Health – Cardiac Health

The relation that exists between the mind and the body is very intimate. When one is affected, the other sympathizes.

The Ministry of  Healing, 241

Heart protection begins in the kitchen. As it is with most chronic conditions, your fork is your best defense against heart attacks, strokes and other forms of cardiovascular disease. But while a basic produce-heavy, clean-protein diet is a must, some foods really shine when it comes to heart health.


  • Cardiovascular health powerhouse
  • Can lower levels of total cholesterol
  • Contains more than twice the amount of potassium than bananas
  • High in fiber and extremely low in sugar
  • The only fruit that contains a significant amount of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats
  • Not necessary to purchase organic as the thick outer skin protects the inner flesh from pesticide residues


  • Heart-healthy, thanks in large part to lycopene
  • Eating lycopene-rich foods regularly is linked to a lower risk of heart disease
  • The richest source of lycopene
  • Becoming healthier when you cook them; cooked tomatoes contain up to 2.5 times as much lycopene as raw tomatoes


  • Nature’s healthy equivalent of a candy bowl
  • Packed with anthocyanins, which have antioxidants
  • Good source of fiber, which is known to help decrease cholesterol
  • Anthocyanins in blueberries protect against hypertension, or high blood pressure


  • Most heart-healthy among greens
  • Prevents plaque from clogging up arteries
  • Improves the body’s ability to detoxify itself
  • Reduction in cancer risk


  • Rich in vitamin E
  • Great source for omega-3 fatty acids, which help ease inflammation, and just ¼ cup fulfills most people’s daily need
  • Raw, unsalted walnuts will garner you the most heart health benefits


  • Rich in isoflavones, which are phytonutrients that can boost functioning of your arteries and veins
  • Replacing animal protein with plant protein such as edamame is linked to better health and even a longer life
  • The fiber can help lower LDL cholesterol levels and help manage your weight to lower heart disease risk


5 Ways to Protect Your Heart

See your dentist regularly
Oral health translates to heart health. A study from Taiwan of more than 100,000 people showed that those who had their teeth professionally cleaned and scaled by a dentist or dental hygienist lowered their risk of heart attack by 24% (13% for stroke) compared with those who never had a dental cleaning.

Quit smoking
Even one or two cigarettes a day can dramatically increase the risk of heart attack, stroke or other serious conditions, says Jason Freeman, MD, director of Interventional Cardiology at South Nassau Communities Hospital in Oceanside, New York. A major risk factor on its own, the risk of heart disease increases further when smoking is combined with high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure and obesity, according to the National Heart Blood and Lung Institute. (And avoid secondhand smoke, which can also increase cardiac risk.)

Monitor your blood pressure
The American Heart Association says normal blood pressure should be below 120/80 mm/Hg. High blood pressure increases the risk of heart attack, heart failure and stroke; if you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, aim to lower your blood pressure to less than 140/80 mm/Hg. Check with your practitioner regarding what blood pressure level is right for you.

Take the stairs
As an easy on-the-go exercise, take the stairs instead of an escalator or elevator whenever you can. It is also a great way to monitor your cardiac health. If you can’t make it up the same amount of stairs you did a week ago without stopping, see your physician for a checkup.

Control your emotions
 Strong emotions, such as anger, sadness, frustration or anxiety, can increase blood pressure and put stress on the heart. A 2004 Canadian study reported that heart attack risk for people with high levels of psychosocial distress nearly matched the risk seen in smokers.

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