Healthy Hearts

A Man's Healthy Heart

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chicken-587066-resized-600

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,

Linda Page

What Causes High Blood Pressure?

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daisy-resized-600

Most cases of high blood pressure are caused by arteriosclerosis and atherosclerosis (clogging arterial fats and increased fat storage), 90% of which in turn may result from a calcium, magnesium or fiber deficiency - factors that can be controlled by diet and lifestyle improvement. Some people with high blood pressure are overweight due to a high fat, high sugar diet; most also have a high consumption of salt and red meat which raises critical copper levels. A high stress lifestyle, linked to smoking, excess alcohol and too much caffeine is involved. Key markers for high blood pressure: thickened blood with excess mucous and waste, insulin resistance from poor sugar metabolism (almost half of all people with hypertension also suffer from insulin resistance), thyroid metabolic imbalances, exhausted kidneys and varying degrees of auto-toxemia from chronic constipation.  Studies show that people with hypertension who make good lifestyle changes fare much better than those on anti-hypertension drugs. For example, vegetarians have less hypertension and fewer blood pressure problems than meat eaters. Exercise is a key to normalizing blood pressure. Exforge is a new triple drug approved for hypertension that combines a diuretic, a calcium channel blocker and an angiotensin 11 receptor blocker.

Do You Have High Blood Pressure?

Ideal blood pressure stays below 120 (systolic-the pressure exerted when the heart pumps) over 80 (diastolic-the pressure when the heart rests between beats) or slightly less. If the reading goes over 140/90, hypertension is usually indicated. If the diastolic (or bottom) number goes over 104, severe hypertension is diagnosed. In addition to your physician, most pharmacies have easy on site testing or home blood pressure test kits you can buy. Even small changes in blood pressure may be serious. People with blood pressure levels of 120 over 80, once thought to be safe, are now considered at risk for hypertension.

Warning Signs Of High Blood Pressure

• frequent headaches and irritability? chronic constipation? (from calcium and fiber deficiency), chronic respiratory problems? (from excess mucous and wastes)

• dizziness and ringing in the ears? frequent heart arrhythmias? flushed complexion? red streaks in your eyes? (from auto-toxemia)

• great fatigue along with sleeplessness? depression? kidney malfunction? (from insulin resistance and poor sugar metabolism)

• weight gain and fluid retention? (thyroid imbalance from fat storage, too much salt, red meat, and lack of exercise)

• swollen ankles (poor mineral/water balance- also a sign of congestive heart failure)

Can Natural Therapies Lower Blood Pressure?

The newest information shows that most people don’t require medication to control their disease. Millions can reverse high blood pressure with simple diet and lifestyle therapy. Harvard Medical School research finds a low-fat diet may lower blood pressure as much as drugs. New research from the West Oakland Health Center finds that meditation for 20 minutes, twice daily is as effective as drug therapy to lower blood pressure.

To Life-long health,

Linda Page