Healthy blood flow is one of the keys to long-term wellness. It helps transport nutrients and oxygen to organs while removing waste and toxins. Strong circulation also supports healthy immune response and energy levels. Without good blood flow, health can come to a grinding halt.
In addition to a healthy lifestyle that includes regular exercise, there are a number of specific foods, herbs and supplements that can help support proper blood flow and promote long-term cardiovascular health.
One diet that has received particular attention for its cardiovascular benefits is the Mediterranean diet. This specific diet emphasizes an abundance of fresh vegetables, fatty fish, olives, olive oil and other sources of healthy fats such as avocado, legumes, nuts, and whole grains. Importantly, it limits processed foods, unhealthy trans fats, deep-fried foods, and other pro-inflammatory items.
The take on fatty fish
An interesting new study highlights some of the cardiovascular benefits offered by fatty fish. Published in Molecular Nutrition and Food Research, the study shows that eating fatty fish such as salmon and sardines, favorably increases the size and composition of HDL particles, offering potential benefits in protection against cardiovascular disease.
For extra benefits, a variety of herbs and spices including basil, garlic, onion, rosemary, oregano, parsley, all contain a wealth of heart-healthy compounds that support circulation, inflammation response, and antioxidant activity. Add in brightly colored fruits, especially berries, and you have a diet that goes a long way toward providing a broad spectrum of nutrients optimize cardiovascular and overall health.
Citrus fruits, kiwis, strawberries, and cantaloupes are all high in Vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that helps control free radical damage to the walls of the arteries. Citrus fruits also contain flavonoids that can help strengthen your capillaries. Watermelon and cooked tomatoes are rich in lycopene, which discourages the buildup of plaque in the arteries. Colorful fruits and vegetables contain high levels of antioxidants and health-promoting compounds that work to neutralize damaging free radicals in the body, support healthy blood vessels, fight aging and promote overall vitality.
Nuts and seeds
Certain nuts and seeds, such as walnuts, chia seeds and almonds, can help promote cardiovascular health. Pumpkin seeds, in particular, are high in natural vitamin E, which may reduce the thickness of blood and therefore lower the risk of blood clot formation. Vitamin E is also a powerful fat-soluble antioxidant, helping to protect cell membranes from oxidative damage that can promote plaque formation. Walnuts, chia seeds and almonds contain omega-3 fatty acids that support heart health.
You have your Mediterranean diet in place, you are exercising regularly and have some meditative practices in place for keeping your stress levels down and your life in good balance. What else can you do to support healthy aging and cardiovascular function?
A key is to look at published research. In my practice, I recommend several supplements that have extensive published research supporting their benefits for cardiovascular health.
One clinically researched formula is based on an ancient Tibetan herbal blend containing 19 unique botanical ingredients that are rich in active compounds such as tannins, flavonoids, polyphenols and essential oils. These ingredients work synergistically to support immunity, antioxidant activity, circulation and cardiovascular function. Used for centuries in traditional Oriental medical systems, many ingedients in this formula have been the subject of dozens of published clinical studies over the last 30 years. Results show it offers critical circulatory and heart health benefits, as well as support for other areas of health. The formula is sold under a prescription in many parts of Europe due to its clinical efficacy and broad-spectrum benefits.
Modified Citrus Pectin (MCP) is another supplement with over 40 published studies on a specific form of it. MCP — with the correct molecular weight and structure — has a very unique mechanism of action. It is a natural binder of Galectin-3, a molecule that drives chronic inflammation and scar tissue formation in vital organs such as the heart, liver and kidneys, and also promotes cancer growth and metastasis. Galectin-3 is such an important orchestrator of cellular damage that researchers have been intensely studying its effects, with over 8,000 published articles. What’s clear from this research is the importance of keeping Galectin-3’s activity at low levels, and MCP is the only available agent shown to do this. MCP is demonstrated to be an important addition to a healthy diet and lifestyle for promoting heart and cardiovascular health.
Since the cardiovascular network is literally our life support, we need a multi-pronged approach to maintain a healthy system. An anti-inflammatory diet, regular exercise balanced with sufficient rest and relaxation, and research-based supplements, all work together to form a comprehensive foundation for cardiovascular and long-term health.
Editor’s note: Have you heard of EDTA chelation therapy? It was developed originally to remove lead and other contaminants, including heavy metals, from the body. Its uses now run the gamut from varicose veins to circulation. Click here to discover Chelation: Natural Miracle for Protecting Your Heart and Enhancing Your Health!