To start improving your heart health today, follow this simple prescription!
Cut Out Sugar
Sugar raises blood sugar levels, which raises insulin levels, which in turn slows metabolism, decreasing the burning of calories for energy and increasing the calories converted to fat. Sugar elevates cholesterol, especially small particle LDL, the most damaging kind and the stuff that’s most closely correlated with heart disease and heart attack.
Cut Back on Grains
Grains are carbs that are one step away from being broken down to sugar (glucose) by the body, particularly if you are insulin-resistant or carb sensitive, take it easy on the grains, especially the refined grains.
Cut Out Vegetable Oils
When you remove vegetable oils, you will reduce the cardiac risk associated with taking in too many omega-6 fatty acids (and not enough omega-3s). Dropping vegetable oils reduces the inflammation triggered by an over-abundance of omega-6’s, found in so-called healthy oils like canola, corn, cottonseed, safflower and sunflower.
Add Good Fats
Your body, your heart and your brain need fat to function. We are talking about the good ones! You will find the good stuff in foods like avocados, nuts, seeds, extra virgin olive oil, coconut, coconut oil and fatty fish. Let go of your fat phobia and your heart will be happy!
Supplements won’t fix a bad diet, but they can be a great way to help fill in the gaps and provide additional support and protection, particularly for the heart. Our favorite heart-helpers are:
-Fish oil supplements to help protect the heart by tamping down inflammation throughout the body.
-Vitamin K2 which helps protect heart function by helping remove calcium from places where it shouldn’t be, like your arteries and to move it to where it should be, like your bones.
-CoQ10 is a powerful antioxidant that helps improve cardiovascular health and is especially important for those over 40 or for those taking statins, as both aging and drugs deplete the body of this essential enzyme.
-Magnesium which helps keep blood pressure in check by relaxing the blood vessels and promoting blood flow.
Heart health doesn’t stop with our favorite dietary tips! Implement these bonus lifestyle modifications and your heart will love you for it!
Learn to Love a Little Meditation
You can support your heart with a regular meditation practice. With a little practice, you can train yourself to meditate anywhere, anytime, and bust stress on-demand. Doing so will increase your resilience and resistance to stress as well as lower blood pressure within minutes and reduce the level of cortisol – all of which is great news for your heart.
Time to Get Moving
We are saying you need to be training for an Ironman race! The heart gains so much from exercise, as long as you’re well enough for it (check with your health care provider). A workout every other day for at least 30 minutes will help cut heart disease risk, lower blood pressure, increase blood flow, boost circulation and good (HDL) cholesterol. There might also be some side effects which could include better sleep, increased muscle tone and weight loss.
Get Up, Stand Up
Many studies suggest that sitting all day is horrible for your heart, going so far as to call sitting the new smoking. The great news is that you can combat this problem by simply standing more then you sit every day.
Make Sure you are Brushing and Flossing
Numerous studies have shown a link between poor dental hygiene and cardiovascular health. Good dental hygiene in addition to regular professional cleanings and checkups will go a long way to help prevent gum disease and oral bacteria from entering the bloodstream and triggering heart-harming inflammation.
Have More Sex
During sex, particularly between emotionally supportive partners, the release of oxytocin helps reduce stress, blood pressure and cortisol levels making your heart, not to mention the rest of you, very happy.
Laughter is the Best Medicine
Laughter is so good for you it is ridiculous! We all need to commit to doing more of it. In addition to making you feel good (thanks to the laugh-induced release of endorphins) a good hearty session of laughter helps reduce blood pressure, lowers stress hormone levels and boosts immunity.
Connect, Develop and Nurture Relationships
We are not meant to live in isolation, which is actually bad for our hearts. Even if you are not an extremely social person, you need to connect and be a part of a community, of a larger world. Loneliness stresses the heart, suppresses the immune system and may contribute to a shorter life span.
Let us help with your health and wellness needs. Call 574-330-0464 or visit www.wellnessmichiana.com for more infomation!