1. Men tend to overeat- especially fatty foods. Hardening of the arteries is strongly tied to a diet high in animal fat, especially from butter, red meat, ice cream and eggs, the very foods many men overeat! Over-consumption of salt, a high stress lifestyle with little “downtime,” and smoking are key factors. A low fat, high fiber diet is important for heart protection. It is essential for overcoming high blood pressure. Reduce fatty dairy foods like ice cream and rich cheeses. Cut back on red meat, especially pork. A better choice? Eat seafood at least twice a week. An 11 year study covering over 22,000 male physicians found that eating seafood just once a week cuts men’s risk of sudden cardiac death by 52%!
2. Use olive oil instead. You can’t fry in olive oil, but fried foods are so bad for your heart that this is a plus. Olive oil boosts healthy HDL cholesterol levels and removes fats from the blood. Try organic olive oil. Eat more Supergreen foods - spinach, chard and sea veggies, for magnesium therapy and EFAs, keys to heart regulation and health.
3. Men at risk for heart disease need more fiber! Fiber has proven in many studies to reduce arterial plaque. Herbs are a good source of cleansing fiber for the male system. An herbal fiber drink mix daily along with artichoke extract helps reduce cholesterol, lower blood fats (triglycerides) and cleanse fatty build-up.
4. Add healing spices like garlic, onions, turmeric and cayenne peppers to your diet. Garlic thins the blood, normalizes blood pressure, helps reduce serum cholesterol and arterial plaque build-up. Both onions and garlic stimulate healthy circulation. Cayenne peppers strengthen all cardiovascular activity, dilate arteries and reduce blood pressure. Turmeric, an anti-inflammatory spice, helps decrease cholesterol levels and prevents progression of atherosclerosis. Don’t like spicy recipes? Consider a garlic product with garlic, vitamin E, hawthorn and cayenne pepper.
5. Eat vitamin C rich foods like citrus fruits, broccoli or peppers. Low blood levels of vitamin C are linked to progressing atherosclerosis and to increased heart attack risk. A new study shows that men with no pre-existing heart disease who are deficient in vitamin C have 3.5 times MORE heart attacks than men who are not deficient in vitamin C.
6. Herbal stress busters are a good choice for men. They reduce anxiety. Herbal formulas with gotu kola, passsionflower and scullcap calm stress reactions. I recommend Siberian eleuthero, a ginseng-like adaptogen that builds resistance to stress and restores nervous system health.
7. New research show vitamin D-3 is protective through anti-inflammatory action. However, African American men may need up to 10 times the sun exposure to produce the same amount of this protective this nutrient than light skinned men. (Young adults need at least 2000 IU, older adults and African Americans need 5000IU.)
To Life-long health,