In this issue, we’re covering a topic we’ve covered before: Natural strategies to promote cardiovascular health. In fact,WholeFoodsMagazine has offered a deep dive into the heart-health category every single year going back decades. Of course, we cover this topic yearly because there are new developments—new research to report, innovative products to share, novel merchandising strategies to highlight… But also we cover it over and over because there is an urgent need to educate and inform on the topic, and the need is growing more urgent with each passing year.

Consider this alarming news from the American Heart Association (AHA), based on findings from its “Heart and Stroke Statistics — 2019 Update,” published in the journalCirculation: “Cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of death globally. After decades of a steady decline in the U.S., CVD deaths are on the rise (840,678 deaths in 2016 up from 836,546 in 2015).”

The statistics are sobering. As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports in “Heart Disease Facts” (, cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death for men, women, and people of most racial and ethnic groups in the United States.

Every37 secondsa person dies in the U.S. from CVD (CDC).

Every40 secondssomeone has a heart attack in the U.S. (CDC).

1 in every 3 deathsin this country was attributed to CVD in 2016 (AHA).

$219 billionis how much heart disease cost the U.S. each year from 2014 to 2015 (CDC).

17.6 millionpeople died from cardiovascular disease worldwide in 2016, making it the leading global cause of death (AHA).

23.6 millionis the estimate for the number of CVD deaths globally by 2030 (AHA).

While those numbers are alarming, there is one significant statistic that shows there is hope:

80%of cardiovascular disease is preventable.

That’s according to the AHA, which points to managing high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol, as well as adopting healthy behaviors such as exercising, maintaining a healthy weight and not smoking. And as our experts discuss in this year'sheart health article, natural products retailers can help raise awareness and reverse that trend of increasing prevalence. This year’s feature covers the latest strategies to help do just that during February’s American Heart Month and beyond.

Also in this issue: Ouroverview of the adaptogens marketoffers an SOS for those who are feeling stressed, spent, fuzzy or frazzled (that would be most of us!). Plus we take a look at the latest infermented foods, themineral marketfor whole-body health, what’s trending in plant-basedmeat and dairy alternativesand more!

Maggie Jaqua Editor-in-Chief