There are many reasons why the heart is becoming one of the most important factors in maintaining good health. For one, the typical North American diet literally destroys the heart. Foods high in animal fats, processed foods, high-sugar foods, pesticides, food preservatives and fungicides are all highly toxic to the heart. And diabetes, the number 1 heart killer, is at epidemic proportions. This is mainly due to obesity (caused by improper proper diet and lack of exercise), and intake of foods and drinks with high sugar content. Both lead to calcification and blockage of the small arteries that feed the heart. Eventually, these blood vessels get completely clogged, which leads to a heart attack.
The ideal diet for your heart and overall health is a low calorie diet that is at least 50% vegetables and greens. The rest should be derived from fish, fish oils, healthy plant oils, whole grains seeds and nuts, organic poultry, and a little bit of multigrain or whole wheat products. Red meat, dairy with any fat content and egg yolks should be avoided. It’s ok to cheat occasionally, as long as the heart-benefiting regime is the mainstay of your diet.
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These are compounds that are converted to nitric oxide. (In meat preservation and processing, nitrates convert to nitrosamines, which are not healthy.) Nitric oxide dilates blood vessels, thus lowering blood pressure (i.e., counteracting hypertension), which also enables more oxygen and nutrient delivery to the heart. Beets and green leafy vegetables are rich in nitrates. You can also take a concentrated form, like the "greens and reds" products. Arginine is also a great supplement in this category, as it is also converted to nitric oxide.
2. Garlic and garlic supplements
Garlic lowers blood pressure, cholesterol and triglycerides (i.e., bad fat). It also prevents the calcification of blood vessels. Such calcification leads to less elasticity of the blood vessel wall, which in turn can lead to hypertension and atherosclerosis (clogging of blood vessels). Garlic is an excellent antibacterial agent, protecting from infections and strengthening the immune system. It is also very likely that the sulphites in garlic have anti-cancer properties
3. & 4. Cinnamon and berberine
Both of these plant compounds lower blood glucose levels. This is very beneficial for the prevention as well as treatment of diabetes. Because diabetes is now the number one killer of the heart, blood glucose control is vital. Too-high blood glucose damages the internal lining of the small arteries feeding the heart, which ultimately leads to atherosclerosis. Berberine also lowers triglycerides and cholesterol, adding to its cardio-protective properties.
5. Greens and Reds
All vegetables are cardio protective. They are high in fibre—which lowers cholesterol —and are packed with antioxidants and cardio-protective compounds. The best examples are beets, kale, spinach, sprouts (barley, broccoli or alfalfa), mature broccoli, carrots, celery and mixed greens. Juice them whenever you can, but eating them whole and raw gives you and added fibre boost.
If you have problems digesting raw vegetables, or have excessive flatulence, eat them with Beano. It’s a natural enzyme product designed to help beans and veggies go down easier.
You can also supplement your greens and reds with concentrated organic natural powdered extract foods. Just add to smoothies, a salad or any foods for a concentrated dose of cardio-protective superfood. Your heart — and the rest of your body — will thank you.
See you next time.
Dr. Karol M.D.