heart disease

Matters of the Heart


The human heart is magnificent in many ways. It is no wonder that the heart has always been associated with human emotion.

Panic and fear often manifests as a wildly beating heart. Grief and sadness feels like a burden on the chest. Joy feels like the heart is soaring. Excitement causes the heart to beat faster. Seeing a loved one can feel like the heart is fluttering or experiencing a leap. We sometimes feel that we store special knowledge in our hearts.

Physically, your heart works very hard. It pumps approximately 2000 gallons (7571 liters) of blood every day.  That’s about 1 Million barrels of blood during the average lifetime. To achieve this, the heart beats more than 100,000 times a day.

The heart is really an electrical pump and can continue to beat when separated from the body, if there is a supply of oxygen. The thump-thump sound of the heartbeat is caused by the four valves of the four chambers closing.

The heart has the job of pumping blood to all 75 trillion cells of the body. Only the corneas of the eyes do not receive blood. A woman’s heart beats faster than a man’s, typically. (Is that any surprise?)

Blood travels in a matter of seconds; six seconds to the lungs and back, eight seconds to the brain and back, and sixteen seconds to the toes and back. http://www.mercola.com/infographics/human-heart-facts.htm

Studies show there is a correlation between education and lowered risk of heart disease. Happiness and emotional vitality also correlate to lowered risk.

The Blue Whale has the largest heart, weighing in at 1,500 pounds. The invention of the stethoscope was invented in 1816 by Rene Laennec, a young French doctor who was embarrassed to put his ear to the chest of a female patient to listen to her heart.  http://health.clevelandclinic.org/2015/07/21-amazing-facts-about-your-heart-infographic/

Because the heart is a muscle, as well as an electrical instrument, it needs to be nurtured with certain nutrients. There are specific B vitamins that are not commonly available in standard B complex that nourish the muscle of the heart. The electrical conductivity is also supported by whole food B vitamins, as well as nerve- supporting nutrients.

So, when I treat heart issues, I look for very different things than your cardiologist, because I am looking for healthy function, rather than disease. Hearts respond beautifully to the correct nutrients, even after the heart has been damaged or functions poorly.

Sometimes sleep difficulties are a sign that the heart needs nutrition, particularly if you feel your heart beating when you lie down at night.

Of course, you should seek immediate medical attention if you suspect a heart attack, because quick intervention saves lives. What it does mean is that you can have the health of your heart evaluated early to prevent heart disease from developing. The heart function is also dependent on the strength of the adrenals, so healthy adrenals are vital. This explains why stress is a risk factor for heart disease.

In addition to wholefood B vitamins, the heart loves magnesium and the herb Hawthorn. Important factors also include balanced blood sugar and normal weight, with waist smaller than hips, to keep the heart strong and healthy.

My heart leaps for joy when I can help someone have a healthy heart. You probably know in your heart if your lifestyle is the best for the health of your heart. Yes, broken-down hearts can be mended, but why let it get to that point? If you have any symptoms that concern you, or hinder your life, come in for a heart check and let natural medicine help your heart last a lifetime. Cross my heart.



What’s in Your Eggs?

Does anyone remember the original Orange Julius? You could add a raw egg to give it a nutritious boost. Orange Julius is still around today, and uses egg white powder and whey powder, but no more raw eggs. Body builders used raw eggs for decades. Arnold Schwarzenegger says he drank raw eggs and cream to build his sculpted muscles.

Would you drink raw eggs today? You could, but only if you chose pasture-raised eggs. These are eggs laid by hens who have farm land to run around on and are able to grub for bugs and grass like real birds. The hens are never given non-organic feed and are not treated with chemicals or antibiotics. The quality of life of the chickens is considered as a factor in healthy eggs. There is a certified Humane designation if the space allotted to the chickens meets Humane standards. http://vitalfarms.com/pasture-raised-eggs/

Pasture-raised eggs go beyond organic. The designation Organic eggs means that the chickens eat organic feed and are raised in an organic environment. The hens may be fed organic corn or other organic feed, vitamins and minerals. They also receive vaccinations and antibiotics as needed, but do not receive growth hormones.  Since 2010, the hens must have access to the outdoors and cannot be caged inside. http://homeguides.sfgate.com/constitutes-organic-chicken-egg-79176.html

Free-range eggs means that the chicken must have some access to outdoors (which they may or may not use) and the size of the territory may not be large. The hens may be given non-organic food and they may receive routine antibiotics. There are no other standards set by the USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture), so it is up to the egg farmers to decide.

Omega-3 eggs, Antibiotic-free eggs, Vegetarian eggs, Soy-free eggs, and Natural eggs are designations not monitored by government regulatory agencies regarding their claims. So, you are relying on the honesty of egg manufacturers may who cut hens’ beaks, confine them to battery-cages, feed antibiotics constantly and are feeding the hens GMO corn and other non-organic feed. The cages may be filthy and dead chickens may not be removed. Consider all of these eggs as Commercial or Conventional eggs. In one study Omega-3 eggs were found to be higher in Omega-3 fats and lower in Arachidonic Acid, which is associate with inflammation. If the hens are fed fish oil, the eggs may also taste fishy! www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308814609003513

Battery-cage (electric cage) farming of chickens has been banned in Sweden since 1992, and in other European countries since 2012. The USDA has not banned the practice in the U.S. It is hard to imagine that such inhumane practices lead to the healthiest of eggs.

Eggs are very nutritious. The egg white contains 20 different amino acids, nine of which are essential” for humans, and only 71 calories on average. They have 6 grams of protein, 5 grams of fat. A healthy liver makes 2,000 mg of cholesterol a day, so you don’t need to worry about the 190 mg. of cholesterol in an egg. Eggs have no carbohydrates, so they will keep blood sugar in balance.

In 2007, Mother Earth News tested commercial eggs vs. pasture-raised eggs and found that the pastured chickens laid eggs that had two-thirds more Vitamin A, twice as many Omega-3 fats, three times more Vitamin E and seven times more beta-carotene. Carotenoids are anti-oxidants that reduce inflammation in the body.

Organic eggs are one of the best sources of B12, and also contain iron, B6, Vitamins D and A, Calcium and Magnesium, and a host of traces minerals.

It is best not to over-cook eggs, which causes the protein to become rubbery and unusable by the body. Poached, soft-boiled and raw (organic only!) are easiest for the body to digest. Commercial eggs are dangerous to eat raw, as they may contain salmonella, but organic eggs should be safe. Keep eggs refrigerated and consume within the indicated date on the carton.

To check out the best brands of eggs go to www.cornucopia.org/organic-egg-scorecard/  Also, look for the following certifications from The Humane Society:

Animal Welfare Approved, Certified Humane, Food Alliance Certified, United Egg Producers Certified, Certified Organic.

Egg shells are porous, and what is outside passes through, so be careful about what rubs against them. Use a quick warm water rinse or use vinegar diluted in water to wash away any debris. Commercial eggs may be washed in chlorine and coated with mineral oil, both of which will penetrate the shell.

The best place to purchase eggs is from small farmers you know and trust. The Burbank Farmer’s Market has a stand called Ha’s Apple Farm. They have delicious organic apples, and sell pasture-raised eggs, some of which have beautiful green shells. Health Food Stores may also sell pasture-raised eggs.

Hope this helps you to look at eggs in a whole new light, after they have been demonized for years. We now know that whole foods are usually heart-healthy foods and that it is sugar and white starches that are the real enemies of hearts and arteries. Nature’s bounty comes in a beautiful oval shape.





Lower Blood Pressure Naturally


The standard advice for elevated blood pressure has been to reduce salt intake. However, salt is a vital mineral and the human body cannot function without salt.

Even if you reduce salt to a minimum, the salt content of the blood remains the same as someone who over-salts their food. The body maintains a consistent level of salt in the blood.

New research indicates that the benefits of cutting out salt are debatable, and may even increase your risk of heart disease. ?ttp://www.medicaldaily.com/sugar-hurts-heart-health-more-salt-mostly-heart-disease-and-blood-pressure-313780

Of course, no one is suggesting that you should eat processed or fast foods, which do contain levels of sodium that are off the charts. But salting your whole, natural foods to taste, with sea salt or Himalayan salt,  both of which contain other trace minerals, appears to be beneficial. And if your adrenals are weak, salt is even more vital. http://www.drlam.com/articles/adrenal_fatigue_and_blood_pressure.asp

How can you safely lower your blood pressure? By reducing sugar. Eating 25% of your calories from sugar can triple your risk of dying from cardiovascular disease. Sugar causes inflammation which is more damaging to your arteries than salt.

Fruit sugar is not the culprit, although I suggest limiting your fruit intake to 1-2 servings per day to see if your body responds better. Fruit juice should be completely avoided. High fructose corn syrup and agave should never be used. Agave is just anther form of high fructose corn syrup, made from cactus.

Honey in moderation should not pose too much risk, and real maple syrup may be enjoyed. If you also have Diabetes, even these sweeteners should be used only in the smallest amounts.

Bread and other simple carbs like rice, oats, and corn also break down into sugar in the blood, so regard these as foods to avoid.

If you are on blood pressure medication, and you increase your healthy fats, and limit sugar and grains, you will have to monitor yourself carefully because your need for medication may diminish or cease altogether.  Work with your prescribing physician to adjust your medication accordingly.

One diet plan that you can try is the Ketogenic plan. It is Paleo to the extreme and will challenge all we have been taught about healthy eating. Ketogenic eating causes your body and brain to operate off ketones instead of glucose and it is how many people like Inuits (Eskimos) have eaten traditionally. The Inuits had no history of heart disease, cancer, obesity or Diabetes. So they were on to something! To calculate your ratio of carbs to fat to protein and calories you should consume, you can use the Ketogenic calculator. http://keto-calculator.ankerl.com/  Check it out-you may be surprised what it says.

One factor in blood pressure appears to be the flexibility of our veins and arteries. Naturally aging and poor diet can make arteries stiff and brittle. Blueberries consumed daily appear to reduce inflammation, measured in blood work as C-reactive protein, and to reduce blood pressure over an eight-week period. Frozen blueberries may be used, so you may want to include blueberries as your daily serving or fruit.  http://www.medicaldaily.com/blueberries-may-help-control-blood-pressure-321276

My theory on aging is that it is all about keeping the body supple and hydrated, with water, good oils and minerals. How you eat has everything to do with how your feel and how well your body functions. We don’t treat our cars as badly as we do our bodies. A new car only becomes a vintage collectible when someone gives it the proper maintenance all its life!