How to Keep Your Cardiovascular System Working in Tip-Top Condition

How to Keep Your Cardiovascular System Working in Tip-Top Condition

It is important to have a healthy cardiovascular system that is working in tip top condition as this will further reduce your risk of developing heart disease and stroke.

Did you know that in Singapore, average 23 people die from disease (heart diseases and stroke) every day? In 2022, cardiovascular disease accounted for 31.4% of all deaths, which is equivalent to 1 out of every 3 deaths.

Cardiovascular disease is the #1 cause of death worldwide for both men and women as it affects not only the heart, but other major parts of the body too.

What is Heart Disease?

Heart disease is mainly caused by atherosclerosis, a progressive disease defined by the build up of a fatty substance called plaque on the inner walls of the arteries. Arteries are responsible for carrying oxygen-rich blood to your heart and the rest of the body. Substances such as cholesterol, fats, calcium and fibrin (clotting factors in the blood) contribute to plaque deposits, and these will accumulate on the inner lining of the blood vessels.

Due to the constant accumulation of deposits, overtime the plaque hardens and damages the vessel walls. This reduces the amount of oxygen-rich blood flowing through the arteries and increases the risk of blood clots. These factors can cause a heart attack or a stroke. The most common symptom of heart disease is a radiating chest pain, known as angina.

What is Stroke?

A stroke occurs when the brain is damaged due to a disruption of blood supply. The brain needs a constant supply of energy to perform its functions, but when blood flow is disrupted, the brain cells suffer injuries due to the lack of blood and oxygen. When this disruption is prolonged, the brain cells die. These cells are never replaced, resulting in the inability to carry out certain body functions (e.g. walking or talking).

There are two types of strokes—ischemic and hemorrhagic. An ischemic stroke happens when a blood vessel leading to the brain gets blocked, usually from a blood clot. About 10% of ischemic strokes are preceded by transient ischemic attacks (TIAs), which are mini strokes resulting from a temporary interruption of blood supply to the brain. These last for a few minutes and symptoms disappear within 24 hours.

A hemorrhagic stroke occurs when one or more blood vessels within the brain bursts. Blood leaking from the blood vessel compresses other vessels nearby and forms a large clot. Unlike ischaemic stroke, haemorrhagic stroke cuts off blood supply to a larger area of the brain, leading to a greater impairment of body functions. The biggest risk factor for a haemorrhagic stroke is poor control of high blood pressure.

Key Nutrients for Maintaining a Healthy Heart

Nutrients Importance for Heart Health / Function
Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids (EPA & DHA)
  • Must be supplied by our diet as our body is unable make them.
  • May reduce blood clotting in the arteries and protect them from hardening. 
  • May help to lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels and assist in maintaining blood pressure levels.
  • Recommended to consume 1,000 to 2,000mg daily.
Omega-6 Essential Fatty Acids
  • Anti-inflammatory benefits for the heart.
NMN (Nicotinamide mononucleotide)
  • Helps support heart health.
  • Helps increase Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NAD+) levels , an essential component to support cardiovascular and metabolic function.
Coenzyme Q10
  • A vital nutrient for heart health, CoQ10 is concentrated in the heart and brain.
  • Sufficient levels of CoQ10 ensures that a sufficient supply of energy is supplied to the heart to keep it pumping.
  • Recommended to consume 30-100mg of CoQ10 daily.
Hawthorn Berries, Garlic & Cayenne
  • Heart tonics that help keep the heart muscles strong and promotes good blood circulation.
Vitamin K
  • Helps to move calcium to bones and teeth, and away from the arteries.
  • Low Vitamin K levels increases calcification of blood vessels, increasing the risk of high blood pressure.
Olive Leaf
  • Contains antioxidants oleuropein known to provide heart-healthy benefits.
Soluble Fibre
  • Binds with cholesterol in the body and prevents cholesterol from being absorbed.
  • Good sources of soluble fibre includes oats, psyllium, dried beans and peas.

VitaKids Recommends

For Adults:

  • A high potency Multi-Vitamin and Mineral
  • Essential Fatty Acids; Omega 3 (fish oil, krill oil, algae oil)
  • Magnesium
  • CoQ10/Ubiquinol
  • NMN (Nicotinamide mononucleotide)
  • Hawthorn
  • Garlic
  • Cayenne
  • Vitamin D3 & K2
  • Olive Leaf Extract
  • A high potency anti-oxidant complex
  • A good source of Fiber (Psyllium Husk)

Other Heart-Healthy Lifestyle Tips:

  • Eat a well-balanced diet high in wholegrains, fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Do include soluble fiber, plant sterols, fish oil supplements and herbal extracts that can assist in lowering blood cholesterol naturally and supports a healthy heart.
  • Exercise regularly, for at least 30 minutes most days of the week.
  • Avoid smoking and excessive alcohol intake.
  • Reduce stress levels with easy relaxation techniques like yoga and meditation.
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