Q: How can I help support my heart naturally?
A: This is one of the most common questions I get from my patients. There are three basics cornerstones of good health.
EXERCISE – As our friend Sir Isaac Newton said, “An object in motion stays in motion; an object at rest stays at rest.” That goes for bodies, too! I recommend pursuing physical activity appropriate for your level of health and fitness. The heart is a muscle, too. So, just like working out your arms or legs too much, it is important to not overwork one's heart either.
FOOD AS FUEL - We are what we eat. You are fueling 60,000 miles of blood vessels! It goes without saying, avoiding trans fats and processed foods is key, and try to drink about 64 ounces of pure water per day as a minimum.
RESTORATION - Your heart needs rest, too. If your average heart rate is 72 beats per minute, that means your heart beats 103,680 times a day. It deserves a rest.
When supplementing a heart-healthy diet, I encourage my patients to focus on four major heart-nurturing goals:
- Blood fluidity including water, but also including use of herbs such as Garlic and Ginkgo.
- Control inflammation with herbal blends that synergistically help keep inflammation in check. Inflammation is an independent risk factor for heart disease and makes many of the other risk factors evening bigger overall concerns. Omega-3 fatty acids are also a must. Also, inflammation has been denoted in medical scientific literature as an “Inflamm-Aging” factor.
- Cholesterol needs to be always considered, a higher fiber diet, good bowel elimination, stress reduction and exercise can help. So, can keeping one’s blood sugar under control.
- Lastly, the silent killer, high blood pressure. I encourage all my patients to own and use a home blood pressure monitor as it needs to be monitored closely. It is important to know how your body functions under various circumstances, before and after exercise, before and after watching the news, after a hard day, when you are tired, etc. Remember, data is power when it comes to your health. If we aren’t testing, we are guessing. My patients get the following tests annually, HA1c (long-term blood sugar control), cholesterol panel with particle size and other markers, cardio C-Reactive Protein, Fibrinogen and vitamin D, as a minimum.