I think most of us know that Heart Disease has been the number 1 killer in America for the last century. Heart disease will take the lives of over a million Americans each year. It can come in many forms – strokes, heart attacks, angina, blood vessel damage, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol; all these are considered a form of heart disease. Unfortunately for some people, the first sign they will know they have heart disease is after they are dead from a sudden, massive heart attack. In this blog, I hope to teach you how to be a little more proactive in preventing all forms of heart disease. It is never too late to start a lifestyle change and dramatically decrease your chances of heart disease.
The underlying cause of all forms of heart disease comes down to 2 things: Inflammation and free-radical damage. Daily stress on your body causes inflammation and free radical damage to every cell in your body as well as blood vessel damage. Daily stresses that consciously and unconsciously attack you every day include poor diet choices, too much sugar, environmental pollutants, lack of sleep, alcohol, smoking, etc. All these stresses increase inflammation and free radical damage in your body that can eventually lead to heart disease. One stressful day won’t cause a heart disease, but when you add up all your stresses day in and day out or should I say year in and year out; then eventually your body cannot keep up.
So what should you do? You should start with eliminating the most devastating foods that most Americans eat on a daily basis. Below is a list of my top 5 Foods to stop eating today. Start reading labels and eliminate these 5 foods today. These 5 are Pro-Inflammatory and cause free radical damage within each cell in your body.
- Refined Carbohydrates
- Hydrogenated oils
- Conventional Dairy
Now that the bad foods are gone forever, what sorts of foods help your body rid heart disease? There are certain foods that will have the exact opposite effect of the “bad” 5 listed above. These foods are Anti-Inflammatory, meaning they help the body clear inflammation. They are also high in antioxidants. Antioxidants are the nemesis to free radicals. Antioxidants come in many forms, but the best ones are from whole foods. For years, we have known that populations who ate a high antioxidant diet seemed to live much longer and healthier lives. These foods will not only help your cardiovascular system and heart, but they will help you lose weight, have more energy, sleep better and have I higher functioning immune system. You only have one life to live; you might as well feel great while you are here.
Top Foods to stave off Cardiovascular Disease:
- Vegetables – Obviously; all day, every day. Start each meal & snack with veggies and/or salads. Eat a rainbow of color in order to get many different kinds of antioxidants.
- Fruits – In moderation as they are high in sugar. Berries are your best bet.
- Coconut Oil – This very good fat should be consumed daily as it is anti-inflammatory as well as anti-bacterial.
- Green Tea
- Turmeric – Ancient spice that is anti-inflammatory as well as an anti-oxidant. This very powerful substance should be used every day in cooking as well as supplemented with too.
- Avocado – Another great anti-inflammatory fat.
- Almonds and Walnuts – These are very healthy nuts, again they are both anti-inflammatory and also contain antioxidants. Avoid peanuts as they are pro-inflammatory.
There you have it; a few strategies to tweak with your diet in order to help your body heal from the inside-out. Next week I’ll discuss how to help you eliminate and combat the emotional and daily stresses that all of us face. We all have hectic lives, I cannot state that we are going to get rid of your stress; but there are a few strategies that you can practice in order to keep your mind and your body in tip-top shape!