February is heart health month, and Goodness Me! founder Janet Jacks shares some things you can do easily to make sure your heart is as healthy as it can be. Read on!
Heart problems are a leading cause of premature deaths. Some affect the heart itself, such as arrhythmias, tachycardia, heart failure, or mitral valve prolapse. Others are circulatory problems, including narrowing and hardening of the arteries, angina, blood clots, spasms, and—ultimately—heart attack.
More Power to You
We actually have more power than you realize. While genetics play a role, our internal and external environments play a much larger role in determining our risk of heart disease. Don’t underestimate the changes you can experience when you understand the root causes and take action to correct them. To help you along with these changes, you can sign up for our email newsletter here to get regular health tips and product suggestions.
Remove the Root
There are several important causative factors that we must address:
1. BALANCE INSULIN PRODUCTION
Excess insulin creates disease. In her excellent books, Dr. Sandra Cabot, MD, outlines what happens when we secrete excess insulin: triglycerides elevate, HDL lowers, the liver products more LDL (bad cholesterol), fatty plaques increase, water and salt are retained, blood pressure elevates, carbohydrate cravings and hunger increase, and fat deposits—especially around the abdomen—are laid down.
2. EAT AN ANTI-INFLAMMATORY DIET
Heart disease is an inflammatory condition, and the standard North American diet feeds this inflammatory state. Increasing vegetable intake, fibre-rich foods, legumes, greens, nuts and seeds, certain spices, garlic and healthy fats, and eating adequate clean, lean protein will bring big rewards. Lifewatchers helps make this practical, doable, and fun. Why not consider taking this amazing course?
3. REMOVE NUTRIENT DEFICIENCIES
So many people are lacking magnesium and Dr. Mildred Seelig, MD, who spent 40 years researching magnesium, states “One simple but essential nutrient can eliminate so many signs and symptoms of disease”. These include arrhythmias and tachycardia, arteriosclerosis, constriction/spasms, hypertension, angina, and valve disorders such as mitral valve prolapse. Higher antioxidant status also lowers risk of heart disease. Vegetables, spices, green tea, berries, grape seed extract, CoQ10 and vitamin E all provide antioxidants.
4. HAVE AN OIL CHANGE
The average person consumes 25 times as much omega-6 as -3. Ideally, this radio would be 4:1 or 3:1 instead of 25:1. Eliminate damaged, processed fats and increase omega-3s from fatty fish, fish oil, nuts, hemp seeds, and chia. Don’t be afraid of naturally occurring fats such as extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, and butter.
5. REDUCE STRESS
Living as if the lion is at your door all the time is harmful to your heart… and your peace of mind.
Signposts of Success or Assessing Your Risk
First identified by Dr. Kilmer McCully, MD, homocysteine levels have been a largely overlooked risk factor until recently. Measured by a simple blood test, lower is better. The trio of B vitamins: B6, B12, and folic acid, as well as trimethylglycine, will reduce homocysteine levels.
Known as the silent killer, high blood pressure exhibits no specific symptoms. It is easy to check, so track yours, and take action sooner rather than later. Dr. Seelig explains, people who have normal blood pressure probably have adequate magnesium. Ensure you also take in potassium, as these two minerals work together; good sources of potassium include plentiful vegetables, as well as Mineral Matrix. And, modify your diet to restore insulin sensitivity.
Dr. Kate Rheaume-Bleue, ND, explains that elevated cholesterol is a response to an inflammatory state, not the cause of it, and is not in and of itself a risk factor. The reason (such as insulin resistance) that the liver produces too much cholesterol must be addressed. The Lifewatcher diet has a successful track record for this, as do PGX and artichoke juice, among others.
Known as the other cholesterol, triglycerides exert a far greater impact on heart disease risk. They may be significantly and easily lowered with a low-insulin-potential diet, fish oil and vitamin E, resulting in important risk reduction.
5. SENSITIVE C-REACTIVE PROTEIN
This blood test measures silent inflammation. An anti-inflammatory low-insulin-potential diet with plenty of EFAs will reduce it significantly.
6. WAIST MEASURE
The simplest test of all can be performed easily at home: measure your waist at its largest point compared with your hips. For men, they should be the same. For women, the waist should be 80% (or less) of the hips. If your clothes are fitting better, your risk of heart disease is likely going down proportionately.
A Call to Action!
Take this advice to heart: if you change nothing, nothing will change. But there are so many simple steps that will make a huge difference to your risk profile, not only for heart disease but for so much more. Resolving the root causes of heart disease—whether nutrient deficiencies, abdominal weight, or insulin resistance – will have positive benefits in terms of other disease risks, including memory, polycystic ovaries, depression, arthritis, energy, even Alzheimer’s… so what are you waiting for?
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