7 Reasons A Heart Healthy Diet Plan Is Awesome

A heart healthy diet plan doesn’t require extreme measures, expensive ingredients or fancy gadgets.

In fact, you’ll find a heart healthy diet plan is actually less expensive than a fancy juice cleanse, and more accessible than a pricey gym membership. Read on, so we can show you how awesome a heart healthy diet plan can actually be.

1) Never Be Hungry Again


A heart healthy diet is more about balance than deprivation. You aren’t supposed to cut out entire food groups unless you have some sort of allergy or intolerance.

Doctors say the best thing you can do for your heart is eat a well-rounded, balanced diet that involves the WHOLE food pyramid. Take note, though.

Portions are key, and the dessert/junk food section of the food pyramid is the smallest for a reason. But following a heart healthy diet plan doesn’t mean you have to starve yourself. In fact, with the fiber, healthy foods you do eat, you should feel fully satisfied.

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2) Eat More Fat!


You read that right. When it comes to olive oil, coconut oil, vegetable oil, Omega-3 fatty acids, avocados, nuts, and other food containing polyunsaturated fats, doctors are encouraging healthy amounts daily, more than most people typically get.

While fats such as butter, animal fat found on pork and red meat, and other dairy fats is very unhealthy and can raise your cholesterol levels and harm your heart, polyunsaturated fats actually help rid your body of bad cholesterol and can help fight artery blockage while offering support for your heart.

3) Learn Something New


Heart healthy habits can open many doors to new experiences. You can learn to cook new foods, discover new favorite meals, and get a little more creative with your meal-planning.

You might also find a heart healthy lifestyle naturally lends itself to an organized lifestyle.

When you begin planning meals and grocery lists, you tend to organize other things in your life as well.

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4) Save Money


Have you ever wondered where all your money goes even after you’ve paid the bills? Consider this: your diet takes a bite out of your bank account almost as big as the bite you just took from that bacon burger.

A taco here, a sugary latte there, or a soda from the gas station, not to mention the medicine your doctor may have you on—they all add up.

When you commit to a heart healthy diet plan, you can also end up saving quite a bit of money. Why?

Because when you cut back on sugar, soda, and caffeine, you’re cutting back on unhealthy habits that take away from your health and your bank account.

On top of this, when you buy fresh, healthy ingredients and begin preparing your own meals, eating out stops being the norm.

Instead of taking away from your health and your wallet, you’re adding to your lifestyle bank account by saving money and working towards a longer, healthier life.

5) The Sweets Become Sweeter


When you are cutting back on sugar—whether it’s cookies, ice cream, or soda—not having it every day can be hard at first.

However, when you DO allow yourself to have a treat, that treat takes on a whole new meaning. Chances are, since you don’t get to have that treat all the time, it becomes much more enjoyable during the times you do partake.

And eating a heart healthy diet doesn’t mean you always have to skip your favorite treat so there will be time for enjoying the foods you love.

6) Wine And Chocolate Become Quite Important


We’re not telling you to go eat your weight in chocolate and guzzle red wine.

However, dark chocolate and red wine have been found to contain powerful antioxidants that help rid the body of damaging free radicals that contribute to deteriorating heart health.

So, enjoy one glass (5 ounces) of red wine and a couple bites of dark chocolate each day. Who knew being heart healthy could be so enjoyable?

7) Feeling Accomplished


There’s something about taking charge that leaves you feeling confident and accomplished.

Knowing your efforts today will result in a healthier and happier body tomorrow is a powerful feeling, and it’s a feeling that you are in complete control of. Taking control of your heart health puts you on the path to a longer, happier life and will make a huge difference in not just your physical health, but your mental health as well.



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10 Ways To Reduce Your Risk Of Heart Disease TODAY

World Heart Day comes every September, and we’re always here to support what we can to help people take better care of their heart.

In this short post we want to show you ways to reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease not tomorrow, not next week, but TODAY!

When we talk about lowering your risk of heart disease, it sounds like an intimidating and time-consuming task that will take years before you see results. And while it takes consistency, there are steps you can take today.

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When it comes to protecting yourself against heart problems, there is no time like the present to change harmful habits, focus on your health, and become more mindful of day-today living.

Here’s a really helpful list of 12 things you can do to start turning your health around today.

1) Decide to Stop Smoking


While actually quitting may take some time, decide to quit and take steps toward that today. Nicotine withdrawal and addiction are what become hard to kick, but making the decision is what gets you started.

This is where doctors and new habits come in. Consider a non-smoking patch, gum, or a new healthy habit that takes the place of smoking.

If you’re having trouble making this decision, here’s something you should know:

Smoking damages the walls of your arteries, creates the perfect environment for artery blockage, and contributes strongly to your risk of heart disease. In fact, about 20 percent of all deaths by heart disease in America, are 100 percent related to tobacco use and cigarette use.

2) Do Some Exercise

Our world is less aerobic than ever, and this doesn’t help the cause to prevent heart disease. Doctors recommend at least 20 minutes of moderate physical activity every day to help lower the risk of heart disease.

Studies have shown improvements in physical fitness over six years are linked to lowering the risk of death in general by 15 percent, and the risk of death by heart disease or stroke by 19 percent.

Physical activity begins with committing to more movement throughout your day. If you took a 5-minute walking break every hour throughout your workday, you’ll have done 40 minutes of physical exercise by the time you leave work.

However you choose to break up your daily activity, remember it adds up so do something today.

3) Clean Out The Kitchen


Guess what else you can do today that will automatically improve tomorrow’s health? Go through your kitchen and throw out all of the following:

-frozen meals and processed foods such as boxed mac and cheese, canned soup, lunchables, snack cakes, etc.
-salty snacks like crackers, chips, and lunch meat
-bad fats found in red meat and dairy products
-regular AND diet sodas

And when you’ve kissed all those terrible foods goodbye, you can replace them with:

-whole grains such as brown rice, quinoa, oats, and whole wheat bread
-salmon, chicken , other lean meat
-fresh fruits and veggies, but especially citrus fruits and leafy greens
-olive oil, coconut oil
-low fat dairy products

4) Cut Caffeine

You don’t have to deprive yourself entirely! All we’re saying is if you’re drinking 3-5 cups of coffee a day, you should probably take it down to 1 or 2 cups (or none at all! But, baby steps.)

This is because caffeine is one of the dietary factors that revs your blood pressure up and puts strain and stress on your heart.

5) Skip The Bar

While the occasional beer or glass of red wine is fine, exceeding 2 drinks per day pushes the limits and puts your body at risk for high blood sugar levels and high triglyceride levels that contribute to plaque build-up and artery blockage.

Alcohol is also a contributor to stress, like caffeine. When your body is under the influence of alcohol, it responds like it would respond to mental stress.

6) Manage Your Stress


Speaking of stress . . . it’s a serious issue to consider when it comes to your heart. Stress triggers a physiological reaction involving the stress hormone cortisol, which messes with your insulin and blood sugar levels, and might cause your body to store excess sugar in the form of fat.

Mental stress also puts your heart under stress, as your heart rate rises, your breathing becomes heavier, and your cardiovascular system works harder to get oxygen to the bodily tissues.

Try relieving stress by getting more sleep, staying organized, and by committing an hour a day to unwind and do something you enjoy.

7) Get Ready To DASH


Not the 400 meter. We’re talking about the Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension Diet. If you’re unsure how to change your eating habits for the better, the DASH diet is a great place to start.

It’s designed to help reduce sodium and harmful fats from your nutrition plan, giving you guidelines and standards on how to eat fresh, heart-healthy foods.

8) Know Your Numbers


Learn more about what blood pressure and cholesterol readings mean today! Understanding those numbers and what they mean for your health is key to taking ownership of your heart health.

Education is the first step to change, re-evaluating goals and lifestyles, and empowerment.

Here’s a quick run-through of some important numbers:

• Heart rate→ normal adult heart rate ranges from 60 to 100 beats per minute (BPM). Check your heart rate by taking your pulse at your wrist or the side of your neck, and counting the beats for a total of 1 minute.
• Blood Pressure→ Normal, healthy blood pressure is considered 120/80 mmHg. Anything above this is considered pre-hypertensive or hypertensive! Your blood pressure measurement determines how hard your heart is having to work to pump blood through your arteries. Take your blood pressure with a personal monitor, or with regular doctor’s visits!
• Cholesterol→ Less than 200 mg per dL (deciliter) of blood is the ideal cholesterol level. Bordeline risk is a cholesterol measurement of 200-239 mg/dL, and anything over 240 mg/dl is high risk.

9) See Your Doctor


We know doctor’s visits are not the most enjoyable occasions. However, your doctor is your friend. He or she takes genuine interest and concern when it comes to your health, and is a resource for medical care and advice.

Establishing a good relationship with a doctor you like and feel comfortable with is key to receiving quality healthcare that will help you live a longer, stronger life.

Of course, the other component of good health care is being consistent, showing up for your appointments, and following your doctor’s orders.

10) Consider Supplements

A balance of healthy diet and exercise is key, but ensuring that your body has all the necessary nutrients is also very important!

Nutrients like B vitamins, folic acid, l-arginine, and l-citrulline have been under extensive research, and may help improve your blood pressure and heart health in general.

If you’re considering supplements, talk to your doctor (see #9) about what nutrients you need the most and the best way to get them in your diet.



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The Benefits Of Walking: Just A Stroll To Better Health

We all know the benefits of walking outweigh the benefits of sitting in traffic on our way to work.

However, these days, time constraints and technology make it even more difficult to get out and get moving. But the benefits of walking make it one of the best, and easiest, ways to improve your health.

Benefits of Walking

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According to the surgeon general and the American Heart Association, a healthier heart is simply a matter of standing up and walking towards it!

The best part? It only requires small changes throughout the day to reap big benefits that come with walking.

Doctors say only 22 minutes a day could seriously reduce your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other health complications. If there are so many benefits of walking, why aren’t we doing it more often?

The answer is simple: our world requires less physical effort now than ever before. We have the Internet, e-mail, telephones, and cars to thank for that.

And, while not having to walk miles for groceries or hitch a horse to a cart for travel is great, it’s not so great for our heart health if we don’t find ways to get moving.

We often walk less because we feel shorter on time. We have to be certain places by certain times, we don’t have an extra hour to walk to and from the grocery store or use our bikes instead.

And certain cities haven’t developed safe pedestrian and biking conditions quite yet and that only adds to the difficulty of getting out and walking.

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The Benefits Of Walking:

While walking helps to reduce your risk of heart disease, walking also helps you stabilize and maintain a healthy weight, strengthen your muscles, and burn excess fat.

However, walking also serves as a sort of mental relief, providing an opportunity to break away from and channel stress, improve your mood, and get some fresh air.

Because physical exercise is important for maintaining low body fat and low stress levels, it has a very direct relationship with lowering heart disease and stroke risk. Walking, according to doctors, seems to be the best way to amp up your daily physical activity little by little.

How Do You Start Walking?

What an odd question! We bet you never expected to ask yourself that. But, strangely enough, it’s a legitimate question. How do you start to integrate walking into your every day life?

Small changes: commit to one or two changes everyday. These are things you’ll do differently, such as walking to your coworker’s office for a chat instead of sending an e-mail, or walking around the office building for 10 minutes every day at 1:00.

Consider public transportation: The distance between your front door and your car isn’t huge. But the distance between your front door and the nearest bus or train stop is probably a 5 to 10 minute walk. Five to ten minutes doesn’t seem like a lot, until you consider that doctors are simply asking you to get 22 minutes a day. If you think of it this way, it adds up!

Do errands differently: We all have those small errands. Out of milk, need to run to the ATM, pharmacy, etc. Once again, it’s easy to get in the car and go, but it’s better for you to walk to the corner store and grab that small item.

Get family involved: Your spouse, kids, friends, dog . . . they could all benefit from walking, too! And who knows what kind of quality time you could get just from taking 10 or 15 minutes to walk around the neighborhood with a friend or family member.

If you’re already walking, that’s great. We challenge you to read the following articles and learn more about the benefits of cardiovascular exercise:

How To Strengthen Your Heart: Taking Care Of An Important Muscle
Why Cardio Benefits Your Heart Health



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Sleep Apnea And Blood Pressure: An Unexpected Connection

Who knew there was a link between sleep apnea and high blood pressure? Most people probably have no idea that the way you snooze affects the way your heart functions.

Sleep Apnea and Blood Pressure

Sure, sleep is incredibly important in all aspects of life, but now doctors are saying sleep conditions might have a LOT to do with the health of your heart.

What Is Sleep Apnea?

Your uncle snores, your sister sleep-walks, and your mom has vivid dreams . . . but do you know anyone who stops breathing in their sleep altogether? If so, you probably know someone with sleep apnea.

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute defines sleep apnea as a “common disorder in which you have one or more pauses in breathing while you sleep.”

Sleep apnea is hard to diagnose since it is, of course, a disorder that only occurs during sleep. However, if you have trouble getting deep sleep and do not feel well-rested throughout the day, sleep apnea could be the cause.

Most people come to realize that they have sleep apnea through the observations of roommates or spouses who share a room.

When your breathing cycle during sleep is disrupted, your sleep patterns are also disrupted, and your oxygen levels are affected.

How Does Sleep Apnea Factor Into Blood Pressure?

Think of the job your blood does every second of every day. It carries oxygen and nutrients throughout the body to keep everything running.

Obviously, your oxygen intake depends on your breathing, and if your breathing is irregular or, at time, non-existent due to sleep apnea, your blood oxygen levels can drop.

When your blood oxygen levels are less than stellar, your cardiovascular system has to work harder to deliver the oxygen it DOES have throughout your body.

That additional work increases your blood pressure.

Sleep Apnea and Blood Pressure

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How Do You Treat Sleep Apnea?

Depending the severity of your sleep apnea, your doctor might recommend lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking and losing weight.

However, there are also breathing treatment devices ( such as CPAP devices) that may be used during sleep to help alleviate sleep apnea.

In other case, surgery might also be a possible treatment option.

If you’re unsure of whether you have sleep apnea, stay aware of common symptoms such as:

-tiredness during the day or at work
-difficulty breathing during the day
-partner complaints of snoring at night
-you just don’t feel like you’re sleeping well at night

Talk to your doctor about these common symptoms. If your doctor believes you might have sleep apnea, he or she might investigate your family history then possibly move on to a sleep study such as a polysomnogram to be conducted at a sleep lab.

Read Also:Sugar And Blood Pressure: How Are They Related?

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How to Lower Your Blood Pressure to 120

Guidelines on blood pressure have always indicated a systolic blood pressure level below 120 was considered healthy.

A systolic blood pressure level below that also meant a lower risk of heart disease and other health problems.

How to Lower Your Blood Pressure to 120

But treatment would often only occur if systolic levels rose above 140, the level officially considered as having high blood pressure. But recent study results leave doctors questioning the old standards.

The findings show lower systolic blood pressure reduces the risk for heart attacks, stroke and even death for those with high blood pressure.

“This is notable because there (are) a lot of people out there with blood pressure in the 130s that we might previously have left alone, but if the results of this trial (are) as we think they are, it might be reason to try to get them to 120,” said Dr. John D. Bisognano, professor of medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center and president-elect of the American Society of Hypertension.

Final results from the study will be available in the coming months, but doctors are already changing their recommendations and even their practices.

“it has changed in my practice. Like if I have someone in the low 140s, I no longer say that’s sort of close. … I try to push them down into the mid-130s if they are nondiabetic,” Bisognano said.

Systolic blood pressure was the focus of the study because it serves as a better indicator for risks associated with heart attacks, stroke and other cardiovascular disease.

With new standards expected soon, more people are in need of lowering their blood pressure. So what can you do if your systolic blood pressure is above the 120 mark?

Lose Weight to Help Lower Your Blood Pressure to 120

Losing weight can lower blood pressure significantly. Research has shown an individual can drop their systolic blood pressure by 4.5 points if they lose about 9 pounds. Maintaining that weight loss could even be better, with one study suggesting individuals maintaining 7 pounds of weight loss can lower their systolic blood pressure by 11 points.

While it’s not entirely clear whether diet changes, circulation changes or other factors reduce blood pressure, it does help to lose weight.

Exercise to Help Lower Your Blood Pressure to 120

Exercise is and always will be one of the best ways for anyone to lower their blood pressure. Exercise improves the flexibility of your arteries and improves dilation for improved blood flow.

Both the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association recommend at least 2 1/2 hours of exercise a week of medium intensity exercise.

Reduce Your Salt to Help Lower Your Blood Pressure to 120

Reducing the amount of salt you consume is one of the most important factors related to lowering your blood pressure. The American Heart Association recommends about a third of what most people get a day when it comes to sodium. Aim for consuming 3 to 4 grams of sodium, instead of the typical 9 to 12 grams most people get. Studies have shown dropping from 8 grams to 4 grams a day can reduce systolic blood pressure almost 7 points.

Fruits and Vegetables Can Help to Help Lower Your Blood Pressure to 120

If you’re in need of a diet that’s designed to help lower your blood pressure, the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, or DASH diet, may be what you need. Developed by the National Institutes of Health, the DASH diet is a diet high in fiber from fruits and vegetables.

Eat Chocolate and Limit Your Alcohol Intake to Help Lower Your Blood Pressure to 120

We know two popular ways to enjoy yourself is through chocolate and alcohol. Fortunately, chocolate can help your blood pressure, but drinking isn’t going to. The antioxidants in chocolate help dilate the blood vessels.

Studies show reducing alcohol to a single drink a day for women and less than two for men can cut systolic blood pressure by about 4 points.

Reduce Your Stress to Help Lower Your Blood Pressure to 120

Whether it’s meditation or something else, take the time to relax and lower your stress levels. Meditation has the most studies behind it with some analysis reporting a drop of 5 more points is possible with meditation when compared to other forms of stress relief.

Get Your L-arginine and L-citrulline to Help Lower Your Blood Pressure to 120

Finally, l-arginine and l-citrulline are two key amino acids when it comes to dilating your blood vessels to improve your blood pressure. The combination of these amino acids offer significant benefits when used just once a day and can lead to reduced blood pressure without the side effects of medication.

Learn more about L-arginine Plus and how it can help support your blood pressure levels.

If your blood pressure is above 120, or you haven’t had it checked recently, it’s important to understand your levels and take action to keep it as healthy as possible.


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What Is Good Cholesterol? Hint: You Need More Of It

You might be asking, “What is good cholesterol? Is there such as thing as good cholesterol?”


This time, the news about cholesterol isn’t negative like usual. This time, we’re looking at cholesterol in a very positive light because of its better half, HDL or high-density lipoproteins.

What does a lipoprotein have to do with cholesterol?

Lipoproteins are not the same thing as cholesterol. Rather, they are the little tools that transport cholesterol through the bloodstream.

Think of lipoproteins as the cars cholesterol drives to get around. Now, consider this:

You would agree that a BMW 3 Series is a better car than a 1980 Pinto, right? The BMW will get you where you need to go quickly and efficiently with little risk of breakdowns or unexpected damage.

Read More: Could L-Arginine Plus be the answer to improving you heart’s health? Read what people are saying about L-arginine Plus.

Think of good cholesterol (HDL) as the kind of cholesterol that drives the BMW, and bad cholesterol (LDL) as the kind that drives the Pinto.

The high-density lipoproteins can transport cholesterol quickly and efficiently, with more capability to relocate cholesterol where it needs to go.

HDL transports extra cholesterol to the liver where it can be broken down. Bad cholesterol, since it doesn’t drive as good of a car, tends to build up in arteries, as fat, overwhelm the liver, and become visceral fat around the internal organs.

Good cholesterol is important for maintaining the balance of cholesterol in the body, and ensuring that bad cholesterol doesn’t take over completely.

Because of good cholesterol’s responsibility, it isn’t enough to just eliminate or cut back on cholesterol in your diet. You need to make sure you consume an adequate amount of good cholesterol as well!

Here’s how:

-Include oils such as safflower, olive, and coconut oil in your diet
-Eat fatty fish, such as salmon, because it contains Omega-3’s
-Get your fill of avocados, almonds, and walnuts!

How Much Cholesterol Is Healthy?

If you’ve had a recent cholesterol test (lipid profile) done, your doctor will have explained to you what healthy cholesterol levels look like. However, if you want a better idea of what those levels looks like, know that:

• Men’s and women’s HDL cholesterol should be at least 60 mg (of cholesterol) per deciliter of blood.

If your good cholesterol levels fall below these levels, your body doesn’t have the tools it needs to rid itself of extra cholesterol in the blood.

We know, we know, it’s kind of confusing. You thought that it was a good thing to just have low cholesterol all around, and now we’re telling you “well, it depends”.

Don’t freak out just yet! We have more articles on cholesterol and how you can keep your levels healthy, why it’s important, and more detail on what it is. For more information, see the following posts:

Cholesterol Lowering Foods–9 Foods GUARANTEED to Help Lower Your Cholesterol
6 Ways To Increase Good Cholesterol
Lower Cholesterol Naturally



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Vitamin B Deficiency

Vitamin B deficiency, just like any other vitamin deficiency, can become a problem if you aren’t eating a balanced diet.

Unlike other vitamins, however, B vitamins offer a wide variety of nutritional benefits. A Vitamin B deficiency can leave you feeling tired, weak and lightheaded and even cause nerve problems, vision loss and tingling.


How Do You Know You Have a Vitamin B Deficiency?

There are a vast array of symptoms that can indicate whether or not you have a B vitamin deficiency. If you notice any of the following symptoms, it’s important you visit with your healthcare provider:

• Pale skin
• Constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating
• Nerve problems
• Mental health decline: depression, change in behavior, memory loss
• Shortness of breath
• Heart palpitations
• Fatigue and lightheadedness

What are B Vitamins and Why are they so Important?

We’re glad you asked! There are eight different B vitamins in total — B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, and B12. However, some of them have different names that might ring a bell for you.

How About A helpful List?

We love helpful lists. This one in particular will give you a rundown of the various B vitamins, typical names for those vitamins and what they do.

B1: Also known as Thiamine B1 aids growth and development, as well as the conversion of fat and carbs into useable energy. It also benefits the nervous and digestive system.

B2 and B5: Also known as Riboflavin and Pantothenic acid, respectively, vitamins B2 and B5 are crucial for sustaining life at the cellular level, and contribute to the successful metabolism of carbs, proteins, and fat.

B3: Also known as Niacin, vitamin B3 helps remove toxins from the body, produces sexual and stress hormones made in your adrenal glands, and repairs DNA (only mildly important).

B6: Vitamin B6, or Pyridoxine, helps with immune and nervous system function.

Not Enough: Can lead to depression, anemia, confusion

B7: You may know B7 as Biotin, which is important for fat metabolism, healthy blood sugar levels, and healthy skin and hair.

Not Enough: Poor skin health, brittle hair, inefficient fat metabolism

B9: Often found in pre-natal multi-vitamins, B9 or Folic Acid, helps prevent birth defects and help the body create new and healthy cells.

Not Enough: Risk of birth defects, anemia, and diarrhea

B12: Vitamin B12, or Cobalamin, is needed for making red blood cells, child development, and a healthy nervous system.

Not Enough: Low B12 can lead to anemia

Learn More: Need another great source of B vitamins? L-Arginine Plus is a good source of vitamins B12, B6, and B9!

“But how can I possibly get enough of all those B vitamins?” You might ask. The thing about Vitamins is that deficiency shouldn’t be a worry if you’re eating a balanced diet. Deprivation of certain food groups will never help your when it comes to maintaining healthy vitamin levels.

B vitamins are found in very normal foods that we can eat every day. Here’s (you guessed it) another list:

• Meats
• Leafy greens
• Eggs
• Fish
• Diary products
• Nuts
• Potatoes
• Whole grains
• Beans
• Fruit

Consider the list above. Does it not bear a remarkable resemblance to the food pyramid? It does. This is because your doctor knows what he or she is talking about when they recommend a balanced diet that involves only the healthiest portions of all food groups.

Maintaining a balanced diet will maintain healthy B vitamin levels. However, if you don’t want to commit, B vitamins are always available in supplement form at health and drug stores.

Talk to your doctor about how much and what kind of B vitamins you might need!


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Artery Health: 7 Ways To Improve Your Artery Health

Spanning 60,000 miles, your arteries are a significant part of your body and the health of your arteries is a huge factor for your risk for heart disease, stroke, or other cardiovascular problems.

This is because arteries are the pathways that carry blood to and from your heart, ensuring the transport of oxygen and nutrients throughout the body.

If you want to get in tune with your artery health, try asking yourself the following questions:

1) What Is Your Blood Pressure?

Artery Health

Is your blood pressure normal (120/80 mmHg), high (over 120/80 mmHg), or a little on the low side?

If you don’t know your blood pressure, it’s time to visit your doctor to have it checked. Regular blood pressure readings will help you take better care of your arteries.

Learn More: Find Out How L-arginine Plus can help with your blood pressure

Your answer will tell you a lot about the condition of your blood vessels. High blood pressure is usually an indication of too much sodium in your diet, artery blockage, or another underlying health issue.

For other great blood pressure tips, read:

Lower Blood Pressure: Aggressively Revising The Standards
How To Lower Blood Pressure Fast
What Is Hypertension?

2) Is Your Diet Clean?


Examine what you’re eating on a daily basis. If your diet consists of whole grains, lean protein, fruits, and veggies, you’re doing great! Not to mention the occasional glass of red wine, and a bit of dark chocolate. However, if your diet is high in sugar, sodium, and bad fats, you’re likely setting your arteries up for eventual failure.

If you’re ready to clean up your diet for the sake of your arteries, and your heart health, check out these tips:

Effects Of Sodium: How Bad Cam It Be?
How To Eat Less Sugar: Sweet Is Good, Healthy Is Better
What NOT To Eat With High Blood Pressure

3) Are You Being Picky About Your Fat?


As we discuss a lot on our blog, there is a light and dark side to everything. A diet full of good fats, such as polyunsaturated fats and Omega-3s, is going to lead you to victory when it comes to healthy cholesterol levels and keeping clogged arteries at bay.

However, if you’re getting too much saturated and trans fat from packaged and processed foods, fast food, or desserts, then it’s time to rethink things.

To learn more about fat and the role it plays in heart health, read:

Saturated Fat And Heart Disease: The Facts
Cholesterol Lowering Foods: 9 Foods Guaranteed To Help Lower Your Cholesterol
How To Increase Good Cholesterol

4) Are You Moving Around?


One hour of physical activity. That’s all we (and your doctors) are asking of you! One hour a day of moving around, getting that heart rate up, and your blood pumping.

Physical activity is so important to heart health because it helps eliminate excess fat in the blood and around your organs, and it strengthens your heart to be even better at it’s crucial job.

Learn more about getting active for your heart! May we suggest:

Low Impact Cardio: Exercise Without Injury
How To Strengthen Your Heart: Taking Care Of An Important Muscle
Why Cardio Benefits Heart Health

5) How Do Your Feet Feel?


Seriously. How are your feet today? Do they feel a little numb, tingly? Are your legs cramping at all?

If so, this might be a sign of Peripheral Artery Disease. PAD occurs when the arteries that lead to your extremities (legs, arms, hands, feet) are blocked by plaque or artery hardening (atherosclerosis). Next time you go to the doctor for a physical, he might check for a pulse in your feet, which will be indicative of artery health.

To learn more about PAD and other types of heart disease, check out:

7 Types Of Heart Disease You Should Know About

6) How’s The Family?


We don’t mean to be nosy. We only ask because knowing your family medical history could really help you understand your own medical predispositions! If you got to the doctor because of chest pain, it’s helpful (for you AND your doctor) to know that your father has high blood pressure and has already suffered a heart attack.

Family medical history and genes are helpful tools for medical professionals when it comes to diagnosing and treating cardiovascular issues, and understanding your particular case.

Our best advice? Talk to your family. Let them know that you have an important doctor’s appointment coming up, and you need to know everything you can about past medical problems, hospitalizations, or chronic health problems in your parents and grandparents!

7) Are You Paying Attention?


Are you in tune with your body and its needs? Are there telltale signs that something might be wrong? Do you know what your symptoms mean?

Understanding warning signs and symptoms can help you take action with your artery health.

Try Reading:

Symptoms Of Blocked Arteries: What Are Your Risk Factors?
Clogged Arteries
Poor Circulation: It’s More Serious Than Your Think
Signs Of Heart Disease

As always, don’t forget to learn more about L-Arginine Plus, and how nitric oxide could benefit your artery health!

Posted in Cardio, Cholesterol, Fitness, Health, High Blood Pressure, L-Arginine, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Low Vitamin D: Are You Getting Your Sunshine?


Low vitamin D is a shockingly big problem worldwide. “That’s odd”, you might say, since unlike so many other vitamins, our bodies are capable of producing Vitamin D on their own.

Another quality that makes vitamin D a little different is your body’s ability to turn vitamin D into a hormone called calcitrol.

Calcitrol then helps your body manage calcium levels all over, which makes vitamin D crucial to bone health. Vitamin D is also important for immune system health and for the absorption of other nutrients into your body.

While many foods offer vitamin D, they often don’t offer enough to get a sufficient amount of it in our diets. Therefore, most of our vitamin D has to come in supplement form or through exposure to sunlight.

What’s The Damage?

According to Scientific American, about seventy-five percent of Americans are vitamin D deficient.

Studies conducted by the CDC also indicate that your risk for vitamin D deficiency depends a lot on ethnicity or even skin tone.

Why The Damage?

There are quite a few causes of vitamin D deficiency, and the biggest one might be sunlight deficiency!

While too much sunlight does damage your skin and put you at risk for skin cancer, not enough sunlight can cause you to be vitamin D deficient.

Also, while dietary sources aren’t good enough sources of vitamin D, they still contribute something! Eating a vegan diet or being allergic to dairy products can also eliminate another source of vitamin D.

Are you taking your vitamins? If so, does your daily vitamin contain the recommended daily dose of vitamin D? You might want to check on that, and talk to your doctor about reliable vitamin D supplements.

The Recommended Dose:

For adults aged 1-70, doctors recommend 600 IU (international units) of vitamin D every day. If you’re older than 70, bump that number up to 800 IU.

What To Do:

If you’re vitamin D deficient, a great way to literally soak up more vitamin D is by getting outside more!

Obviously, you also want to take care of your skin and protect it against sun damage, so don’t go without sunscreen for too long! However, if you don’t have the time or lifestyle that allows you to soak up the sun, start taking a vitamin D supplement, which can be found at most pharmacies.

How Does Vitamin D Affect Your Heart Health?

Vitamin D does a lot of things to regulate possible risk factors for heart disease, from regulating kidney blood pressure, to controlling blood glucose levels in the pancreas.

According to Johns Hopkins, studies may show that low vitamin D levels can serve as a risk factor for heart disease, strokes, heart failure, and a number of other complications.

Didi you know that one serving of L-Arginine Plus contains 2,500 IU of Vitamin D3? Learn more here.



Posted in Cardio, Health, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Lower Blood Pressure: Study Results Call for Aggressively Revising The Standards

After a recent study cut short, doctors and health care professionals around the country are encouraging individuals take their blood pressure levels more seriously.

The New York Times recently reported on a blood pressure study cut short.

How Low Should Your Blood Pressure Go

Though the study was supposed to end in 2017, major answers about how low blood pressure should go were presented early on in the study.

How low, indeed?

For years the standard for how low patients with high blood pressure has been questioned. We’ve come to know the standard for healthy blood pressure as anything at or below 140/100.

But questions about how far and how aggressively patients should lower their blood pressure have gone unanswered.

Doctors determined to answer the question, believing that lowering blood pressure more aggressively could be a good plan for lowering the risk of heart disease, heart attack and stroke among Americans, set up this study to discover how important it is to aggressively lower blood pressure. Heart disease is, after all, the number one killer in the U.S.

READ MORE Find Out about How L-arginine Plus Can Support Healthy Blood Pressure

The study itself assigned “goal blood pressure” to a group of 9,300 men and women. Participants in this group were age 50 or older, and had a high health risk for heart disease.

These men and women were assigned a blood pressure goal of either 120 systolic, lower than any guideline ever suggested before, or 140 systolic.

Systolic blood pressure indicates the top number of blood pressure, the number that represents the pressure against artery walls when the heart contracts.

Over the course of the study, these individuals were asked to lower their blood pressure to the number they were given.

As the study progressed, their risk for heart disease, kidney disease, and stroke were monitored.

There are lingering concerns regarding studies that aim to raise the standards for healthy blood pressure by lowering the number considered “healthy”.

For instance, the question of the elderly who might actually need to maintain a higher blood pressure due to aging, and the need for more blood to the kidneys and the brain.

However, the results were so conclusive and positive the study ended early, as doctors found that lowering the systolic blood pressure standard to 120 could be life-saving in the fight against heart disease in America.

“This study provides potentially lifesaving information,” Dr. Gary H. Gibbons, director of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, said in a statement announcing the decision to end the study early.

You heard that right. While the importance of lowering blood pressure has always been high, doctors are now calling for even more aggressive pursuit of lowering blood pressure and treating the problem that is heart disease in America.

“This study will shake things up,” predicted Dr. J. F Michael Gaziano, a professor of medicine at Harvard who was not involved with the study.

“It is outstanding news,” said Dr. Mark Creager, president of the American Heart Association and director of the Heart and Vascular Center at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, who was not involved in the study. “It will serve as a road map and will save a significant amount of lives.”

This means a healthy diet, regular exercise, and even l-arginine supplements could become more important now than ever.

From the DASH diet to cardio exercise, there are many options for lowering your blood pressure, options that go beyond just medication.

Don’t forget that in addition to healthy diet and exercise, L-Arginine Plus can help increase your nitric oxide production and improve blood flow.

While additional medications may be given to patients with high blood pressure, side effect have the potential to wipe out any benefits. Options like L-arginine Plus naturally and safely support healthy blood pressure levels.

Related: Read more about tips to lower your blood pressure, and steps you can take for your heart health.


Posted in Cardio, Fitness, High Blood Pressure, L-Arginine, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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