Help Your Heart

What can you do to help your heart? Start by having a greater sense of appreciation for what this miraculous organ does for you. Did you know that the heart is actually a muscle that pumps some 6,000 quarts of blood a day through thousands of miles of blood vessels? The heart beats 100,000 times a day and it humbly keeps up this routine 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year – without any vacation time.

Now to the heart of the matter – consider these ten tips to lighten your heart’s load and promote optimum health:

  • Try to reduce anger, an emotion that raises blood pressure, thickens the blood, and constricts blood vessels, all of which raise the risk of a clot and heart attack.
  • Get enough sleep, approximately 6-8 hours a night. Sleep is a resting phase for the heart, during which heart rate slows down.
  • Exercise appropriately. The heart is a muscle that needs to stay fit, just like the other 600 or so muscles in the body.
  • Consume more fish. Eskimos – known to consume great quantities of Omega-3 oil – don’t get heart disease. This heart protective oil is found in all fish, but fatty fish (i.e. salmon, sardines, mackerel, herring, bluefish, anchovies, rainbow trout, and sablefish) have more. Crushed flaxseeds are the highest plant source.
  • Increase your intake of soluble fiber, found in fruits, vegetables, beans, peas, barley, and oatmeal.
  • Crush raw or lightly cooked garlic cloves into your food.
  • Drink a few cups of organic green tea a day and red wine in moderation.
  • Cut back on saturated fats, found in higher amounts in red meats, butter, cream, and full fat dairy products. Avoid hydrogenated fats and use extra virgin olive oil.
  • Get a good quality supplement, such as VitaShield, that contains an optimal amount of Vitamin D. For more information, see drshieldsnutrition.com.
  • Get screened for cholesterol, triglycerides, c-reactive protein, fibrinogen, lipoprotein (a), and homocystein, and have a routine EKG, echocardiogram, and stress test.

By following these guidelines, you can assume greater responsibility for your health and reduce the risks of heart disease. Remember that maintaining health is easier and less costly than restoring good health once it has been lost.