How to Have a Healthy Heart
Do you see your heart as merely a way to circulate your blood and keep you alive? Does thinking about your heart conjure up feelings of love and compassion? Do you believe it is the seat of your soul? Do you use it as your primary organ of perception through which you see and feel everything?
Your heart is all of these. In this series, you are going to learn more about your heart, what your heart has to tell you and how to keep it (and you) healthy.
Prevention Is the Key To a Healthy Heart
Heart disease can be prevented and reversed if you eat a healthy diet, exercise daily, get restorative sleep, decrease your systemic inflammation, and practice deep relaxation on a regular basis through meditation, prayer or restorative yoga.
Foods for a Healthy Heart
When we eat or drink anything, our bodies’ natural response is to produce free radicals which damage our cells if we do not have enough antioxidants. The antioxidants in foods, beverages and supplements help to prevent and repair that damage.
Cruciferous vegetables are jam packed with antioxidant nutrients that help to regulate our inflammatory response. This vegetable family has lots of yummy choices; arugula, bok choy, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, Chinese cabbage, collard greens, daikon radish, horseradish, kale, kohlrabi, land cress, mustard greens, radish, rutabaga, shepherd’s purse, turnip, and watercress.
More than half of all cardiac deaths are sudden and most women (68%) have no clinically recognized heart disease before sudden death. Significantly lower magnesium levels in heart tissue have been found in those that suffered sudden cardiac death. This is preventable by eating more foods rich in magnesium. Foods that are rich in magnesium are green leafy vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds.
Beverages for a Healthy Heart
Water is the preferred beverage. How do you know if you are drinking enough water every day? Your urine will be light yellow throughout the day and you will be peeing every two hours or so.
Since most of us also drink coffee or tea, how do these affect our arterial function. Studies show that caffeinated coffee can impair blood flow to our heart whereas decaf coffee has beneficial effects. However, it looks like tea, black or green, is the best choice.
Three very important supplements for heart health include probiotics, Vitamin D3, and Ubiquinol.
Are you familiar with the gut-brain connection? It seems that a gut full of friendly bacteria (probiotics) is essential for reducing stress. Studies show that when you are reacting to stress, a healthy gut sends a quieting signal to the brain. The brain then sends out a neurotransmitter to calm us down.
Deficiencies in Vitamin D3 have been shown to lead to heart disease. Factors that lead to lower Vitamin D3 levels are obesity, spending a lot of time indoors, always using sunscreen and wearing hats, and living away from the equator. In our area (Pennsylvania), the sun exposure from November to February is not enough. If you would like to know more about how Vitamin D3 impacts your health, go to http://grassrootshealth.net. Have your blood level tested and then supplement if needed.
Ubiquinol is the active form of co-enzyme Q10. After the age of 30 – 35, we no longer make it in our bodies. Ubiquinol is the spark that creates energy in every cell in our body. It is also an antioxidant that is needed inside all of our cells. Since we cannot eat enough of the foods that are rich in ubiquinol, we need to supplement.
The increasing risks of heart disease as we get older can be very scary. The good news is that heart disease is preventable and can be reversed by simple changes in our lifestyle.
In part 4 of this series, you will discover the wisdom of your heart.
What changes of heart have you noticed? Please leave a comment to share with the other Girlfriends.