taking a low dose before bed has shown to be most effective at preventing heart disease for those at a heightened risk (genetics, poor diet, lack of exercise, smokers).
12. Consumer some cranberry – Cranberry juice isn’t only for your urinary tract. Drinking three 8-ounce glasses a day for a month helped individuals increase good cholesterol by 10 percent in a University of Scranton study.
13. Eat in the morning – A Harvard study conducted on 3,900 individuals found eating breakfast every day helped lower the subjects risk of being overweight by 41 percent and reduced the risk of insulin sensitivity developing by 41 percent, both high risk factors for heart disease.
14. Folic acid helps – A study published in the British Medical Journal found individuals who consumed the recommended amount of folic acid each day had a 16 percent lower risk of heart disease compared to those who lacked the recommended amount of this B vitamin.
15. Get extra steps – A study at the University of Tennessee found individuals who walked an extra 4,000 to 5,000 steps each day lowered their blood pressure by 11 points.
16. Leafy greens and eggs – Both foods are good sources of lutein. Lutein is a phytochemical that helps carry antioxidants to your cells and tissue to support your heart health.
17. Cereal – You’ve seen the advertisements for a certain cereal promising to lower cholesterol and they’re true. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found two servings of whole-grain cereal a day can lower your risk of dying from cardiovascular disease by 20 percent.
18. Flavonoids – You’ll know if you’re deficient in flavonoids if you bruise easily, get nose bleeds often and get unusual swelling after suffering an injury. Eat more fruits and vegetable to get more flavonoids. You can also eat red beans or black beans to increase the flavonoids your body is getting.
19. Measure your blood pressure after a workout – Your blood pressure will be higher but you’ll get a better indication of your overall health.
20. Decaffeinate your Diet – Caffeine can increase blood pressure by close to 4 points and speed up your heart rate by an average of 2 beats per minute.
21. Make friends or join a group – The group you join or friends you make is as important as you just joining a group or making new friends. Studies show those who are lonely have more difficulty dealing with stress and are at a higher risk of heart disease than people with a bigger social circle.
22. Go for cocoa – Cocoa helps thin the blood and contains flavonoids and the fat in chocolate is the monounsaturated fat kind that’s good for your heart. But not any chocolate works, choose dark chocolate if you want it to help your heart.
23. Eat less salt – Plain and simple, salt increases your blood pressure because of the sodium so eat less sodium by reducing how much salt you put on your food while limiting your consumption of processed and packaged foods.
24. Touch more – Research from the University of North Carolina found 10 minutes of skin-to-skin contact helps to prevent your blood pressure and pulse from spiking during stress.
25. Eat more tomatoes – Lycopene in tomatoes helps prevent cholesterol from building up.
26. Get your B vitamins – A Cleveland Clinic study found men who got lower levels of B vitamins were more than twice as likely to develop heart disease as men with higher levels of B vitamins in their diet.
27. Take time for tuna – The Omega-3 fat in tuna help strengthen your heart while helping to lower blood pressure and prevent clotting. Omega-3 also helps reduce inflammation and it’s high in protein.
28. Add ground flaxseed – Don’t like all the fishiness that comes with eating fish; add ground flaxseed to your diet to get your Omega-3 fix.
29. Lose weight – This one’s obvious but should always be discussed if you’re overweight and need help to protect your heart. Losing just 5 to 10 percent of your body weight can reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease by as much as 40 percent.
30. Give rowing a chance – When compared to running, rowing wins. Rowing forces the body to use more muscle and makes the heart pump more blood through the body for improved cardiovascular protection.
31. Get your flu shot – A study in the New England Journal of Medicine reported people who got their flu shot were 19 percent less likely to be hospitalized for heart disease than people who skipped the flu shot.
32. Drink more – Drinking five or more 8-ounce glasses of water a day has been shown to lower your risk of heart disease by up to 60 percent.
33. Eat grapefruit – Eating a grapefruit a day can reduce your arterial narrowing by as much as 46 percent, lower your bad cholesterol by 10 percent and drop your blood pressure by more than 5 points.
34. Go for garlic – Garlic is famous for helping boost the immune system and for lowering bad cholesterol, but it’s also been shown to help limit damage to the heart if you do suffer a heart attack or have to go through heart surgery.
35. Scramble an Egg – Eggs are a good source of betaine, a compound that helps lower homocysteine levels in the blood by as much as 75 percent.
36. Take chromium – Men with low levels of chromium are significantly more likely to develop heart problems according to research from Harvard. You actually need between 200 and 400 micrograms per day. Which is more than you can get from your typical daily diet. Look for a supplement with chromium picolinate.
37. Do more crunches – An interesting study conducted on 8,000 Canadians found those who could do the most sit ups in a minute were also the least likely to die from cardiovascular disease over a period of 13 years. Why? Stronger abdominal muscles mean less belly fat and a lower risk for heart disease.
38. Skip the double dip – Don’t double dip your pain medications. Heart patients taking aspirin with ibuprofen had almost 75 percent greater risk of premature death than those taking aspirin alone.
39. Pair up – Getting married has been shown to help reduce your risk for heart disease. Researchers found happily married men had happier hearts with lower blood pressure compared to single men in the same study.
40. Eat more beans – Beans are packed with folate to help lower homocysteine and soluble fiber to lower bad cholesterol levels.
41. Ginger and turmeric – These two spices are natural inflammatories, which means they’re good for your heart.
42. Wash your hands – German researchers followed 570 people for an average of 3 years and discovered those who washed their hands needed fewer antibodies (to fight off infection). Those with fewer antibodies also had less clogging in the arteries in their hearts, necks and legs.
43. Poetry – Reading poetry has been found as a way to lower your risk for heart disease as it lowers stress levels. A study in Switzerland found men who recited poetry for half an hour a day lowered their heart rate significantly.
44. Choose honey over sugar – At the University of Illinois, researches found the powerful antioxidants in honey help fight cardiovascular disease while sugar has been shown to lower good cholesterol levels and increase your risk for heart disease.
45. Smile more – Harvard researchers studied 1,300 men for a decade. At the conclusion of the study, the men with the most positive attitudes at the start of the study were half as likely to experience heart problems compared to the men with negative attitudes.
46. Finish your degree – Researchers in California found women with a 4-year or advanced degree had a lower risk of heart disease compared to those with less education. The benefit comes as a result of earning more money.
47. Play hard – Even if for just 5 to 10 minutes, any vigorous activity helps reduce your risk of heart disease.
48. Don’t hold it – Did you know the stress of having a full bladder has been shown to increase your heart rate by 9 beats a minute while it also constricts blood flow by 19 percent.
49. Rotisserize – The rotisserie is a great way to cook food without producing glycation end products that can reduce cell elasticity and increase your heart disease risk. The lower heat cooked over a longer period of time helps prevent the end products from developing.
50. Get a dog – The ups and downs from love to frustration that comes with having a dog makes your heart more adaptable to different situations.
51. Bundle up – Staying warm when the weather takes a dramatic dip can help you reduce your heart attack risk. A study in France found when the temperature drops by more than 18 degrees Fahrenheit from one day to the next, there’s a 13 percent greater risk for a heart attack.
52. Eat more often – A study published in the British Medical Journal found people who eat six or more smaller meals a day can lower cholesterol by 5 percent compared to those eating just one or two large meals a day.
53. Lift – You can reduce your risk for heart disease by 23 percent if you just lift weights at least 30 minutes a week, according to Harvard researchers.
54. Brush and rinse – By brushing your teeth and using a bacteria-killing mouth rinse, you can decrease your risk for a heart attack by 200 to 300 percent because you’re killing the oral bacteria.
55. Eat more nuts – You can reduce your risk of heart disease by 30 percent simply by replacing your chips with an ounce of nuts according to Harvard researchers.
56. Get enough sleep – Getting 5 or fewer hours of sleep a night has been shown to increase your risk of heart disease by nearly 40 percent when compared getting 8 hours of sleep a night, according to a 10-year study of 70,000 women. People who are exhausted have higher levels of the blood clotting protein fibrinogen, which can dramatically reduce blood flow to the heart and brain.
57. Just say no to French fries – Exercise and nutritional habits of 80,000 women were recorded over a 14-year period, and the study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found the most important factor that correlated to heart disease was the woman’s intake of trans fatty acids that lower HDL cholesterol and increase LDL cholesterol. And French fries seem to be one of the worst ways to add trans fat to our diet.
58. Take a Day Off – By missing a few days of work, you reduce your stress levels and shrink your risk for heart disease and stroke by 30 percent, according to a study conducted at State University in New York.
59. Have more sex – University of Bristol researchers found men who have sex at least twice a week are less likely to have a stroke than men who have sex less often and more sex can help cut down your risk for heart disease by as much as 33 percent.
60. Get your oats – Have high cholesterol? Eat more oats. A study conducted at the University of Connecticut found men with high cholesterol were able to reduce LDL cholesterol levels by more than 20 percent by eating oat-bran cookies daily for 8 weeks.
61. Get those wisdom teeth removed – Bacteria can collect around wisdom teeth and increase your risk for infections including periodontal disease, which has been linked to heart disease.
62. Eat more olive oil – Olive oil, rich in monounsaturated fats, eaten daily can reduce the risk of a fatal first heart attack by 82 percent.
63. Get your blood pressure under 120/80 – If you have high blood pressure, just cutting it down by 20 points off the top number and 10 points off the bottom number can cut your risk for heart disease in half.
64. Bananas can help – Foods loaded with potassium, like bananas, sweet potatoes or spinach, help keep your heart rate low.
65. Fiber up your appetizers – Taking a fiber supplement 15 minutes before meals slows digestion or highly processed starches and sweets to prevent such high spikes in blood sugar.
66. Reduce your BMI – Having a body-mass index of more than 25 can increase your heart disease risk by as much as 26 percent.
67. Get to know your arteries – You can get a more accurate indication of your individual risk for heart disease by getting your cholesterol levels checked and through blood testing.
68. Sleep soundly – Avoid loud noises while you sleep if you want to lower your risk for heart disease. Just 55 decibels during your night’s sleep can increase your blood pressure when compared to sleeping during 50 decibels of sound according to a German study.
69. Climb a mountain (or stair climber) – Researchers at Yale found men with insulin resistance who exercised on a stair climber or went hiking for 45 minutes 4 days a week improved their sensitivity to insulin by 43 percent in just 6 weeks.
70. Reach for an apple – Eating apples regularly can help reduce your risk for developing heart disease by as much as 20 much percent compared to men who eat apples less often.
71. Eat more fish – The American Heart Association recommends eating fish twice a week. If you don’t like fish, try fish oil supplements instead to get the benefits that come with eating fish.
72. Push your workouts – Take your workouts to the next level and reduce your risk for heart disease by 28 percent according to Harvard Researchers.
73. Change your spread – Butter is just not better for your heart. Try a trans fat-free margarine spread instead to lower LDL cholesterol levels.
74. Choose whole wheat bread – The cholesterol-lowering fiber and nutrients in whole-wheat bread help keep your blood flowing.
75. Concord grapes – Compounds in Concord grapes help slow LDL cholesterol from forming while helping to lower blood pressure.
76. Roll up the windows – Pollutants make it harder for your heart to adjust to different types of activity.
77. Fresh grapes are great – A study at the University of Connecticut found fresh grapes help clean the arteries and lower cholesterol levels to protect against heart disease.
78. Avoid the yo-yo diets – When your weight fluctuates to frequently it puts stress on your heart and reduces blood flow. Once you lose weight, do what you can to keep it off for good.
79. Make some work friends – A St. Johns University study found men with the most friends at work had the lowest heart rates and healthiest blood pressure levels.
80. Eat more berries – Strawberries, raspberries and blueberries all come loaded with salicylic acid, so you can get the same benefit from berries you would from aspirin.
81. Listen to music in the morning – Your blood pressure surges in the morning but listening to music can help reduce it.
82. Jump on the bandwagon – Heart-attack rates fall when the team you’re rooting for wins. That euphoria of a win and stress reliever of leisure activities gives you a good combination for reducing your risk of heart disease.
83. Stop snoring – Sleep apnea can cause high blood pressure, so if you’re snoring excessively, find out how your doctor can help.
84. Get more calcium – Vitamin C helps to lower blood pressure while research indicates increased Vitamin C plays a role in preventing heart disease.
85. More magnesium makes for a healthier heart – Magnesium deficiencies have been linked to most of the risk factors for heart disease including high blood pressure, elevated bad cholesterol and increased plaque buildup in the arteries.
86. Try getting acupuncture – Yes; acupuncture helps your heart by triggering endorphins that help the heart relax and help fight off stress.
87. Choose sesame seed oil – Men who replaced their vegetable and corn oil with sesame oil lowered their blood pressure by more than 30 points in 60 days, without making any other changes in their diets.
88. Get a rub down – Massage helps in multiple ways. Getting a massage relieves stress and reduces inflammation according to research from the University of Miami.

http://www.menshealth.com/mhlists/heart-health-tips/

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12 Heart Disease Facts to Help Save Your Heart

Heart Disease Facts

Understanding heart disease can help you protect yourself and your heart.

This serious health condition is often taken lightly and costs hundreds of thousands of people their lives every year even though it can be prevented in so many cases.

  1. Most Common Heart Disease – The most common heart disease is coronary heart disease, a condition related to plaque building up and narrowing the walls of your arteries.
  2. What’s Considered Heart Disease – Heart failure, irregular heartbeat, heart valve problems and heart attack are also all considered heart disease.
  3. Deaths Related to Heart Disease – About 600,000 people die of heart disease every year in the United States, about 1 in every 4 deaths.
  4. Women and Heart Disease – Don’t think it’s a man’s problem only. Heart disease is also the leading cause of death for women in the United States.
  5. Heart Disease Symptoms – You’re at risk for heart disease if any of the following apply to you: high blood pressure, you smoke, excessive drinking, high cholesterol, poor diet, lack of physical activity.
  6. Taking L-Arginine – The amino acid L-arginine can help prevent heart disease. Get 5 to 10 grams of L-arginine a day. Whether you’re taking L-arginine Plus or not, supplementing with L-arginine has been shown in studies to boost Nitric Oxide levels. Nitric oxide improves blood flow and strengthens the blood vessels to help prevent heart disease.
  7. Highest Rated L-arginine Supplement

  8. Genetics and Heart Disease – Your genetics also can be linked to your risk for heart disease. It’s important to take preventative action if heart disease runs in your family.
  9. Warning Signs of Heart Disease – Be aware of the warning signs of heart disease and get help as soon as possible. Warning signs include: shortness of breath, nausea, chest pain, lightheadedness, upper body pains and cold sweats.
  10. Preventing Heart Disease – With all the dangers to your heart, it’s actually easy to protect yourself from heart disease in most cases. Protect your heart by eating healthier and limiting salt, saturated fat and bad cholesterol, quitting cigarettes, getting regular exercise and following your doctor’s instructions.
  11. Lower BP & Reduce Cholesterol – The two best ways to cut down your risk for heart disease, lower your blood pressure and bad cholesterol. Studies show 70 percent of those who suffer a heart attack for the first time have high blood pressure, while high bad cholesterol doubles your risk for heart disease.
  12. Heart Disease Effects Millions – It is estimated 80 million Americans have one or more types of heart disease.
  13. A Death Every 33 Seconds – While you’ve been reading these facts, two, possibly three or four people have died from cardiovascular disease in the United States. Cardiovascular disease takes a life every 33 seconds in the U.S.

Hopefully these alarming facts encourage you to take action when it comes to preventing heart disease. Take a small step today and work toward better health.

You can begin by taking a walk today, or making a healthy diet choice. Whatever you choose to do, begin today toward improving your cardiovascular health and your heart will thank you.

Taking L-arginine Plus has also been able to help people reduce their risk of heart disease. L-arginine Plus has been shown to help lower blood pressure and reduce bad cholesterol levels while increasing energy and even helping people lose weight.

Resources:
http://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/facts.htm

http://www.theheartfoundation.org/heart-disease-facts/heart-disease-statistics/

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