In today’s world, improving heart health isn’t something you do just after having a distressing diagnoses, but something that should occur as part of your daily living routines before and hopefully instead of a cardiac-related diagnosis. Just as taking a shower and brushing your teeth have become something you just do – part of your daily routine – so can heart-healthy habits.
Understanding what we need a cardiovascular system for in the first place, helps us put the pieces in place that help us to be inspired to have a healthy system. The cardiovascular (CV) system includes the heart, blood vessels and the blood. Together they pump life into your body. They cause nutrients needed for every function in the body to flow through to even the tiniest, most confined areas. Likewise, they also remove the wastes from normal metabolic functions and toxic metabolites as a result of food, water, air and other daily influences. It also transports chemical messengers such as hormones and enzymes to stimulate or suppress function. Oxygen to the tissues, and especially to the heart and brain are also regularly transported.
The body also protects itself by creating a pathway via blood to support immune components such as antibodies, white blood cells and other immune cells to contend with undesirable microbes and toxins. Blood is essential in regulating body temperature, pH, water content of cells, and important clotting mechanisms.
The first thing you can do to have a healthy heart (and this also includes your whole cardiovascular and support systems from blood to liver to brain to all things touched by blood) is to feed it the nutrients that are needed to make it work right.
Sugar is pretty much a known hindrance to good cardiovascular health. Just as putting sugar into your car’s gas tank can ruin its engine, so too can it ruin a more important engine, your heart! Just staying away from that can make a profound difference in heart health. In addition to the known detriments sugar has on health, it steals important minerals necessary for the electrical and pumping mechanisms of the heart. It also steals B vitamins, necessary for heart health. Alcohol, is a refined sugar and falls into this category along with refined carbohydrates.
Stimulants such as coffee, black and green teas, energy drinks, caffeine pills and other stimulants are not good for heart health. Some of the above are touted as being good due to antioxidant content, but the amounts are negligible compared to the negatives.
The right fats can significantly help cardiovascular health, whereas the bad fats like seed oils, soy, peanut and especially hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils can etch a path to destructive heart disease.
You have to eat everyday anyway, why not eat real food that supports rather than breaks down your cardiovascular health? Good fats such as coconut oil, butter, and olive oil have been shown to help, rather than hurt CV health.
Other daily rituals necessary to good CV health include: Exercising daily, reducing stress, improving sleep, introducing more fun into your life, eliminating belly fat, quit smoking, and reducing inflammation. All of these and more can become a regular healthy part of life. Be wise and help your heart health now and regularly!
©2022 Holly A. Carling, O.M.D., L.Ac., Ph.D.