Healing The Heart Takes Time and Patience
We all want to be healthy and happy. And while it would be wonderful to believe that taking a pill will cure all of our health challenges, that is simply not the case. Real health takes time, and it takes a commitment. To be healthy also takes a bit of discipline.
One of the leading causes of death in the United States, is due to heart disease related illness. And many of those illnesses can easily be prevented simply by making a few changes to our daily habits.
While you may not be able to do all the suggestions I have listed here, simply by incorporating a few of them, and being consistent, can help dramatically improve your heart health.
Diets high in saturated fats have been associated with increased risk for coronary artery disease. They are solid in room temperature, and are found in high amounts in pork, beef, chicken skin, margarine, butter and coconut oil. While coconut oil has been researched for its many health benefits related to brain health, it is not advised to consume coconut oil if you have heart disease. Instead, we suggest consuming small amounts of monosaturated fats like olive oil instead.
Tip #2 Simple Dietary Changes Go A Long Way
I often see people take on extreme diets—only to give them up a few weeks later. Rather then extreme dieting, it would be better to follow a few simple and healthful habits.
For starters, try reducing or avoiding empty calories. One way to do this is to simply not bring junk food into the home. If you do crave something sweet keep snacks around, like fresh fruit and products sweetened with stevia or xylitol, to help stave off a sweet tooth.
Tip #3: Do Not Over-Eat.
I do not suggest you starve yourself. Instead, simply take what you need and do not over-eat. One of the fastest ways to lose weight, is to simply stop at one plate. Do not over fill your plate. And when the plate is empty, simply walk away from the table. Extra portions translates into extra weight, and that is hard on the digestion as well as the heart.
TIP #4 Do Not Eat After Dinner
Try to finish your last meal around 4 hours prior to going to bed. This can be a difficult habit to keep for most people but, taking time to fast from dinner to breakfast can dramatically improve your health, and help you keep your weight at a healthy range. And that is good for heart-health.
Tip #5 Do Not Over-Salt Your Food
Try not to over-salt your food—especially if you have high-blood pressure. Instead, find other ways to season your food without salt, try experimenting with various spices to make meals more flavorful but nix the salt.
A diet that is minimally processed, and is mostly plant-based, is associated with greater health and longevity. Try having 7-9 servings of fresh fruits and vegetables a day. This is a lot easier than you might think. Fruits and veggies can be blended into smoothies, made into salads, and also made into soups and stews.
If you would like to find the perfect smoothie recipe, check out this link here.
Tip #7 Consume At Least 1 Fish Meal Per Week
Try having just at least one fish meal a week. Fish is high in omega-3 fatty acids, the type of oils thought to be good for both our hearts and our brains. Research suggest that just one serving per week may dramatically improve our health.
Tip #8 Consume A Handful of Nuts Everyday.
Research into heart healthy diets have shown that people who ate a handful of nuts a day saw dramatic improvement in heart health, and a reduced risk for heart disease.
Chronic tobacco use is associated with increased risk for many serious health challenges; that include, coronary artery disease, along with lung and colon cancer—just to name a few.
While moderate consumption of alcohol may actually improve heart health; chronic alcohol abuse, and recreational drug use is actually associated with increased risk for heart disease.
At my offices, I offer patients a comprehensive stress reduction program to help eliminate the craving for drugs and alcohol.
By prescribing diet and supplement therapy, along with weekly acupressure for stress reduction, many of my patients have successfully quit smoking and remain clean and sober indefinitely.
Becoming free from the addiction to smoking, and recreational drug addiction, is one great way we can also help improve heart health.
Tip #10 Brush and Floss Your Teeth Daily
Daily dental care is strongly correlated with healthy heart health. This is because some of the naturally occurring bacteria in our mouths is associated with inflammation. And inflammation is a risk factor for developing heart disease.
We advice people to brush and floss at least twice daily, and see your dentist twice yearly.
Tip #11 Exercise For 30 Minutes Daily
Get out and move, even if it means just walking around the block for ten minutes. Good heart health is associated with consistently engaging in cardio protective exercise—for about 30 minutes everyday.
Simple forms of cardio include walking, hiking, jogging and swimming. Even more casual sports, like golf, are considered good for the heart if done consistantly.
Tip #12 Engage In A Daily Mediation Practice
Meditation is associated with decreased stress. And clinical studies have shown that less stress, is good for both mood and heart health. Forms of meditation thought to reduce stress include, Transcendental meditation, Vipassana, and Zen forms.
Tip #13 Take a High-Quality Co-Q10 Capsule Daily
Co-Q10 is a powerful antioxidant—it is also important in aerobic synthesis of ATP; the compound our cells use as fuel. Since the heart requires a great deal of ATP in order run smoothly, many doctors recommend it for heart health.
Co-Q10 can also become depleted in people taking statin medications, as they can inhibit the body’s ability to take Co-Q10. I personally prescribe Q-Best by Thorne Research to my patients, because this product uses nano-technology. The particles are ground to a very fine powder; making this form of Co-Q10, 300 times more absorbable than conventional C0-Q10. Q-Best is one the most often prescribed forms of C0Q10 by naturopathic doctors.
Statin medications are taken to help lower cholesterol; a key player in the formation of coronary artery disease. What many people don’t know, is that statin medications were originally discovered in Red Rice Yeast. Red Rice Yeast contains a natural statin; that inhibits our bodies from making cholesterol. My favorite Red Rice Yeast is Choleast 900 produced by Thorne Research. I advice patients start by taking 2 capsules prior to going to bed—along with a healthy diet and exercise program—for best results.
Tip #15 Consume Chinese Tonic Herbs Daily
Tonic Alchemy by Dragon herbs, is one of the most potent greens products on the market; I prescribe it often. One of the reasons I prescribe greens powders daily, is because they are very rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants slow down the aging of our cells, and can help reduce oxidative stress associated with inflammation increasing our risk for heart disease.
A diet rich in antioxidants can help protect our heart well into our senior years.
Tip #16 Add Resveratrol To Your Daily Heart-Health Regiment
This is one of those antoxidants that many cardiologist are exited about. The reason resveratrol has received so much attention is because it is a strong antioxidant, and a polyphenol. Polyphenols are being researched both as antioxidants, but also because they seem to dramatically slow down the aging process. I usually prescribe 1-2 capsules of resveratrol daily. My favorite resveratrol is Resveratrol 500 by Resverage Nutrition, because of its high-quality. And my patients get a very good result with this product.
Tip #17 Slow Down, Enjoy the Ride, and Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff
Reducing stress is one of the most important things that you can do to improve the quality of your life, and to improve your health. Overly worrying about small things is associated with less satisfaction in life, and increased risk for heart disease. Believe it or not, worry is a risk factor for heart disease. So one of the most important things you can do to improve your health is to simply not sweat the little things in life, and enjoy the journey.
If you enjoyed reading this article, and would like to find our more about me, please visit my website at DoctorWhimsy.com
To find out more about my work, or schedule an office visit, please feel free to check out my services page here.
I look forwarding in helping you on your journey to health.
10 Steps For Better Heart Health, Harvard Health Publishing, Harvard Medical School
These Five Habits Can Save Your Heart Health—here’s how, Harvard Health Publishing, Harvard Medical School
28 Healthy Heart Tips, Health Line