The old adage “the fastest way to one’s heart is through the stomach” may actually hold true.
Poor gut health has been linked to higher risk for obesity and type 2 diabetes, which can result in a higher likelihood of heart disease.
While a healthy gut flora rids gastrointestinal ills, it is also helpful in minimizing the dangers related to chronic heart conditions.
For a more robust heart, a balanced gut can:
1. Lessen inflammation and lower blood pressure
Our gut bacteria form a complex system that regulates blood pressure. Microbiome imbalance (or dysbiosis) triggers inflammation—a precursor of hypertension and the leading cause of heart disease. A balanced gut can prevent inflammation, and can also lower bad cholesterol level by preventing absorption and aiding its digestion.
2. Reduce risk of blood clotting, heart attack, and stroke
Certain probiotics can lower the risk of a coronary event by decreasing the inflammatory chemicals that cause blood clotting and plaque formation in the arteries.
3. Control blood sugar and body weight
A healthy microbiota can assist in blood sugar control and weight management of people with diabetes through the short-chain fatty acids that gut bacteria produce. Prebiotics and probiotics can slow down the digestion of carbohydrates and support insulin in converting blood sugar into energy.
4. Improve digestion and nutrient absorption
Your gut bacteria plays a major role in digestion and metabolism. Prebiotics and probiotics can help make the most out of your healthy diet by maximizing the absorption of nutrients that are important to the heart—like omega 3 fatty acids, folate, niacin, magnesium, and L-carnitine, to name a few.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the Philippines. By being mindful of what you eat and including foods and supplements that your gut will love, you can ensure a healthier heart for yourself and loved ones this Valentine’s and the next.
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