Heart and Blood Health

The heart and blood is at the core of how we receive nutrients and eliminate wastes. For our hearts to function optimally, we need a vast array of nutrients, enough water, and the proper electolyic balance with regards to sodium, potassium and other key minerals. Steady flow of blood and nutrients ensures cells receive the compounds needed to fire accurately and carry wastes out of the system. If you have high: blood pressure, cholesterol, C-reactive protein (an inflammatory marker), or a more progressive form of heart disease, it's a warning sign that you are developing heart disease and should take action soon.

Heart disease can be reversed.  Diet, exercise and stress all play major roles. You'll want to reduce sodium found in most sauces, restaurant and processed foods. Also, it's important to maintain an "anti-inflammatory" diet and limit the amount of "free-radical" forming foods and habits in your life. Free-radical and inflammatory foods often overlap and include: sugar, chemicals like artifical colors and preservatives found in processed foods, trans-fats found in fried food and many baked goods, and lifestyle factors including like smoke, alcohol, and drugs. Too much of these over the course of years can cause heart disease. Essentially these free radical and inflammatory proteins injure the blood vessles and cause a buildup of cholesterol in the arteries which causes blood pressure to go up. As a result the heart can go into arythmia and stop pumping blood. 

However, you can also prevent all of this through healthy food choices, exercise to keep the vessles and heart muscle in "shape", and through stress reduction.  Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory foods protect the arteries and eliminate free radicals and inflammatory proteins from the blood, and out of the body. The protective foods include: brightly colored fruits and vegetables, avocadoes, low heat roasted or raw nuts and seeds, high fiber grains like steel cut oats, wild rice, sweet potatoes, quinoa, and other plant foods. Not only do plant foods have "phytonutrients" which translates to "plant nutrients", they have minerals which are sourced from the soil in which they're grown. These minerals are essential for maintaining the electrolytic balance of the blood and heart rythm.  Though the more health your diet and lifestyle, the longer your heart and vessles will last and the healthier you'll feel. 

If you believe you are at a high risk for heart disease, or have been diagnosed with high cholesterol or high blood pressure, you will benefit most from a comprehensive consultation with one of our licensed dietitian/nutritionists. Our dietitian will help you identify which foods or lifestyle habits are contributing to inflammation, potential osmolytic imbalances, and premature cell death; and she will help you develop a meal and lifestyle program as well as recommend supplements to support your cardiovascular system. You can see personal consultation options here.

We understand some people are unable or unwilling to change what they're eating at this moment. For those people we still encourage you to take some helpful and protective measures to ensure heart disease does not progress. The right supplements can be powerful even used alone, and below we've detailed some of our favorites for heart health. 

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