As the old saying goes, “without our health, we have nothing”. When it comes to taking care of our health, one of the most important things we can do is work towards protecting the heart, as heart disease remains Britain's biggest killer.
Below are some of the most impactful changes we can consider for protecting one of the body’s busiest and most important organs.
Protect yourself from heart disease
Best diet - Mediterranean
The Mediterranean diet is inspired by the healthy dietary habits of people from countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea, such as Italy and Spain. It typically involves a diet high in fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans, grains and healthy fats derived from oily fish and olive oils. It also favours fragrant herbs as opposed to excessive salt. In research, the Mediterranean diet has been consistently linked with good health and lower heart disease.
Best lifestyle advice - Stop smoking
Smoking is considered one of the greatest contributors to heart disease. The chemicals introduced to the body via smoking can damage every part of the circulatory system, including blood cells, blood vessels and the heart itself. If you’re an active smoker, quitting can be one of the most impactful acts for a healthier heart. Consult your GP or pharmacist for focused on advice on how to quit.
Best supplement - Q10
When it comes to protecting the heart from heart disease, perhaps no supplement has built-up the evidence that coenzyme Q10 (Q10) has. CoQ10 is a vitamin-like substance found in the mitochondria of each of our cells. Busy organs such as the heart have more of these mitochondria and require more Q10 as a result.
Although the human body produces Q10, our production starts to decline from as early as age 20 onwards. The result is that we rapidly need more Q10 than can be obtained from either our own production or that found in food. Certain other factors other than age reduce our Q10 production, including the prescribed cholesterol-lowering drugs, statins.
As well as supporting the heart's energy needs, CoQ10 can help prevent the build-up of plaque in the arteries by reducing the oxidation of LDL cholesterol (the 'bad' variety), which would contribute to heart attack and stroke. CoQ10 is also shown to help regulate high blood pressure.
'Q-Symbio' is a prestigious trial conducted on individuals with heart failure. When one group received 300mg of Bio-Quinone Q10 daily, and one group received placebos, staggering results were discovered. Those who took Q10 experienced a 43% decrease in cardiovascular death, decreased hospitalizations and decreased signs of heart-stress.