We reference the heart in so many aspects of our lives that it sounds as though it must be the center of our universe or at least our most important organ.
- “That was really a heartfelt message,”
- “Amazing performance, he really played his heart out of that game,”
- “I think you should really take this suggestion to heart,”
- “Every time I hear that song it breaks my heart,”
- “That is not a journey for the faint of heart,”
- “Cross my heart, this is a blog that you should take to heart, especially if you’re young at heart.”
You don’t ever hear those types of references to the liver, or the brain, or the lungs, and you can bet that the spleen will forever be ignored in this regard — yet these are vital organs, too. So why is there such a focus and emphasis on the heart?
Maybe it’s the fact that our heart is continuously beating, providing a constant reminder that it is dutifully doing its job — pumping oxygen, nutrients, and other vital biochemicals through our blood vessels to the trillions of cells of the body where these compounds are constantly needed, while also removing cellular waste products that must be eliminated from the body. Not a small task to ask of a muscular organ that beats approximately 108,000 times per day to do its job, (that’s 39 million beats each year!)1
An organ that, on average, weighs just eight to twelve ounces and yet pumps about two thousand gallons of blood throughout the body each and every day.2 So, maybe the heart does deserve all the reverence that it gets. For certain, without a healthy, fully functional heart, one is compromised in terms of their activities, their vitality, and their longevity. That is truly the heart of the matter.
- The circulatory system is comprised of the heart (which is about the size of your fist), approximately 60,000 miles* of blood vessels (arteries, arterioles, capillaries, venules, veins, and sinuses), and the lymphatic system (through which lymph and digested fats flow).3 (*Equivalent to 97,000 kilometers.)
- The heart is comprised of four chambers, the right and left atria and the right and left ventricles. The atrium and ventricle on both sides are separated and controlled by valves which open and close, keeping blood moving in the correct direction and preventing backflow. Normal blood flow occurs in a cyclical manner going from the body to the heart, from the heart to the lungs, from the lungs back to the heart, and from the heart back to the body.4, 5
- The aorta, which carries blood out of the heart into general circulation throughout the body, is the circulatory system’s largest artery. It is about the size of a garden hose.4
- Some capillaries, the smallest of blood vessels, are about 1/10th the diameter of a human hair and can only carry blood cells in single file. 4
- The heart muscle produces twice the power of the leg muscles of a sprinter.5
- Pumping of the heart, or the heartbeat, is the result of alternating contraction and relaxation of the heart muscle (myocardium). The heart muscle contractions are caused by electrical impulses produced by two structures within the heart (the sinoatrial node and the atrioventricular node). 6
- Besides being a good indicator of your fitness level, Resting Heart Rate (RHR) can provide information as to how well your heart muscle is functioning and the likelihood of a normal or a reduced lifespan. Normal RHR is between 60 to 100 beats per minute, with rates at the lower end of this range indicating a reduced risk for developing cardiovascular disease.7
- Among the nutrients and nutrient-rich foods recommended by The Cleveland Clinic — one of the foremost authorities on heart health and cardiovascular care are omega-3 fatty acids (think fish, chia seed, flaxseed), berries (for phytonutrients and fiber), legumes (think beans and soy for their fiber, minerals, B-vitamins), red/orange/yellow vegetables (carotenoids and fiber), green veggies (minerals, vitamins, phytonutrients), topped off with red wine and dark chocolate (antioxidants).8
PURE catalogs an array of products that provides the robust nutrient profile that the heart requires as well as specialty ingredients that science has shown to be highly supportive of excellent cardiovascular health. GPS Reset provides nutrients that support the natural release of HGH (Human Growth Hormone) from the pituitary gland while enhancing the benefits of exercise on fitness and body composition (fat vs. lean). HGH helps build, maintain, and repair healthy tissue in organs and muscle, promoting better overall health and metabolism. GPS Circulate supplies nutrients that assist in the maintenance of blood vessel elasticity, facilitating proper blood flow and thereby reducing the workload of the heart. Acai and Goji Superfruits are excellent sources of antioxidants that protect the circulatory system from errant oxidative damage caused by exercise, illness, environmental toxins, etc. These two berries provide anthocyanin and carotenoid antioxidants, respectively.
CalciuMK+ delivers Vitamin D3 (ergocalciferol) and Vitamin K2-MK7, two nutrients that significantly support good cardiovascular health. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to increased risk of cardiovascular disease including hypertension, heart failure, and ischemic heart disease. Vitamin K2-MK7 has been shown to direct calcium to the bone rather than allowing it to be deposited in soft tissues, such as blood vessels, where it can cause serious health problems. Daily Build supplies the full spectrum of vitamins and minerals needed for proper metabolism, including energy production, immune function, tissue building and repair, and maintenance of healthy blood lipid (fats) levels. Mila, PURE’s exclusive chia seed product, is a superior source of omega-3 fatty acid (alpha-linolenic acid) one of the Cleveland Clinic’s top recommendations for a heart healthy diet. In addition, Mila supplies fiber for good cardiovascular and digestive health. Daily Detox, Fusion, and Greens are some additional products to also consider when following a diet and lifestyle that tells your heart “I [Heart] you.”
By Richard Scheckenbach. Richard received his baccalaureate degree from the UCLA with Bacteriology as his major field of study. He pursued his doctoral studies in Microbiology/Biochemistry at Oregon State University. Areas of expertise include product research and development, proprietary formulation, market assessment, product promotion, FDA and FTC compliance and nutritional biochemistry. Rich is also a PURE Wellness Advisory Board member.*
3 Taber’s Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary, F. A. Davis Company, Philadelphia PA
By Richard Sheckenbach, a PURE Wellness Advisory Board Member. Wellness Advisory Board members are compensated for their role on the Wellness Advisory Board, in addition to serving as a Wellness Advisory Board Member, Richard Scheckenbach is also a PURE Independent Business Owner.