Almost 27 million people in the United States have heart disease, it kills about 600,000 people each year, and over 700,000 heart attacks occur during that time too. Heart disease, also known as cardiovascular disease, is considered the leading cause of death in the US, costing us roughly $110 billion every year. It can be broken into about a dozen different types, but it all comes down to the same vital organ failing to function correctly. Deaths from this terrible disease have declined since 1950 as society moved away from smoking and medicine has improved, but there are still too many people suffering and dying as their hearts give out.
Fortunately there’s so much you can do to minimize risks and help prevent this disease before it starts, though you should consult with a health care professional before changing your diet, starting exercise routines, eliminating any prescriptions, or adding new supplements. Some natural supplements can interact with prescriptions, but they are still something to look into if you want to prevent problems before they start.
Fresh greens, vegetables, and fruits don’t make it into our diets as often as they should. These are loaded with antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, fiber, and beneficial phytonutrients we’re just beginning to understand. Many of these protect the heart, lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol, and strengthen the heart.
Refined sugars are squeezed into so many of our modern, processed foods, even the ones that aren’t sweet. We simply eat too many calories from refined sugars and processed carbohydrates without the benefits that come in natural foods. Then we toss those foods back with super-sugary soft drinks. These sugars are hard on the liver, kidneys, arteries, and everywhere in-between. They contribute to obesity, sedentary lifestyles, cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and so much more.
Smoking increases cancer and heart disease risks incredibly.
Being too skinny or overweight both put a strain on your body and the heart. Don’t overeat, but don’t starve yourself either. The body needs some carbohydrates and fats to function correctly.
Activity and exercise reduce blood pressure, lower cholesterol, and reduce both inflammation and oxidation damage to the heart, arteries, and other organs. It strengthens the heart so it can pump more efficiently and not work too hard all the time.
Stress is a natural consequence of living and the body is well prepared to deal with it in short bursts. It is ill equipped to handle stress long term as hormones are depleted and vital functions are limited. Work on reducing stress any way you can. Exercise, breathing techniques, acupressure, massage, meditation, or tai chi can all help.
Massage can help reduce stress, but it also improves blood flow for better circulation and toxin removal.
Garlic, onions, leeks, and shallots all are friendly to the heart. They lower cholesterol, improve proper blood clotting, lower blood pressure, and help control blood sugar too.
CoQ10 acts as an antioxidant, improves cellular energy, and controls proper blood clotting. It gives the heart muscles a boost of energy to keep it pumping well.
Hawthorn lowers blood pressure, increases circulation, and may also strengthen the heart.
This B vitamin supports healthy heart, nerve, and muscle function. It is also involved in energy production. Several other B vitamins have been linked to heart health, like folate, niacin, B6, and B12, but these should come from food sources and not synthetics. Most synthetic B vitamins are derived from coal tar and harsh chemicals like ammonia and acetone.
Omega 3 (and healthy fats)
Omega 3 reduces inflammation and lowers cholesterol. It has been linked to healthy hearts in numerous studies. Try microalgae sources which are lower on the food chain, purer, stronger, and more bioavailable than fish or krill oils. Coconut oil, olive oil, nuts, seeds, and avocados are also a good place to get healthy fats the body needs. Avoid more processed oils, even the vegetable ones.
Magnesium is used throughout the body in thousands of ways and deficiency has been linked to heart disease. Low levels contribute to high blood pressure, arterial plaque, higher cholesterol levels, hardening of arteries, and calcification of tissues.
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