Get ready to dive into a world of heart-healthy nutrition and sustainable seafood! Meet Ashley Besecker, the dynamic registered dietitian nutritionist and co-owner of Premier Catch. With a passion for helping others live their best lives through nutritious eating, Ashley combines her expertise in nutrition with her love for sustainable seafood to create a unique and delicious approach to heart health. So, grab your fork and join Ashley this National Heart Health Month as she shares her tips and tricks for a healthy heart and a happy taste buds!


Week 1: Get to Know Your Heart

The heart constantly delivers nutrients and oxygen to every cell in our body -- pumping about 2000 gallons through our body every day and will do more physical work than any other muscle during our lifetime. 


Yes, the heart is a muscle, but also has an electrical system and is in constant communication with your nerves and hormones. So many outside lifestyle factors affect how our nerves, hormones, blood, and heart interact. The good part? We have a lot of control over how it functions...


Heart Health + Exercise:

150 minutes of exercise per week (that’s 22 minutes a day) is like training for your heart muscle. It allows it to practice pushing large amounts of blood through the body and eventually your heart will find it easy to pump large volumes of blood (full of nutrients and oxygen) to the cells without strain. You are training your heart to do its job more efficiently!


Heart Function + Food: 

Food affects the heart function in various ways but one of the most powerful connections is actually how food affects our blood sugar, which in turn can lead to pre-diabetes or Type 2 Diabetes… 


Over 90 percent of people with type 2 diabetes have a high risk of fatal heart disease or stroke within 10 years. High sugar intake causes high blood sugar levels; high blood sugar for too long can damage the arteries and nerves throughout the heart system, which leads to inflammation (think jagged red swelling inside of a nice smooth straw) which puts you ripe for a heart attack or stroke.



Heart Healthy Food Groups:

On the positive side, there are foods that have been shown to reduce inflammation in the arteries and lower blood pressure (which makes it a smoother process for blood to pump through your veins). Those foods are also foods that reduce the risk of Type 2 Diabetes such as fiber, protein, and you guessed it, omega-3 fats.

Omega-3 fats specifically work to reduce inflammation, and they do this in some ways we understand, and some ways we don’t. One example is how higher levels of EPA and DHA (omega-3s) slow down a specific enzyme called COX, which produces the hormones that spark inflammation. We’re discovering all different ways these omega-3s help reduce inflammation, and in turn help prevent death from cardiovascular issues. Visually, think of fish oil as making your veins and arteries nice and smooth and slippery for your blood to flow through. Pretty cool.

With 4 chambers and 4 valves, and over 60k miles of blood vessels, your heart works its tail off for you every second of every day, so show it some love by making its job a bit easier!



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