Celebrate World Heart Day; How Olive Leaf Extract May Help With Supporting Your Heart
This 29th September will mark ‘World Heart Day’; an event created by the World Heart Federation that is designed to inform people that cardiovascular illnesses such as heart disease and stroke is the leading cause of death around the world, claiming as many as 17.5 million lives every year.
The day highlights actions that we all can take to prevent and control cardiovascular diseases (CVD); driving action to educate people about the risks of unhealthy diets, lack of exercise and tobacco use, instead promoting healthier lifestyles. Well-balanced diet with wholesome foods and supplements might contribute to a health lifestyle, such as olive leaf extract
What Exactly is CVD?
Cardiovascular disease can refer to any disease of the heart, a vascular disease of the brain or a disease of a blood vessel. One of the more prominent CVD’s includes heart attacks and strokes. There are many risk factors for such diseases and we are able to control them by thinking more about our diet, our activity levels and harmful substances, such as tobacco, that we may place into our bodies.
Our hearts are the strongest muscle in the body – they have to be, considering they are responsible for pumping and managing the flow of blood that the rest of our organs need to function. Any risk factor works to weaken this muscle and once compromised, it opens itself up to contracting a CVD. The World Heart Federation have presented statistics that say over 17.5 million deaths every year are a direct cause of CVD – 13.8 million of them being caused by heart attacks and strokes. Something we all should think about.
So What Can We Do To Better Look After Our Heart?
In terms of eating well and exercise, the World Heart Federation advises that we:
- Cut down on the amount of sugary beverages we consume, instead choose water or unsweetened juices.
- Swap any sugary sweets for fresh fruit alternatives.
- Eat five portions of fruit and veg a day.
- Keep the amount of alcohol we drink within recommended guidelines (the NHS advises that men and women do not drink more than 14 units a week)
- Limit the amount of processed and pre-packaged foods we consume, as they are high in salt, sugar and fat.
- In terms of exercise, aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate activity at least 5 times a week. This doesn’t have to involve strenuous gym sessions and require heavy calorie loss, it can be anything from brisk walking, housework, dancing, playing more with the kids...anything that can get you moving more for just half an hour a day.
If you would like to learn more about World Heart Day, including further information about cardiovascular disease, their effects and how they may be prevented, visit their website.
Supporting Your Heart With Olive Leaf Extract
As mentioned, olive leaf extract may be another great way to support your heart. The olive tree has been known as ‘The Tree of Life’ throughout history for its apparent health-giving powers. More recent times have allowed us to study their effects in more detail and in 2016, a study that was published in the European Journal of Nutrition said that olive leaf extract might have a positive impact on reducing the number of risk factors that potentially cause harm to the cardiovascular system1.
The active ingredient in OLE is a chemical compound called Oleuropein, which has already been studied to have a number of benefits for various areas of our wellbeing. The study in 2016 saw 60 people over 6 weeks undergo tests for their blood pressure, cholesterol and triglycerides levels. Two groups were made – one would take olive leaf extract, the other would not.
After the 6 weeks, the results showed that those who had taken OLE as a supplement had lower blood pressure, LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglycerides (fat)2 levels, compared to those who did not take anything. Therefore, the European Journal of Nutrition has recommended that along with the added support of a healthy diet and regular exercise, olive leaves may help to support the cardiovascular system in experiencing a better state of wellness.
If you’re interested in supporting your cardiovascular system (and immunity this winter) with olive leaf extract, then please take the time to browse our range here at Comvita.