Plus 3D Video of How the Heart Works
Cardiovascular disease usually involves conditions like congestive heart failure, high blood pressure, peripheral artery disease, and cardiac arrest among others. If left untreated it can have devastating consequences including permanent disability and even death.
If heart disease runs in your family or if you have been diagnosed with heart disease recently, you are not alone:
The American Heart Association estimates that Cardiovascular disease is the leading global cause of death, accounting for 17.3 million deaths per year, a number that is expected to grow to more than 23.6 million by 2030.
Here are some statistics that can show you where you stand regarding the risk of Cardiovascular disease:
It is important to bring awareness on prevention for a healthy heart–instead of waiting for heart disease to rear its ugly head. Now I have some questions for you:
- Do you currently smoke or have you ever smoked in the past?
- Do you drink alcohol excessively or have a stressful job?
- Have you been diagnosed with Coronary Artery Disease, (CAD) Coronary Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) or any other heart or artery disease?
- Does heart disease run in your family?
- Follow a poor diet full of processed foods or use recreational drugs?
If you answered yes to any of these questions you need to start making drastic life style changes right now.
If you answered No. Congratulations! Keep doing what you are doing, but definitely share with a friend or relative that could have answered yes so they can benefit too.
See, the heart is our motor organ, and often times we under estimate the vital role it plays in maintaining this massive and amazing creation also know as– the body.
So How Do You Protect and Prevent Cardiovascular Disease?
1. If You Smoke- Stop Right Now
Smoking damages all of the organs in your body including–yes you guessed it; the heart. Here is an excerpt from the article How Does Smoking Affect the Heart and Blood Vessels by the National Heart Lungs and Blood Institute:
Smoking harms nearly every organ in the body, including the heart, blood vessels, lungs, eyes, mouth, reproductive organs, bones, bladder, and digestive organs. This article focuses on how smoking affects the heart and blood vessels.
Smoking and Your Heart and Blood Vessels
The chemicals in tobacco smoke harm your blood cells. They also can damage the function of your heart and the structure and function of your blood vessels. This damage increases your risk of atherosclerosis (ath-er-o-skler-O-sis).
Atherosclerosis is a disease in which a waxy substance called plaque (plak) builds up in the arteries. Over time, plaque hardens and narrows your arteries. This limits the flow of oxygen-rich blood to your organs and other parts of your body. 
If that isn’t an incentive then stop making tobacco companies richer. Save that money and plan a vacation with your loved ones– you deserve it. Not them!
2. Practice Gratitude
In a study conducted by Dr. Paul mills- a professor of family medicine and public health at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine he found the following:
Out, of 186 men and women, average age 66, who at the time– suffered from damage to their heart, through either numerous years untreated high blood pressure, cardiac events or even a bacterial infection of the cardiovascular system alone.
In the study every individual filled out a regular survey to rate how grateful they felt for the people in their lives in general, vacation destinations or things in his/her life.
It became clear that the more grateful individuals were, the healthier they were.
“They experienced less depression, had a better out look towards life, attitude, slept better and had higher energy levels,” says Mills.  Even most startling were the blood results from those people who practiced gratitude more often. Not only was their chronic inflammation— the body’s natural response to injury, or plaque buildup in the arteries— lower — their heart rhythm and over health improved.
His final thoughts?
“Taking the time to focus on what you are thankful for,” he says, “letting that sense of gratitude wash over you — this helps us manage and cope.”
And helps keep our hearts healthy. Read the origina and full article Gratitud is good for the soud and helps the heart too
3. Exercise and Cardiovascular Disease
Exercising is a heart’s best friend, because it lowers inflammation and reduces visceral fat.
In the journal for Cardiovascular Disease and Exercise from the American Heart Association (AHA)– researchers look at several reports from expert panels linked to organizations such as the CDC, ACSM, AHA along with a 1996 US Surgeon General’s Report on Physical Activity and Health. They continue to reinforce scientific evidence linking regular physical activity to various measures of cardiovascular health.
The existing view over these reports is that, far more active or physically fit people are less likely to develop coronary heart disease (CHD) than their sedentary counterparts. If CHD occurs in individuals, it comes about at a later age and is generally less severe.
Benefits of Regular Exercise on Cardiovascular Risk Factors
Increase in exercise tolerance
Reduction in body weight
Reduction in blood pressure
Reduction in bad (LDL and total) cholesterol
Increase in good (HDL) cholesterol
Increase in insulin sensitivity (source AHA)
As a an independent researcher and health blogger my job is mostly to be tied up to a computer, journal or book. However, for the past few years I have made it a point to stand most of my working hours or get up every 30-60 minutes, to walk around if and when I sit down. These days I go walking/jogging most mornings at my favorite trail mainly while my back heals. ( Due to last year’s back injury) and on and off flare ups.
The key is to get started and incorporate as much activity in your daily routine as possible. The is ample evidence that physical activity and fitness have a strong effect on most diseases. Get moving today- your heart will thank you later. Read the full article on the journal here.
4. Get Solid Sleep
I know we are all so busy and can’t get enough sleep. I also battle with that as it seems days don’t have enough hours. However, I have made drastic changes and have set goals in terms of how late I will stay up. If I must stay up, I will make up for the lost hours napping the next day. If I can’t, I go to sleep earlier that night. If you don’t have to stay up late–Don’t do it!
The sleep foundation stresses on the importance of solid sleep for a healthy heart. Here’s a great excerpt from their article ” How Sleep Deprivation Affects Your Heart:
It’s not completely clear why less sleep is detrimental to heart health, but researchers understand that sleeping too little causes disruptions in underlying health conditions and biological processes like glucose metabolism, blood pressure, and inflammation.
One of the reasons we know how vital sleep is to the heart is that patients with sleep apnea (which causes them to wake frequently throughout the night) often have compromised heart health. This is because without long, deep periods of rest, certain chemicals are activated that keep the body from achieving extended periods in which heart rate and blood pressure are lowered. Over time, this can lead to higher blood pressure during the day and a greater chance of cardiovascular problems.
Many studies have shown the relationship between sleep apnea and cardiovascular disease.One found that over an eight-year period, men with severe sleep apnea were 58 percent more likely to develop congestive heart failure than men without the nighttime breathing disorder. But it doesn’t take a severe underlying sleep disorder to see effects on the heart. Poor sleeping (as a result of changing work schedules or poor sleep habits, for example) can put you at risk as well. Read the entire article here
5. Manage Stress
Breathing for 10 minutes is the easiest and cheapest way to release stress when in a crunch. I really love Mindfulness Meditation – Quick 15 Min Stress Relief Version when I need to release stress, or anxiety. It absolutely works.
Also, connect with friends that make you laugh and uplift your spirits, take a yoga class (free at the local library or youtube), take a soothing bath aaaah! Just anything to help you get rid of stress, that YOU love, and makes you happy.
6. Change Your Diet
In a recent webinar Doctor Stephen Sinatra warned about the disastrous consequences of eating processed foods and heart health. Stop making fast food companies richer on your health’s behalf. Choose better options if you must eat out, but I am not going to sugar coat it– you have no control of what’s in the food you buy from a restaurant. Cooking your own meals gives you control of what you and your family put in your body. Make it fun and involve everyone in the kitchen.
Remove or limit these foods:[list icon=”icon: leaf” icon_color=”#156817″]
- S U G A R and everything that turns into it.
- Grains, (white, Flour, corn, white rice, and most grains as much as you can. Make consuming these foods if you must– a treat.
- Unhealthy fats (vegetable oils and that includes eating out from fast food restaurants that use these oils)
- Margarine and dairy products from CAFO’s (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations)[/list]
Instead eat a diet rich in mostly organic vegetables and fruits. Remember that fruits count towards your sugar intake. Keep that in mind. Eat healthy sustainable fish, organic grassfed meats, chicken and healthy fats such as that of avocado, pastured butter, ghee, nuts, and coconut oil,
Aim for cooking your own meals as you will use the best oils and ingredients. If you must go out aim to eat a restaurants that care and support healthy eating. Also, keep these top 10 apps for eating healthy handy.
For example: make a batch of soup, lentils, roasted vegetables on Sunday so you won’t have to cook all week. At least, you’ll get rid of one more side dish to cook. I also make a large pot of soup or stew, then store it in a mason jar or BPA-free corning ware for later use.
7. Supplement Properly
There are excellent supplements that promote healthy blood circulation with potent natural anti-inflammatory. I like Nattokinase which is one of the most potent nature’s own blood thinner. There is also Omega Q Plus. which is one of the best supplements to lower blood pressure lower blood pressure naturally or you can add this juice to your heart healthy foods list. CoQ10 vitamin supports heart health, improved circulation, and provides antioxidant protection!
Here the usual warning signs of a heart attack. I got this from taking the Heart Disease Quiz from the CDC’s website. You can take the quiz yourself here.
8. Life Style Changes vs Inherited Cardiovascular Disease
Research by the Department of Medicine, California Pacific Medical Center, SF concluded in this article, that intensive lifestyle changes may lead to regression of coronary atherosclerosis after 1 year and 5 years subsequently.
[note note_color=”#eef5e3″ text_color=”#251716″ radius=”9″]Your main line of defense towards disease is”prevention” and what you feed your body or not– will make the difference. [/note]Eat a diet rich in fresh vegetables and fruits [organic as much as possible] to reduce exposure to xenoestrogens and pesticides.
If your grandparents/parents have a history and or passed of heart disease you must take control or your health now. Change your life style and simply– do the opposite of what they did.
I don’t meant to be harsh, but that is what I tell myself when memories of my relatives confined to a bed after a massive stroke or heart attack come to haunt me. Yes, there is a correlation with genes and disease, but it is proven that you can reverse heart disease, by making critical life style changes.
Many people believe that because their relatives ate certain foods such as: sugar, flour and other foods they lived to 9o and looked “healthy”. That is somehow true, but you need to understand that wheat, sugar, and other grains have been altered– and when you play with nature– nature will find a way to fight back.
See, most sugars have been genetically engineered, especially sugar beets which is what is widely used in the industry, unless otherwise specified with the Non-GMO verified logo. and here’s the report back up that claim.
As far as flour goes, it has also had its share of changes since our grandfathers. Dr. William Davis the author of the best seller Wheat Belly says:
Modern wheat has been hybridized (crossing different strains to generate new characteristics; 5% of proteins generated in the offspring, for instance, are not present in either parent), backcrossed (repeated crossing to winnow out a specific trait, e.g., short stature), and hybridized with non-wheat plants (to introduce entirely unique genes).
There are also chemical-, gamma-, and x-ray mutagenesis, i.e., the use of obnoxious stimuli to induce mutations that can then be propagated in offpspring. This is how BASF’s Clearfield wheat was created, for example, by exposing the seeds and embryos to the industrial chemical, sodium azide, that is highly toxic to humans. Read the entire article here.
Here’s the video of how the heart works in 3D- Enjoy!
Question: Have you or a loved one been diagnosed with Heart Disease? If so, what steps are you taking to treat or reverse it? I’d love to hear your experiences in the comments below.
http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/smo  http://www.npr.org/  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/