Celebrate Heart Health: Relax Your Blood Vessels with Tomatoes!

February is not just about roses, chocolates, and the Super Bowl—especially if you’re a Detroit Lions fan!  February is also about other matters of the heart, including heart health.  American Heart Month [1] is dedicated to raising awareness about heart health and inspiring each of us to take proactive steps toward a healthier lifestyle and a healthier heart.  

Your heart health is in your hands—and a significant aspect of that is managing your blood pressure (BP).  This blog will explore the significance of high BP, also known as hypertension, on the health of your heart. We will also look at how extracts of one Mediterranean Diet food in Olivino Essential, Tomatoes, can help you have a healthier heart by lowering your BP.  Does it work?  Read below!

 “It works.  My BP is down…. Been taking this for less than 30 days or so and my BP is down from 142/92 to 125/82.  The doctor was happy but not as happy as I was when the nurse took my reading today.”
          - Ramona S., FL


High BP - The Silent Killer:

High BP occurs when the force of blood flowing through your vessels is consistently too high. It's often referred to as the "silent killer" because, most of the time, it presents no obvious symptoms. Nearly half of American adults have high BP, with many unaware of their condition. This underlines the importance of regular BP checks to detect and address any potential issues promptly.

Know Your Numbers:

Understanding your BP numbers is crucial for assessing your cardiovascular health. The two numbers in a BP reading are: (1) systolic (upper number), and (2) diastolic (lower number), measured in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). Here's a breakdown of BP categories:

  • Normal: Less than 120/80
  • Elevated: 120 – 129/less than 80
  • High BP (Stage 1): 130 – 139/80 – 89
  • High BP (Stage 2): 140 or higher/90 or higher
  • Hypertensive Crisis (seek immediate medical attention): Higher than 180/higher than 120

Consequences of Untreated High BP:

As stated above, high BP, when left untreated, poses severe risks to the cardiovascular system. It is a significant contributor to heart attacks, strokes, and other health threats. The damage it inflicts on the circulatory system underscores the importance of early detection and proactive management.

Preventing and Managing High BP:

Prevention is indeed the best strategy when it comes to high BP.  This is one instance in which the old adage “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is spot on! Healthy lifestyle choices, including a balanced diet, regular exercise, stress management, and avoiding tobacco and excessive alcohol consumption, can significantly reduce the risk.

Steps Towards Heart-Healthy Living:

  1. Balanced Diet: Nourish your heart with a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats (Extra Virgin Olive Oil). Limit intake of saturated fats, cholesterol, and added sugars. Embrace the power of colorful, nutrient-dense foods.
  2. Regular Exercise: Physical activity is a cornerstone of heart-healthy living. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week, incorporating activities that elevate your heart rate and promote cardiovascular fitness.
  3. Maintain a Healthy Weight: Obesity is a significant risk factor for heart disease. Achieve and maintain a healthy weight through a combination of balanced eating and regular exercise.
  4. Quit Smoking: Smoking is a major contributor to heart disease. Quitting smoking is one of the most impactful steps you can take to improve heart health.
  5. Limit Alcohol Intake: While moderate alcohol consumption may have certain heart benefits, excessive drinking can contribute to heart issues. Limit alcohol intake to moderate levels, if at all.
  6. Manage Stress: Chronic stress can negatively impact heart health. Incorporate stress-reducing

    Tomato Extract Lowers BP in Clinical Studies:

    Extracts of tomatoes, a colorful Mediterranean Diet “Superfruit”, have been shown to significantly reduce BP in clinical trials [2-4].  Here’s even better news: the same tomato nutrient complex (TNC) used in our new formula, Olivino Essential, reduced systolic BP in 61 subjects (aged 35-60 yrs.) in a recent, double-blind study [5].  The study examined three levels of TNC treatment (containing 5, 15, 30 mg lycopene) vs. 15 mg of synthetic lycopene and a placebo over 8 weeks. Only TNC standardized for 15 or 30 mg of lycopene resulted in significant reductions in systolic BP. Treatment with synthetic lycopene as a standalone had no significant effect. Its important to note that TNC (and Olivino Essential) contains not only lycopene, but other tomato phytonutrients naturally found in tomatoes: vitamin E, phytoene, phytofluene and ß-carotene.  

    How Does Tomato Extract Reduce BP?

    First, they reduce inflammation in vascular endothelial cells--the cells that line the walls of our arteries [6]. This not only reduces free radicals (which damages endothelial cells) but increases the levels of nitric oxide in the vascular system, which makes our arteries relax [7]. 

    Help relax your heart by including tomatoes in your diet.  And for extra insurance when you’re not, try Olivino Essential. One softgel contains 150 mg Lyc-O-Mato® , which includes 10 mg lycopene and and the other important phytonutrients found naturally in tomatoes.

    To your good health!

    [1] https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/education/american-heart-month

    [2] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S000287030500503X?via%3Dihub

    [3] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19583878/

    [4] https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10557-008-6155-2

    [5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6567177/pdf/nutrients-11-00950.pdf


    [7] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25880514/
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