Why chocolate hearts aren't the only heart you should be focused on this February

 Ah, Valentine’s Day is almost here and I’m not sure if you noticed, but the decorative themes quickly shifted from Christmas trees and Santa, to candy hearts and Cupid. From heart-shaped pizzas to our favorite candy bars being available in special edition Valentine’s Day packaging… hearts are everywhere! So let’s use the ever present imagery as a reminder, that in addition to Valentine’s Day, this month also happens to be American Heart Health Month - fitting, right? 

Taking action to improve your heart health may not be as fun as eating a heart-shaped Reese’s Cup, but who said taking care of yourself was always supposed to be fun? Plus, I’m pretty sure that your future-self will be thanking you for the actions you take today in regards to your heart health.

Okay, so first let's start with some pretty staggering facts and numbers:

  • Heart disease continues to be one of the leading causes of death in The United States (this month is actually the first month that Heart disease came in at number two, only right behind COVID-19)
  • There are more than 600,000 deaths per year due to heart disease. 

Yikes, didn’t mean to scare you with that information but these facts are so important if we want to help prevent becoming another statistic. But there is good news, if we start taking small steps now to maintain a healthy heart, it can make a huuuuge difference later on in life. 

So what can you do about it?

  • This may not be the answer you were hoping for but maintaining a healthy weight and exercising regularly are two great ways to start. Remember that objects in motion, stay in motion! 
  • Another easier-said-than-done tip is to reduce the amount of stress in your life. Techniques on reducing stress vary from person to person, but meditation, yoga and exercise have all been linked to stress reduction. 
  • Making changes to your diet may also help with future complications; focus on eating a well-balanced diet full of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein.
  • Reduce your intake of processed and fried foods. I know, I know…we all love this stuff but moderation is key. These foods can be high in unhealthy fats and sodium. 
  • Switch your focus to foods that can help with cholesterol and blood pressure. Eat foods that are low in saturated and trans fats but high in fiber. 
  • Add a serving or two of collagen hydrolysate or collagen peptides to a smoothie or a drink.


Let’s talk Collagen and how it can help your heart health:

How can collagen be a part of your healthy heart routine? Two scoops a day to start! Collagen has so many restorative properties and it plays an important role in your overall health, so it’s no surprise that Collagen Hydrolysate can be beneficial to your heart health when taken regularly. 

  • Collagen fibers keep blood vessels strong and help to repair those that may be weak and damaged (1).
  • Collagen gives our arteries elasticity, allowing them to continually expand and contract, helping to maintain blood pressure and circulation.
  • The amino acids lysine and proline all play a role in heart health.
  • Lysine may aid in reducing triglyceride levels in the blood (3) as well as it may help to synthesize carnitine which helps to prevent many health issues that involve the heart and circulatory system (2).
  • Proline is essential for preserving, sustaining and strengthening the heart muscle (2,3).  Proline helps arteries to stretch out and go back to their normal size and shape, which is important to maintain proper blood pressure and transportation of blood throughout the body (2,3,4).  Supplementing with collagen may help to keep your vascular system strong and healthy.

We “Heart” a healthy heart, and you should too

Let’s not wait until it's too late to focus on our heart health. Your journey to a healthier heart can start with something as simple as going for a walk today or even getting a good night’s sleep. Making lifestyle changes can be intimidating and overwhelming, so a way to reduce stress may be to just focus on one or two of these tips, then slowly start incorporating additional changes.

And next year, when you see hearts popping up everywhere preparing for February 14th, use that as a reminder to check in with yourself and your heart health, your future depends on it! 



References:

  1. English, J., Cass H. The Collagen Connection. Nutrition Review Archive.
  2. Eric R. Braverman. The Healing Nutrients Within.  3rd  California:  Basic Health Publications, Inc., 2003.
  3. Gersten Institute for Higher Medicine
  4. aminoacidsguide.com

Disclaimer: The information provided is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical conditions. Nor is it intended to replace the advice or diagnosis of a medical professional. Individual results may vary.

 

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