Heart Disease is any condition that affects the structure and function of the heart, and is a major cause of death in North America. High blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, atherosclerosis, cardiovascular disease, hart valve problems, heart failure, effect millions individuals and their families a year. My own father died at age 55 from having suffered multiple heart attacks, and let me tell you the results are not only devastating to the individual, but to those around them that care and love them.
Some early signs of heart disease include:
Chest pains and discomfort
Nausea, indigestion, stomach pain or heart burn
Dizziness or feeling lightheaded
Throat or jaw pain
Exhaustion or easily exhausted
Pain that spreads to the arm
Swollen legs, feet or ankles
Irregular Heart Beat
The good new is that heart disease is preventable and in many cases reversible. Simple changes in lifestyle and nutrition can go a long way.
Some food that keep the heart health and strong include:
Green leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach, collards, beet and dandelion greens which contain vitamin K, a key nutrient for helping to decalcify blood vessels and protects the arteries.
Berries are rich in antioxidants which are very heart protective.
Avocados contain healthy monosaturated fats that help to lower LDL cholesterol, and contains potassium to help the function of your arteries.
Nuts and seeds also help LDL cholesterol as well as, reduce inflammation and help to keep blood sugar levels balanced.
Beans are high in fiber, vitamins and minerals. They also contain phytochemicals that help reduce inflammation and oxidative stress caused by a build up of plaque.
Apples as they contain pectin, a soluble fiber which blocks cholesterol absorption in the gut and is full of gut friendly vitamins and mineral.
Herbs and spices are also great for heart and overall health and keeping your food tasting great. Try adding turmeric, garlic, ginger or black pepper to your next meal.
Lifestyle changes are also important for heart health. Reducing stress is so important to overall health, and especially the health of your heart and cardiovascular system. Deep breathing, laughter, journaling, cognitive behavioral therapy, exercise, reading or engaging in your favorite activity or hobby are all great tools for stress reduction.
Exercise and movement are great for your heart, lungs, muscles and overall optimal functioning of your body. However, exercising doesn’t have to be so intense that it knocks you out for the rest of the day. Brisk walking, low impact aerobics, and body weigh training work well. The key is to get the blood flowing and your heart rate up!
Above all, work on bring more love, joy, compassion and into your life! Keeping your heart full of love and staying away from hate, fear and other negative emotions hugely impact heart health. More, importantly practice self-love, self-compassion and forgiveness
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