Total Heart Health for Women and How to Manage It

Total Heart Health for Women and How to Manage It

Heart health is different for women than men, but many women don’t know that. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that only about half of American women realize that heart disease is their leading cause of death. 

Fortunately, there are many ways women can support heart function through a combination of diet, lifestyle, and dietary supplements.

Eating for a Healthy Heart

The heart of a woman needs optimal nutrition to function at its peak. Much research over the years has shown that the Mediterranean diet is the most heart-healthy, which includes a 2023 analysis of 16 different studies with all of the participants being female.1

What makes the Mediterranean diet so heart-healthy is that it is high in plant foods and healthy fats and low in saturated fat, meats, and dairy products.

Heart-Healthy Lifestyle

In addition to a healthy diet, exercise has been shown to help support heart health but much of the past research focused on men. That is until 2003 when a large study featuring more than 5,700 women found that exercise was associated with better heart function compared to the women who did not exercise.2 Sitting less and moving more is a great way to support the heart of a woman.

Stress can also be a factor. A 2023 multicenter study featuring nearly 500 women showed that stress can negatively impact heart health.3 According to the Cleveland Clinic, there are many great ways women can manage stress with exercise and eating a Mediterranean diet at the top of their list. Other suggestions include focusing on gratitude, staying present, establishing goals for better work-life balance, staying connected to friends and loved ones, and getting enough sleep.4 

Supplementing the Diet

Even women who have a healthy diet may need a little extra support from dietary supplements. One supplement to consider is magnesium.

Magnesium is an important mineral for heart function. A 2021 analysis of 49 different clinical trials found that magnesium supplements helped support healthy blood pressure levels.5 A 2019 analysis of 15 studies also found that higher magnesium levels were associated with better heart health.6

In addition to taking a magnesium supplement, eating foods high in magnesium may also help. Great food sources of magnesium include green leafy vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes.

Total heart health for women can be achieved through the combination of a healthy Mediterranean diet, exercise, stress management, and magnesium.

For more tips on nutrition, mindful wellness practices, and helping your family feel their best, follow us on Facebook @kalvits and Instagram at @kalvitamins

*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

References

  1. Pant A, Gribbin S, McIntre D, et al. Primary prevention of cardiovascular disease in women with a Mediterranean diet: systematic review and meta-analysis. Heart. 2023;109(16). https://heart.bmj.com/content/109/16/1208
  2. Gulati M, Pandey DK, Arnsdorf MF, et al. Exercise capacity and the risk of death in women. Circulation. 2003;108:1554-1559. https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/01.cir.0000091080.57509.e9
  3. Hausvater A, Spruill TM, Xia Y, et al. Psychosocial factors of women presenting with myocardial infarction with or without obstructive coronary arteries. Journal of the American College of Cardiology. 2023;82(17):1649-1658. https://www.jacc.org/doi/10.1016/j.jacc.2023.08.028?_ga=2.65007535.1686454870.1704303418-1138377332.1704303414
  4. Cleveland Clinic. Women and stress. 2019;Feb 13. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/5545-women-and-stress
  5. Rosanoff A, Costello RB, Johnson GH. Effectively Prescribing Oral Magnesium Therapy for Hypertension: A Categorized Systematic Review of 49 Clinical Trials. Nutrients. 2021;13(1):195. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7827637/?report=reader
  6. Zhao B, Hu L, Dong Y, et al. The Effect of Magnesium Intake on Stroke Incidence: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis With Trial Sequential Analysis. Front Neurol. 2019;10:852. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6692462/?report=reader
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