Heart disease begins early in life and it’s easier to reverse or minimize the effects of heart disease in these early stages when blood vessel walls are still resilient and pliable, unblocked and non-sclerotic. Preventing problems or reversing some already begun can be accomplished through foods, herbs and supplements, and other alternative medical strategies.You may want to consider some of them.
The heart depends on arteries transporting blood and other valuable substances. Arteries need to be able to expand and contract, but over years, arteries become narrowed with deposits known as plaques. In a lifetime, the arteries will have secreted volumes of sticky harmful chemicals trapping fats, minerals, and other debris in a hardened matrix called coronary calcification. This plaque debris can account for the obstruction of 30 to 95% of the body’s entire blood flow. This plaque also has a high probability of rupturing, forming a dangerous clot where it may burst open the vessel or it may travel meeting up with more plaque and becoming larger and more dangerous.
Accompanying plaque is inflammation; these two factors go hand in hand, changing the healthy nature of cells, tissue, entire organs and their chemistry. The entire system -the heart, the blood, and blood vessels - are extraordinarily capable of uninterrupted service under some very trying circumstances. True prevention is using some the proposed foods, herbal cardio-tonics, and supplements. Adopting these measures will stop premature and unnecessary degradation of the system and will extend the number of healthy years in a life.
The goals are to have the heart muscle pump efficiently, keep the pressures in the arteries normal, levels of fats and sugars in the blood low, maintain vessel elasticity and reduce hardening in vessels, have good blood clotting factors but low platelet stickiness, and minimize inflammation everywhere.
Kelp or Seaweed
These herbal products cover a wide spectrum. Hawthorne berry will help any circulatory problem or irregular heart beat; in a normal heart, the herb is a great tonic for the heart muscle. Butcher’s broom can help peripheral circulatory problems and inflammation. Rosemary will provide a steady supply of minerals for electrolyte balance. And kelp can reduce hypertension.
We’ve all heard that cholesterol-lowering drugs - the statins- stop heart attacks. What we haven’t heard is that omega-3 fish oil is far more life- saving than statin drugs. In a review of 97 studies looking at the effectiveness of statins, and other drugs, niacin, diet, and fish oil in preventing cardiac deaths, fish oil reduced heart attack deaths by 32% compared to 22 % for statins. But life saving benefits didn’t stop there. Fish oil was superior at warding off death from any cause, cutting overall deaths by 23%; statins effect was 13%.
Researchers speculate that fish oil reduces inflammation, stabilizes heart rhythms, thwarts clots, and normalizes vascular functions. It does help reduce cholesterol somewhat. It’s unclear whether eating omega-3 fatty fish or taking fish oil supplements is the better strategy. And the best dose is unclear too. One study points out that a daily capsule of 900 to 1,000 mgs. of omega-3 containing DHA and EPA cut cardiac deaths in heart patients by 28%. You would have to eat 2.5 ounces of Alaskan salmon daily to meet the same dosage. Probably the best strategy is to combine omega-3 in your food with supplemental doses. Two recipes follow that mix the benefits of multiple heart helpers.
Tuna Salad (You can substitute salmon or sardines or mackerel for the tuna)
This recipe includes citrus and tomato -flavonoids and carotenoids- which contribute to keeping capillaries and veins strong, preventing bruising, leaking, and prolapses; essential fatty acids omega 3, 6, and 9 from the fish, couscous, and olive oil, all contributing to reduced inflammation; fiber from the beans to pull out fats, plaque, and debris.
Broccoli and Brussel Sprouts
The vegetables, rich in vitamins A and C, preserve the integrity of capillaries, arteries and veins. Fresh ginger and lime or lemon juice strengthen the cardiovascular system. Soy and green vegetables are rich in minerals and flavonoids which keep the risk of free radical damage to the system minimal. Almonds, high in dietary fiber are good for cholesterol control, rich in minerals, and a great source of vitamin E, the cardiovascular vitamin.
The damage of chronic clinical nutrient deficiency of E causes serious damage to the heart, nerves, and muscles. A vitamin E deficiency may be undetected for a very long time but the damage while slow, is largely irreversible. It’s important that vitamin E be included in both the optimum dose and early in life.
A veggie drink is a optimum way to introduce good nutrition to a young dog.
Carrots, tomatoes, and parsley give the heart and cardiovascular system the flavonoids and nutrients its needs while at the same time enhancing the immune system. Yeast provides a source of B vitamins and the enzymes in honey activate a number actions associated with digestion. The drink can be served as part of the daily liquid intake, especially for an older person or pet, an ailing person or pet, a person or pet with a heart condition. It can be given to a young pet on a weekly basis whose breed has genetic tendencies toward cardiovascular disease (Boxers, Papillons, etc.)
For supplies and further information consult Marie Cargill.