Important Nutrients for Heart Health
February 11, 2022February is American Heart Month and a time to bring awareness to our cardiovascular health. Approximately half of all Americans have at least one of these risk factors for developing heart disease: high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, or smoking.1 If you are expecting and have a heart condition, it’s important to understand the unique strains that pregnancy can put on the heart. Here we’ll share some of the ways pregnancy can stress the heart and how you can strengthen it.
How Pregnancy Affects the Heart
During pregnancy, as your body is working hard to nourish your developing baby, your body’s heart and circulatory systems are stressed. Blood volumes expand by 30% to 50%, heart rate increases, and blood sugar levels spike.2
Delivery is also a workout for your heart. Each time you push, your blood flow and blood pressure change quickly. In fact, it can take several weeks after delivery for your heart to return to pre-pregnancy functioning.
Women who are pregnant and have pre-existing heart conditions are at a greater risk of complications. But with preventative measures, you can help increase your chances of safely delivering healthy babies.
Strengthen Your Heart
Focusing on your heart health before and during pregnancy can help you avoid complications that could threaten your own or your baby’s life. Taking good care of yourself is the best way to take care of your baby. Here are some ways to improve your heart health:
- Exercise regularly
- Get plenty of rest
- Reduce stress
- Manage anxiety
- Monitor your weight gain
- Eat a heart-healthy diet
- Avoid smoking, alcohol, caffeine, and illegal drugs
Get the Right Nutrients
There are some key heart-healthy nutrients that can help you reduce your risk of heart-related complications during pregnancy, including:
- Omega-3 fatty acids/DHA (fish, walnuts, leafy greens)
- Fiber (whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts)
- Monounsaturated fat (avocados, nuts, seeds, peanut butter)
- Folate (citrus fruit, dark leafy greens, grains, beans)
- Potassium (bananas, potatoes, tomatoes)
Prenatal Vitamins Support Heart Health
While maintaining a healthy diet, taking a prenatal vitamin even before you become pregnant may help support your heart health during pregnancy. Prenate® Pixie is a small prescription prenatal vitamin packed with DHA and 11 robust, highly absorbable nutrients to support mom and baby from preconception through pregnancy and beyond. Learn more about the full line of Prenate® prenatal vitamins here. Before making any changes to your pregnancy diet, it’s a best practice to consult with your doctor about nutritional supplements.
Prenate® Vitamin Family
This post is brought to you by the Prenate® Vitamin Family, a line of prescription prenatal supplements designed to enhance preconception, prenatal, and postpartum nutrition in women. Talk with your doctor about how taking a daily prescription prenatal or postnatal vitamin could help support a healthy pregnancy and postpartum wellness.