Every month should be Heart Health month. This one little muscle has an immense amount of authority over our lives ~ physiologically AND in the arena of mind + spirit.
Chinese Medicine views the heart as the “Emperor” organ of our “Shen”, which influences our spirit, sleep and mood states. Courage, comes from the Latin “coeur/heart”, which Brené Brown of “Daring Greatly” fame suggests means “to tell the story of who you are with your whole heart.” By the time we’re 80 years old, this courageous + mighty muscle will have beaten nearly three and a half billion times (3,363,840,000). And yet, most of us aren’t thinking about our hearts until they’re broken.
Whole cultures have embraced healthy heart habits with amazing results – and you can too! Perhaps you’ve heard of the Finnish town that, in 1972, was found to have the highest rate of heart attacks on the globe. By adopting new habits including exercise and a Mediterranean eating style, our Nordic neighbors are now living an extra 6 to 7 years and the rest of the world is wondering what they’re doing so right.
Roll forward to 2016 and you can see that we’ve come a long way. However … heart disease remains the leading cause of death for both sexes in the United States. According to Integrative Cardiologist, Stephen Sinatra, the top 5 heart health risk factors to watch in 2016 are:
- High Blood Pressure
- Acute Emotional Stress
- High Blood Sugar
- High Lp(a) – a small, dense, highly inflammatory cholesterol particle
The “experts” tell to avoid fats and get more exercise – but when heart labs show risk, most doctors prescribe pills for cholesterol and high blood pressure. There is more to the story than prescribing an Rx (see the the new testing below!). Did you know statin drugs have never been studied for use in women, but are prescribed for women every day? And research suggests they are more appropriate for those (mean and women) with a history of heart attack. Statins also come with side effects that often lead to other health issues. (Welcome, COQ-10 to offset the deficiency caused by statins). Our clinic has many tools to establish balance.
How else can we love our hearts? By adopting a diet that includes heart-friendly fats, such as: olive oil, ground flaxseed and flaxseed oil, olives, wild fish, avocado and nuts, which help lower cholesterol and support your body’s natural health. It goes without saying, we want to focus on eating more fresh, colorful vegetables and fruits, and cut out that heart clogging fast food.
Herbs and spices found in our own kitchen, such as garlic, turmeric, cayenne, cilantro, cinnamon, ginger and onion contain key antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. Green tea, pomegranates and dark chocolate are a few of my favorite foods for maintaining a healthy heart due to their rich phenolic and flavonoid compounds – that also act as potent gene-behavior modifies, suppressors of cancer, immune system balancers and are a delight to our senses when enjoyed mindfully.
So the next time you want to show your sweetheart how much you value their heart, enjoy the dark chocolate, yes, but don’t skip the turmeric and garlic!
For more information on personalized, heart-healthy options, contact Debra Sue at: