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Heart disease is the largest underlying cause of death in Australia. By looking after your heart and managing blood pressure, you can reduce your risk and improve quality of life. Try our tips and supplements to support good heart health.
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Risk Factors for Heart Disease
Heart disease is the leading underlying cause of death in Australia. Whilst some of the risk factors of heart disease are outside your control (age, gender, family history), many others are controllable. In order to help understand your personal risk of heart disease, it is useful to know whether you are exposing yourself to some of the leading risk factors for heart disease.
NOTE: If you have heart disease or have serious concerns about your heart, your first step should be to see your health professional for a full health assessment and personalised diagnosis.
Risk Factors For Heart Disease
1. High Cholesterol Levels
Cholesterol is actually a fatty substance that your body needs for a number of functions such as digestion, vitamin D synthesis and making hormones. There are
2 types of cholesterol: 'good' cholesterol (HDL) and 'bad' cholesterol (LDL).
High levels of 'bad' cholesterol can lead to narrowing arteries... As your levels of LDL cholesterol levels increase, so do your chances of heart disease. Diets high in processed foods including foods rich in saturated fats, salt and processed sugars increase LDL cholesterol. If you have high cholesterol, talk to your doctor for a plan on reducing your bad cholesterol levels. Krill Oil may be effective at helping some people manage healthy cholesterol balance when used in conjunction with healthy diet, lifestyle changes and regular physical activity.
2. High Blood Pressure
As with cholesterol, you should talk to your doctor to work out an individualised plan for managing high blood pressure. It can be managed in many cases through diet, exercise and weight management. Medications may also be required.
Diabetes can significantly damage the heart if not managed correctly. In many cases, diabetes can be controlled through diet, exercise and maintaining a healthy weight. Medications may be necessary. Again, your first step should be to talk to your doctor to create a plan for managing diabetes.
4. Sedentary Lifestyle
Numerous studies have shown that people who live inactive lifestyles have a significantly increased risk of heart disease. If you already have concerns about your heart health, talk to your doctor about appropriate exercises. Otherwise, aim to get 30 minutes a day at an intensity that is appropriate for your level of fitness.
It should be no surprise that diet is included here, as diet is a risk factor for high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes, all of which we have already covered. Avoid processed foods that are high in salt, sugar and saturated fat. Eat more fruit and vegetables. Finally, try to eat more of these
5 Superfoods for a healthy heart
6. Quit Smoking
This should not be a surprise either. Heart disease is just one of hundreds of diseases and health problems cigarette smoke can cause. ------ This article was provided by our online health partner Health365. For more
information on heart health
5 Superfoods For Your Heart
Keeping your heart healthy is as much about putting the right nutrients
to your body as it is about keeping the wrong substances
Foods that contain saturated fats, salt and high levels of processed sugar are all "No-no's" (as is smoking). If you are concerned about your heart, eating well and avoiding the above foods and toxins may help. Eating more of the below 5 superfoods for a healthy heart may also be of benefit to overall heart health. Looking after your heart is serious business. As this article is being written, heart disease is the leading underlying cause of death in Australia.
If you have serious concerns about heart health, talking to your doctor should be your first step. Eating the foods below may help support your heart, but just eating these foods and neglecting other lifestyle factors that can contribute to heart problems will not guarantee a healthy heart.
5 Superfoods For Your Heart
Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can help reduce your risk of heart disease according to the Australian Heart Foundation. Omega-3 may also help reduce inflammation of blood vessels and reduce blood clotting.
Chia-Crusted Salmon recipe
for a tasty, healthy way to get more salmon into your diet.
2. Chia Seeds
are - like salmon - rich in omega-3. In fact, on a pund-for-pound basis, chia seeds contain more omega-3 than salmon. Furthermore, chia seeds are rich in fibre. Diets high in fibre can reduce the risk of heart disease.
Chia Cacao Coconut Cluster recipe
for a treat that you won't believe is heart-healthy.
3. Tofu and/or Soy Milk
Both of these food sources contain niacin, folate, calcium magnesium and potassium. These nutrients are crtitical to help support the heart.
Banana Split Smoothie recipe
- a delicious way to drink soy milk and top up fibre, protein and antioxidants.
is packed with antioxidants. Antioxidants are important for helping prevent potential cellular damage caused by free radicals - unstable molecules that are present in our body and attack cells in an effort to stabilise themselves. This damage can cause inflammation, and a
ntioxidants can thus protect our body from the inflammation. Inflammation can be an aggravating factor in heart disease. Preliminary studies also suggest acai
be helpful for reducing blood sugar levels and cholesterol levels.
Acai Berry Breakfast recipe
for a heart healthy start to the date.
You may have heard of studies that suggest a potential link between daily (dark) chocolate consumption and heart health. This link is likely because dark chocolate (60-70% cocoa) is rich in polyphenols: substances that can help reduce clotting, blood pressure and inflammation. What you may not know is that dark chocolate, and the cocoa used to make it, are actually the nutritionally inferior by-products of
raw cacao. Raw cacao
is rich in a number of nutrients that are critical for supporting heart health. It is the base ingredient used to make cocoa / dark chocolate (cacao is processed and cooked to turn it into cocoa, whihc is then processed further to create dark chocolate. This processing and cooking destroys much of the original nutritional content, so choosing cacao over cocoa is a good idea).
Choc Chilli Cacao Mousse recipe
for a decadent, heart-friendly dessert.
------ This article is presented by our online health partner Health365. To
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5 Surprising Benefits of Omega-3
We all know omega-3s are good for your health. We also know the benefits of omega-3 range from protecting your heart, brain and eyes to supporting joint health and reducing inflammation. The definitive list of omega-3 benefits would certainly be a long one - there are tens of thousands of academic studies of the benefits of omega-3 intake. We take a look at some surprising, lesser known benefits of omega-3.
1. Omega-3 may help sleep
Recent research from Oxford University has produced a number of fascinating insights into the importance of a particular type of omega-3 and children's learning. In these studies, children with low levels of '
' (a specific type of omega-3) scored significantly worse on tests for memory, behaviour, concentration, reading and numeracy than children who had sufficient DHA levels. Furthermore, the researchers consequently noted that increasing DHA levels in the children with low DHA by using a DHA supplement helped them improve their performance and bridge the gap to their peers. Increasing DHA levels increased learning outcomes. What does this have to do with sleep? The Oxford team have recently expanded on their study. Their most recent results show that low DHA levels
can lead to poor sleep in children. Giving a DHA supplement to the children in the study with low DHA levels improved the quality of their sleep.
2. Omega-3 may support male fertility
A 2010 study published in The Journal of Clinical Nutrition looked at the relationship between omega-3 fatty acid concentrations in fertile and infertile men. Fertile men tended to have higher omega-3 levels than infertile men. Further research is required to consolidate and expand on these findings. However, the results from the study do echo the findings of several animal studies in rats and guppies - both animal studies showed a link between fertility and omega-3 levels.
3. Omega-3s may protect ageing brains
From the University of Maryland's
overview of omega-3 research
A number of studies show that reduced intake of omega-3 fatty acids is associated with increased risk of age related cognitive decline. Scientists believe the omega-3 fatty acid DHA is protective against age related cognitive decline."
4. Omega-3s may support stronger bones.
Calcium, magnesium and vitamin D may not be the only
nutrients for supporting strong bones
. Several studies have looked at the relationship between omega-3 intake and bone density. Whilst further research is required, there is preliminary evidence to suggest there may be a link between omega-3 levels and maintaining bone density over time.
5. Omega-3 may help menstrual pain
Preliminary research and anecdotal evidence suggests women who take fish oil during menstruation may experience a decline in menstrual pain.
Causes of High Cholesterol
High cholesterol is quite often only discovered once a serious, related health problem is discovered. In order to stop high cholesterol levels before they lead to serious health problems, regular GP check-ups and knowing the leading causes of high cholesterol are the best ways to manage cholesterol risk. In this article, we outline some of the main causes of high cholesterol you need to be aware of. If you have serious concerns about cholesterol, you should contact your doctor promptly.
Causes of High Cholesterol
Diets high in saturated fats can cause cholesterol problems. This includes animal fats in meats like pork, veal, beef, milk, eggs, butter, most biscuits and crisps and many fried foods.
There is a well documented link between obesity and high cholesterol. Maintaining a healthy body weight can help maintain a healthy cholesterol level and reduces your risk of developing other cardiovascualr / heart conditions.
3. Physical Activity
People living sedentary lifestyles not only have a higher risk of cholesterol problems, but also a range of heart-related health problems.
4. Gender and Age
After age 20 (give or take a few years) cholesterol levels naturally begin to rise. In men, cholesterol levels tend to plateau around age 50. Women's cholesterol levels rise later in life, and often increase after menopause. Whilst you cannot control your gender or age, the above can help you be aware of which stage in your life you need to start paying more attention to cholesterol levels.
Some factors involved in heart disease and high cholesterol cannot be controlled. If there is a family history of heart disease or high cholesterol, there may be a genetic pre-disposition to blame.
Add "Increased risk of cholesterol problems" to the long, long list of reasons why you should not be smoking. Smoking reduces good cholesterol levels, and increase your risk of hundreds of other diseases including heart disease, heart attack, hypertension, stroke and arterial disease. ------ This article was provided by our online health partner Health365. For more information on
Tips For Choosing The Best Krill Oil
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