Top Pick for Heart Health
Daily Balance Q10 Answer
Give a ‘spark’ of energy to your heart
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Natural Prescription for Healthy Heart
Many people erroneously believe heart conditions mainly affect men. For years, cardiologists gave women data and guidelines for promoting a healthy heart that were derived from mostly male or male-only studies. As a result, many women were misdiagnosed and their treatment was ineffective—or too late. We now know there are significant differences between men and women when it comes to heart health. Further, we have learned that what works for men in treating heart conditions often doesn’t work for women.
Most women are protected by natural estrogen production—until their first symptoms of menopause when female hormone production slows. At that time women become increasingly vulnerable to heart risk factors. In fact, incidences of coronary events quadruple as women reach their mid-forties, and after age 50 their risk is as great as—or greater—than men’s.
Foods That Help, Foods That Hurt
A healthy diet is critical to promoting heart health, but to follow a heart-healthy diet you may need to change the way you shop for and prepare food. To begin with, your diet should be high in fiber, root and green vegetables, fruit, and fish with less red meat, and canola and olive oils with less saturated fat like butter. Plus, you’ll also need to learn how to Eat Right for Your pH Type because your body’s acid/alkaline balance is critical to your heart health.
Here are a few pointers to get you started:
Avoid red meats and dairy
Red meat converts to sulfuric acid and phosphoric acid in your body, tipping the acid/alkaline balance into the red zone. Arachidonic acid, a fatty acid derived primarily from red meat and dairy products, contributes to blood clotting and clumping. Instead of milk try rice milk and soy milk.
Go for soy
Try to eat 50 g of soy protein a day. Studies show that soy may help promote normal cholesterol levels.
Alcohol: Everything in moderation
There’s been a lot written about the benefits of drinking a glass of wine to lower your cholesterol. And there is some evidence that low to moderate alcohol consumption may reduce the risk of blood clots in older individuals. But there is also evidence that excess alcohol may contribute to cardiac disease. I recommend drinking no more than 4 ounces of wine, 12 ounces of beer, or 1 ounce of hard liquor once or twice a week.
Find the Right Fats
Not all fats are created equal. The type of fats and the level of antioxidants in your diet help determine how sticky your platelets are. Saturated fats like butter, and food high in cholesterol, increase platelet stickiness. But essential fatty acids (EFAs), are critical for a strong heart, normal blood pressure and normal homocysteine levels, balanced blood sugar, a healthy brain, and lubricated joints.
Flax is the Answer
Flax promotes heart health with essential fatty acids. It also helps maintain normal cholesterol levels and promotes regularity. Take 1-2 tablespoons of flaxseed oil or 4-6 tablespoons of flax.
Fiber, Fiber, Fiber
Your body uses fiber to bind to fat and then escorts the fat, or cholesterol, out of your body. Vegetables like broccoli, whole grains, and legumes are great sources of fiber. Fiber also makes you feel full and decreases your appetite so you don’t overeat. You should have at least 50 grams of fiber in your diet a day.
Go for garlic
Garlic helps improve circulation by “thinning” your blood for better flow. It also aids in maintaining arterial elasticity by stimulating your body’s production of nitric oxide, a natural muscle relaxant. Eat a clove of garlic a day or take 1,000 mg in capsule form.
To learn more about Dr. Lark’s top recommendation for hearth health, click here.
Heart Healthy Nutrients
The body’s cells require a vast array of nutrients for optimal heart function. Many of these can be found in conventional multivitamin-multimineral supplements. That’s why any time I put a woman on a nutrient program I start by recommending that she optimize the amounts of key nutrients in her daily supplement program by choosing a high-potency multinutrient.
The more advanced multinutrients will contain many of the most important nutrients including the ones listed below. However, check dosages carefully to be sure you’re getting the levels you need for maximum heart support.
Instead of the daily baby aspirin many physicians recommend to promote heart health, I recommend supplemental digestive enzymes. Dietary enzymes have an anti-inflammatory effect that helps reduce blood clotting and clumping.
Bromelain: 500-1,000 mg four times per day apart from meals. (Don’t exceed 4,000 mg daily.)
Papain: 200-300 mg two to four times a day between meals.
Pancreatin: one or two 300-500 mg tablets four times daily, apart from meals.
B-complex vitamins (Folic acid, 400-800 mcg per day; vitamin B6, 25-100 mg per day; vitamin B12, 100-500 mcg per day)
B vitamins help to keep homocysteine levels in the normal range.
Coenzyme Q10 (30-150 mg per day. I prefer an oil-based CoQ10 capsule.)
CoQ10 promotes a healthy boost in the energy output of your heart, helping to keep it pumping strong. It also provides powerful antioxidant protection to maintain normal cholesterol levels and it helps in maintaining normal blood pressure. If you take statin drugs, take 200 mg of CoQ10 daily and watch closely for signs of muscle pain or weakness.
Hawthorn (100-300 mg of hawthorn per day)
Helps relax vascular muscle tissue, and it may help dilate your coronary vessels to increase blood flow to your heart. It also helps to promote strong plaque free arterial walls.
L-Carnitine (1,000-2,000 mg per day)
Preliminary studies suggest that the amino acid L-carnitine may increase blood flow to the heart, maintain normal LDL-cholesterol levels, and maintain healthy blood pressure levels.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids: All three of the following oils are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
Fish oil: 300 mg of DHA and 200 mg of EPA per day, or
Evening primrose oil: 3,000 to 4,000 mg per day, or
Cold-pressed flaxseed oil: 1 to 2 tablespoons per day.
To learn more about Dr. Lark’s top recommendation for heart health, click here.
Maintaining a healthy heart is so important, and there are simple things you can do everyday to keep your heart strong and healthy. Start with a diet rich in fiber and essential fatty acids. Add targeted supplements that support cardiovascular health, like L-carnitine and CoQ10. Exercise regularly. And you’ll be on your way to a strong, healthy heart.
|This exercise helps to relax tension and contractions in the chest, difficulties in breathing, cardiac problems, and reduction of high blood pressure.
Repeat this exercise three to five times, but do not go past your level of comfort.