6 Mighty Heart-Building Tips
“New research shows the human heart is much more than an efficient pump that sustains life… research suggests the heart also is an access point to a source of wisdom and intelligence that we can call upon to live our lives with more balance, greater creativity, and enhanced intuitive capacities.” HeartMath Institute.
When was the last time you thought about your heart – how it works day and night, 24/7, without you even lifting a finger to keep you alive.
Most of us don’t pay much attention till it malfunctions. And that’s becoming more of a problem today…
Our hearts are breaking. Literally.
Heart disease is now the leading cause of death in this country.
It doesn’t give a hoot about your sex, your color, your nationality or your ethnicity. It affects us all.
And it’s not only killing us, but it’s making life rather dicey when it hits – if you’re lucky enough to even have a warning before you keel over.
But heart disease doesn’t just crop up out of the blue. The body doesn’t suddenly fail. It takes years of neglect or simply not knowing how some of the “little” things we do on a daily basis are slowly breaking us down.
Here are some simple things you can do every day to build a strong and resilient heart…
Extensive sitting slows your body down. Every part of it… metabolism, circulation, fat burning, digestion, cognition, and energy production. You might think of it as a mini-human hibernation – just for the day. And when your body slows down, aging speeds up.
One PubMed report says it this way: “Sitting time, TV time, and time sitting in automobiles increase premature mortality risk.” Another report out of Harvard states that standing lowers blood sugar, cholesterol, and weight – translating into a lower risk for heart disease. And another indicates that sitting too much ages you by 8 years.
Get up off your butt and out of your chair at least once every hour and alternate sitting with 8 to 10 minutes of standing. Even add a short walkabout at work. Your colleagues will love seeing you!
“Simply substituting two hours of standing for sitting also improved blood sugar and cholesterol levels.” Harvard Health
Consider a heart-supporting supplement
CoQ10 is an antioxidant naturally produced in the body that helps provide our energy. It also has “significant cardiovascular protective effects”, according to the Cleveland HeartLab.
But here’s the catch, CoQ10 diminishes with age, and its production is blocked if you happen to be taking statins – one of the most commonly prescribed medications today.
To help your beautiful heart, consider adding CoQ10 to your supplement regimen. And a little advice… don’t run out to your local grocery store or Amazon to pick up the least expensive brand you can find. This one supplement is an $800+ million market and full of questionable brands. Buy from a reputable provider. My “go-to” functional practitioners, Chris Kresser and Dr. Mark Hyman, recommend the more bioactive form, called ubiquinol, which you can purchase here or here.
Because it’s fat-soluble, be sure to take this supplement with a fatty meal for best absorption.
(Note: With all supplements, please consult with your medical provider before taking CoQ10 to check if it’s appropriate for you.)
Eat more fish – preferably wild
Fish two to three times a week has been shown to significantly lower the risk of heart disease.
Dr. William Li, in his book, Eat to Beat Disease, suggests fish with the highest nutrient density and high in fat. His picks include salmon, yellowtail (aka amberjack), sea bass, sardines, anchovies, and canned salmon. Yes, please to those anchovies on your caesar! And, no thank you to fried fish which has the opposite effect on the heart.
And don’t forget about oysters. They’re among the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet
“The amount of research and science has grown so much since the last advisory came out that it was time to come up with a new statement on the beneficial effects of seafood in preventing not just heart disease, but stroke, heart failure, sudden cardiac death and congestive heart failure,” Harvard School of Public Health
Uncork the Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Dr. Valter Longo, biogerontologist, cell biologist, director of the Longevity Institute at USC and scientist at the Center for Molecular Oncology has spent the last 30 years studying how to keep us young. In his new book, The Longevity Diet, Longo prescribes Extra Virgin Olive Oil liberally in our daily diets to keep us vibrant and young.
Olive oil is one of those non-negotiables for heart health. In scientific studies, it is shown to be an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and vasodilatory nutrient that lowers the possibility of heart disease.
One final note… there’s ongoing debate about whether or not we should cook with olive oil. It’s purported low smoke point of 374° (the point at which oil oxidizes and turns rancid), some say is the reason to exclude it from high heat cooking. But let’s put that one to bed right now.
Studies show that olive oil holds up extremely well to high heat. While vegetable oils – which are highly inflammatory, should be avoided. Buy the best quality you can find. Here is my favorite and it’s readily available in most grocery stores today. If you want to learn more, go here for more info.
Drink a little more water
We’re about 55% – 70% water.
Water’s one of those essential nutrients we all need. Without it, we’re done in about three days. And when you don’t get enough, you’re just asking for trouble.
Water dilutes your blood, making it less likely to stick to your vessel walls and cause plaque buildups and blockages. It’s also directly linked to heart disease since the heart has to pump harder to circulate thick blood. If there is any truth to the rumor that we all have a set number of heartbeats, that’s reason enough to up your water intake.
How do you know if you’re getting enough?
Your urine is the easiest indicator. If it’s pale and clear, your good. Otherwise… drink up!
“Whole blood viscosity… is positively correlated with coronary heart disease…. In some reports, the magnitudes of their effects are comparable with those of smoking, diastolic blood pressure, and low-density serum cholesterol.” American Journal of Epidemiology
Love more, anger less
Love, calm, serenity, hugs all release those wonderful hormones that not only make you feel amazing but sooth your blood pressure and strengthen your heart.
Give love freely. More will come your way. And that’s a good thing!
Need a little help? Maybe a heart-healthy food plan or someone to steer you in the right direction? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or go here to schedule a complimentary coaching session. No fun going it alone!