Updated: Jun 14, 2021
February is heart health month and with awareness at a high, it’s good to examine ways and means of maintaining it.
With heightened awareness about heart health this time of year, an abundance of information is being exported and promoted about it is, ironically, sufficient to confuse the issue. It would therefore be helpful to know some basic rules about it which would lead to taking correct action.
1. The heart is a muscle and should be treated like one.
With little difference in composition than your bicep, the heart muscle yet follows the same principles to function. The principles? Contraction and relaxation. This is the key to getting the heart to circulate blood throughout the body. Heart health would, therefore, begin with supporting these two basic functions. All things which support muscle health and function apply. Nutrition, exercise, minerals, all of them are applicable.
2. Calcium support
Calcium is interesting. You can research it and find articles that say how much it supports bone and heart health yet find others which caution it’s use exclusively without a partner mineral. Basically, calcium supports half of the totality of muscle function with one of two main muscular actions: contraction. In that calcium is a basic requirement for muscle function, it would appear that it is beneficial in maintaining heart health, however would not be complete without its counterpart supporting the “other side” of muscle function”
3. Use magnesium to balance muscle function
While calcium supports the contract side of the equation, magnesium is the “relax” component. It is what actually would make calcium supplementation effective, making it a key player in heart health. All muscles, especially the heart, operate on the contract-relax proposition, where movements, motions and functions are accomplished to propel energy by alternately contracting, then relaxing each muscle. Even nerves operate on this principle and require both calcium and magnesium to so accomplish it. The heart is a specialized example of this.
Functions in balance for heart health require nutrients in balance too
The 3 rules that underlie all you hear about heart health really have to do with considering the heart itself is a muscle and follows the properties thereof, and getting ample amounts of calcium and magnesium in proper balance and ratio to make them both effective in supporting the two functions: contract and relax.
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If the heart is a muscle, shouldn’t it be treated as one? Proper nutritional support, exercise – the whole works. After all, it is the one part of your physique that make all the other parts worth it. Support it!