The True Reason Behind Heart Disease is Hiding in Your Kitchen
Heart Dis-Ease: including, but not limited to angina (heart attacks); blood clots; irregular heartbeats; and hypertension (high blood pressure)
The amount of mis-information about your heart is astounding. Cholesterol is just one of those.
In TCM, the Heart is the "King of the organs." In some fields of acupuncture, the Heart meridian is only needled in certain situations, and not until all the other necessary needles are in place. The thought is that the Heart will get what it needs to heal from the rest of the body. It doesn't need to be directed and can't be controlled.
I'd like to argue that most non-congenital heart problems are treatable with proper nutrition.
The foods we currently eat (even if you eat healthy) are vitamin-deficient compared to the foods people ate a hundred years ago.
Our ancestors ate a variety of animals, with the organs ("offal") being the most revered. Heart, brain, liver, and other organs have certain trace minerals and B-vitamins that are hard to find in such a high quantity in other foods.
Most crops are planted in soil depleted of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. This is due to current farming practices and lack of crop rotation. (Q: Why? A: usually $$$ and time) Ideally, say if a field of corn is planted one season, which depletes the soil of nitrogen, you'd plant beans the next to return nitrogen to the soil. And so on.
If we're deficient in the nutritients our muscles need to grow, pump, and relax, it's easy to develop problems. Like tension or cramping in the muscles. Or weak muscles.
Your heart is a muscle!
Cholesterol lowering medications ("statins") may not actually prevent heart disease. Before your medical practitioner tries to prescribe you a statin based solely off your bloodwork, request an additional test to confirm you have Coronary Artery Disease first.
High cholesterol alone does NOT mean you have blocked arteries.
If you request additional testing before agreeing to take the statin, be prepared for some push-back.
Same thing with prescriptions for antibiotics. Why not do additional testing to make sure it's actually a bacteria instead of a fungus (in which case the antibiotics will make the problem worse in the long run)? Well, once again, $$$ and time.
Although, extremely high cholesterol (250+, because people with slightly elevated cholesterol - 210-249 - actually live longer!) means that if you have arterial damage, there's more stuff in your blood that can become attached to the damaged vessel walls.
Statin drugs interfere in the production of CoQ10 in your liver and the transport of CoQ10 to your muscles.
CoQ10 is an antioxidant that your body naturally produces. It gives energy to your muscles, including your heart. So instead of helping your heart, the statin drugs actually stop a natural process in your body that your heart needs to be healthy.
How do arteries become damaged in the first place?
The first place I'd look is at trans-fatty acids:
Crisco ("oleo"); things fried in soybean/vegetable oil (donuts, fries, etc.); conventional junk foods like cookies, microwave popcorn, pizzas, etc.; margarine... It's when liquid vegetable oils are converted into solids.
In your body, trans-fats are directly correlated to blood stasis. They stick to the walls of your arteries where they cause damage. Erosion of the glycocalyx, the hairy lining of the arteries (1), is a leading indicator of heart disease.
Dis-eases associated with this deterioration of the blood vessel walls (2) are obesity, hyperglycemia (high blood sugar), heart surgery (the actual operation itself), water retention (usually from too much sugar in the diet and not enough protein), severe injuries, and sepsis.
And once that lining is gone, it's gone.
A statin medication can't reverse this type of damage. Which is maybe why heart disease is still the #1 killer of adults in the US, despite almost every single one of those people being on a cholesterol-lowering medication...(?)
The role of nutrition
Calcium and Magnesium
Calcium and magnesium are the 2 big minerals that our muscles (like your heart) need. Calcium carbonate is the least expensive, but may not be absorbed well. Calcium lactate absorbs the fastest and has practically no contraindications.
A diet that has enough calcium doesn't necessarily have to include a lot of dairy products. I don't recommend conventional, pasteurized dairy at all, but only raw if you can find it. Other acceptable forms of dietary calcium include almonds, walnuts, leafy green vegetables, and some forms of fish like salmon and anchovies.
If you're not eating a wide variety of vegetables regularly, you're most certainly deficient in magnesium, which your muscles need in order to relax. Even people eating a healthy, balanced diet may need to supplement magnesium.
A low-fat diet, once all the rage, is now scientifically known to be poor nutritional advice. A deficiency of essential fatty acids – like the ones found in fish, nuts, olive and coconut oils, and eggs – will not allow for the absorption of calcium and other trace elements.
Smoking, Nutrient Deficiency, and Absorption
Smoking has been shown in studies to hinder the absorption of several vitamins such as vitamin D, calcium, vitamin C and A, and iron. Smokers also use about 30% more vitamin C and A than the average person which further makes them vulnerable to deficiency.
Beriberi is a dis-ease most of us, including doctors, think of as kind of “old-timey.” But people still get it, and it can effect your heart. Not too many doctors, unfortunately, look for vitamin deficiencies as potential causes of health problems.
Beriberi is a B1 (thiamine) deficiency originally discovered in populations eating mainly white (processed) rice. It’s also commonly found in alcoholics. Symptoms include muscular weakness, heart palpitations, swelling of the lower body, and cardiac failure.
A diet lacking in wholesome B-complex vitamins will lead to muscular weakness. And remember, your heart is a muscle. The best sources of B-complex are organic, free-range, antibiotic and hormone-free animal products such as grass-fed beef, natural chicken and eggs, ocean (not farmed) salmon, whole grains (not white, processed flour products), beans, and leafy green vegetables such as kale and broccoli.
Studies find lower risks of cardiovascular disease, stroke, and hypertension among people with higher intakes of folate, found in vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.
Blood stagnation is related to the circulation of oxygen in your blood.
All the “western medical” resources like WebMD; heart.org; the Mayo Clinic; medicine.net; American Heart Association; etc. note the following as heart dis-ease risk factors:
obesity, lack of exercise, hypertension, elevated cholesterol, and smoking.
Let’s look at obesity. In a study done by the Mayo Clinic, it was found that for every 10 pounds a person is overweight, the capacity for blood flow in the body’s vessels is reduced by 50%. Being overweight literally causes Qi stagnation.
Being overweight also impacts how vitamin B12 is absorbed in your body. It’s hard to say if the deficiency is due to a dietary deficiency, or if increased body mass affects absorption.
"Sweet diet, bitter life. Bitter diet, sweet life." ~ old saying
For more information on how to eat healthy, download our free cookbook here.
Thoughts? Have you or a loved one been on the Western medical spiral of heart medications, surgeries, and endless doctor visits without real, permanent, answers?
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