Have a Heart … ???

With this month containing Valentine’s Day which is all about love and the heart, I wanted to have a look at the importance of our heart, the part it plays in monitoring nervous system health, and some key nutrients that support our heart.
Of course, we all have a heart. We need it to function each day. Our heart is a muscle that works tirelessly from the time we are born and for as long as we are here. During my research for this article, I found the following facts that I thought you might find interesting as well!

  • The average adult heart beats 72 times a minute.
  • The average adult heart beats 100,000 times a day.
  • The average adult heart beats 3,600,000 times a year.
  • The average adult heart beats 2.5 billion times during a lifetime.
  • The average adult heart creates enough energy to drive a truck for 20 miles!

I think these statements really drive home just how hard our hearts work for us!
To assist our heart to function correctly, there are many things we can do to support it. First, it is imperative that we feed our body a wide variety of nutrient-dense foods so that our heart can receive what it needs to function correctly!

The top ten key nutrients for the heart include:

  1. Omega 3 Fatty Acids – EPA and DHA support your heart by decreasing inflammation, preventing clot formation, and helping to maintain healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels. ALA from flax seed oil can be converted to EPA and DHA; however, most people’s bodies do not have the ability to make the conversion which makes flax seed oil insufficient on its own. The best food source of EPA and DHA is wild caught salmon.
  2. Quercetin – is a plant-derived flavonoid that contains natural anti-inflammatory properties that can help to prevent blood clots. Apples are a great food source of quercetin.
  3. Folate – helps to maintain a healthy amount of homocysteine in our body which lowers the risk of heart issues such as heart attacks, vascular disease, and strokes. High food sources of folate include green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, Swiss chard, and romaine lettuce.
  4. CoQ10 – CoQ10 has been shown to reduce blood pressure in patients with high blood pressure. The heart requires the highest concentration of CoQ10 in the body. If you’re taking cholesterol-lowering medications, referred to as statins, it is imperative that you supplement with CoQ10 as these medications deplete CoQ10 in the body. The following foods contain CoQ10 only in small amounts so it is best to obtain this nutrient through supplementation: beef, organ meats, sardines, and mackerel.
  5. Monounsaturated Fats – have been shown to reduce LDL cholesterol and raise HDL cholesterol (the good stuff). You can find monounsaturated fats in avocado and avocado oil, olives and olive oil, pecans, walnuts, and almonds.
  6. L-carnitine – promotes healthy cholesterol levels as well as aids the body in breaking down fats into energy so that our heart muscle can function properly. Foods that contain this important nutrient include avocado, fermented soy foods and animal protein.
  7. Lycopene – is associated with a reduced risk of heart disease. It can be found in tomatoes.
  8. Magnesium – is needed for a normal heat beat. It is one of the most deficient nutrients in our population today. Walnuts and spinach are great sources of magnesium. An enjoyable way to get magnesium into your body is to soak in an Epsom salt bath.
  9. Polyphenols – help to increase nitric oxide production in our body, which causes blood vessels to relax and dilate. This ultimately leads to a lowered blood pressure. Berries such as blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries contain this important nutrient.
  10. Resveratrol – prevents blood clotting as well as enhances antioxidant and nitric oxide production which leads to lowered blood pressure. This nutrient can be found in dark chocolate and red wine in limited quantities so it is best to take this in supplement form.

The supplements that I use and recommend for obtaining these key nutrients include Complete Essential with IsaGenensis and Cytoactives from Isagenix. I’ll be discussing Complete Essentials with IsaGenesis in more detail during next month’s article. Cytoactives contain vitamin D which supports bone, immune, and cardiovascular health; Tocotrienols which provide antioxidants to help protect cells against free radicals and environmental toxins; and CoQ10 and Resveratrol which help support cellular health in the heart, brain, liver, kidneys, and muscles.

Second, it is important to perform cardiovascular exercise for approximately 30 minutes 3 to 4 days per week. Brisk walking, cycling, or swimming are all great forms of exercise for the heart. Our bodies are meant to move! Celebrate your body through movement most days!

Third, quality sleep is needed to help the body to rest and repair, including the heart.

Fourth, nutritional cleansing assists the body in removing toxins which can cause undue stress on the heart and other bodily organs.

Fifth, drinking about half your weight, in pounds, in ounces of water each day will assist your heart to perform well. Our body is made mostly of water which includes our muscles. Our heart is a muscle; it is important that it gets enough water to help it perform well. For easy math, 160 lbs / 2 = 80 ounces.
80 ounces / 8 ounce glass = 10 glasses or 2.5 litres of water per day.

We only have one place to live and that’s the body we are given. Treat it well and give it what it needs so that it can perform well for many years to come, allowing you to thrive and not just survive.

A great way to check how well your nervous system is functioning is to have a Heart Rate Variability or HRV scan which monitors your heart rate. Dr Dodie and/or Pam can further explain the HRV scan to you.

If you have enjoyed this article, you have further questions, or you would like to walk with me on a journey to finding your path for healing, please contact me at 613-540-4515 or tracy@pathsforhealing.com.