Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the most common
interference with healthy aging and long life in the
modern world. Here are a number of proactive
ideas and tips to help you prevent the problems
associated with heart disease. The triad of primary
risk factors is smoking (nicotine addiction), high blood
pressure, and high cholesterol. Even if your parents had high
cholesterol or early heart disease, you can override, or at least
delay, these influences with a proactive, healthy lifestyle.
There is a cholesterol controversy between integrative
medicine and Western-focused doctors. All believe now that
inflammation is the key, and oxidation of cholesterol molecules
is really the underlying concern. Most docs believe that statin
drugs are the answer to CVD troubles, yet PREVENTION is
truly the answer. So, let’s take a look at some ideas and actions
for preventing these common problems.
1. Maintain your ideal weight as closely as possible. If you
smoke, do everything in your power to stop.
2. Minimize your intake of saturated animal fats, especially
excessive dairy products, as they seem to raise cholesterol
more than other foods. Also avoid hydrogenated oils that clog
and stress the cardiovascular system. All of these fats increase
both total cholesterol and the harmful form of cholesterol
(LDL), especially when oxidized.
3. Minimize your intake of high-calorie, low-nutrient foods
like baked goods, chips, boxed sugared cereals, and other
processed foods, as well as the salty snacks from chips to
cured meats. These foods contribute to obesity, a leading
risk factor for CVD. Avoiding chemical exposure as much as
possible will lessen the irritation/inflammation of the blood
vessels, believed to be the main starting point of plaque
formation and arteriosclerosis of blood vessels, the beginning
of cardiovascular disease.
4. Exercise regularly with a balanced program that includes
stretching for flexibility, aerobics for endurance, and weight
training for strength. This can help to lower body weight, blood
pressure, and cholesterol. Exercise also lowers your harmful
cholesterol (LDL) and raises your good cholesterol (HDL).
And exercise makes your body, mind, and heart happy.
5. Eat more high-fiber, high-nutrient, lower-calorie foods, such
as vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and fruits. This diet can
help you to live longer.
6. Get good-quality oils by eating nuts and seeds (ideally raw,
unsalted, and organic), such as almonds, walnuts, sunflower
seeds and pumpkin seeds, as well as omega-3 oily fishes that
include salmon and sardines (good with green salads). Use
olive oil as your main vegetable and cooking oil.
7. Nutritional supplements to consider
for protection against cardiovascular
disease include: antioxidant vitamins
C and E, omega-3 fatty acids, and
the B vitamins (especially B-6,
B-12, B-3, and folic acid) to
maintain normal cholesterol
metabolism and minimize
8. Special nutrients that can
be helpful in preventing and
treating early disease include
L-carnitine, Co-enzyme Q-10,
chromium, and higher levels of
niacin, mainly the regular flushing
niacin as this may work better to
metabolize blood fats, although many
people use the non-flushing (but not time-released)
9. Learn to manage your stress, let go of anger and frustrations,
and communicate your feelings in a safe and non-aggressive
way. Practice forgiveness and moving forward in life, still being
aware of what you have learned from your life experiences (to
avoid repeating mistakes in behavior).
10. Develop close personal relationships that you can count
on for support. Continue to expand your ability to give and
receive in your friendships/loving relationships. Love is healing at