This is the everything-you-need-to-know-to-be-as-healthy-as-possible newsletter, brought to you by Kristy Russ, pharmacist and health consultant. I have close to 20 years experience in helping people improve their health. I specialize in nutritional medicine, which is the secret of "true" preventative medicine. Yes, if I'm successful in getting people to follow my advice, I will put myself out of a job.
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9 Tips For a Healthy Heart
February is officially heart health month (one would assume because of Valentine's day?), so that is my focus for this month's e-zine.
Some interesting heart facts to make you go hmmmm:
(That last one made me smile, so I included it for your enjoyment)
- The average adult heart beats 72 times a minute; 100,000 times a day; 3,600,000 times a year; and 2.5 billion times during a lifetime.
- Every day, the heart creates enough energy to drive a truck 20 miles. In a lifetime, that is equivalent to driving to the moon and back.
- During an average lifetime, the heart will pump nearly 1.5 million gallons of blood—enough to fill 200 train tank cars.
- The term “heartfelt” originated from Aristotle’s philosophy that the heart collected sensory input from the peripheral organs through the blood vessels. It was from those perceptions that thought and emotions arose.
- French physician Rene Laennec (1781-1826) invented the stethoscope when he felt it was inappropriate to place his ear on his large-buxomed female patients' chests.
Your heart is the hardest-working organ in your body and is THE sustainer of life in your body. Unfortunately heart disease, almost unheard of a mere century ago is now the #1 killer- causing almost half of ALL deaths (due to any cause). Did you know that by age 40, three quarters of us have the beginnings of cardiovascular disease? Yes, that's right, 75% of us! And most people have no idea until their first symptom- a massive heart attack (of which only 30% survive). That's why they call heart disease the silent killer.
I give you these scary statistics so you realize the importance of PREVENTION. You can't wait until you have symptoms- it could be too late.
And when I say prevention, I mean true prevention, not treating the risk factors like high blood pressure and cholesterol. While those are important, they are NOT the only risk factors and they are a small part of the heart disease puzzle.
Here's what you need to do to help protect yourself from heart disease:
- Exercise- This is probably the #1 best thing to protect yourself from heart disease. Not only does it keep your heart strong and blood vessels supple, it's about the only non-pharmaceutical way to lower your cholesterol. I know- anything but that right? Check out this back issue on exercise for more info and tips on how to fit it into a "real-life" schedule.
- Quit smoking- THIS is actually the #1 most important thing to do, but I'm hoping all of you reading this are already non-smokers so it's not an issue at all...
- Eat a low glycemic diet- everytime you spike your blood sugar, it damages the lining of your blood vessels. Check out this back issue on low glycemic eating for more info.
- Avoid saturated and trans fat- it makes your cell walls very "stiff", which includes the lining of your blood vessels. That makes them more likely to become blocked. Also, the free radicals produced by the digestion of a fatty meal actually make your blood vessels literally quiver for up to 4 hours.
- Get LOTS!!!!! of antioxidants- Not only do they prevent that quivering I just mentioned, but they prevent the buildup of cholesterol in your blood vessels. All studies show that those who have the highest antioxidant levels have the lowest heart disease.
- Get LOTS!!!! of omega-3 fats- They not only keep your blood vessels supple, they also prevent their inflammation and buildup of cholesterol. A study involving about 150,000 people with high cholesterol showed that those who were treated with fish oil supplements (omega-3's) vs. statins (cholesterol medication) had a significantly lower risk of death or injury from ANY cause, including heart disease. (Yes, it makes me wonder also why we're still so reliant on statins...) But beware of most fish oil supplements- Check out this back issue for more info on fish oil.
- Get lots of fiber- from fruits/veggies, whole grains, or psyllium. (Here's an excellent fiber product that's a tasteless addition to anything.) It helps keep your cholesterol levels where they should be.
- Take a high-quality supplement- all the vitamins and nutrients work together to help your body function optimally and prevent problems that lead to heart disease. Again, you need to beware- most of them available are totally useless. I highly recommend the Essentials
- Consider a coenzyme Q10 supplement- the older you get, the less you have and it's important for proper heart muscle function. Again, beware many coQ10 supplements- there are many poor quality brands out there. CoQ10 is expensive to produce, so companies try to cut costs. Coquinone is an excellent choice.
As many of these tips you can include in your life will go a long way to keeping your heart healthy and serving you well into old age. It works hard for you- treat it well...
I have a couple of pages on my website about cardiovascular disease and cholesterol. Click on the links for more information.
Have a great Valentine's Day and take care of that heart!
***Just announced*** (as I was formatting this for delivery): In honor of heart health month, Usana has created a "Heart Smart Pack" that includes 3 of their best heart health supplements (that I just recommended) at over 20% savings compared to buying them separately.
Buy it now because the special pricing is only until February 17th.
Because Laughter Really IS Good Medicine...
Heart Health Advice:
The Japanese eat very little fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than the British or Americans.
On the other hand, the French eat a lot of fat and also suffer fewer heart attacks than the British or Americans.
The Japanese drink very little red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than the British or Americans.
On the other hand, the Italians drink excessive amounts of red wine and also suffer fewer heart attacks than the British or Americans.
Germans eat a lot of fried foods and suffer fewer heart attacks than the British or Americans.
Scandinavians eat a lot of high-sugar foods and suffer fewer heart attacks than the British or Americans.
Eat and drink what you like. Apparently, it's speaking English that kills you.
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BUT make sure you're using products that actually deliver or you're just wasting your money.
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Antioxidant Discussion Forums
Create your very own webpage on my site! (Don't worry- you don't need to know anything about how to do it. If you can type, done!) If you have an interesting story to share or have a comment or question about a topic on the site, you can post it right onto the website. Read about how others have been affected by antioxidants, make a comment on someone else's submission or post your own.
It's fun. It's free. And you don't have to register for anything.
Click here to post your own story, comment or question.
Here are links to informative and/or interesting news articles on nutrition...
Sugar Should Be Regulated Like Alcohol And Tobacco Say Scientists
Hmmmm... not a bad idea....
BPA Geriatric Patients At High Risk Of Vitamin D Deficiency
The Risk Of Colon Cancer Could Be Reduced By Regular Use Of Vitamin And Mineral Supplements
Memory Function - Decaffeinated Coffee May Help
How Red Wine's Resveratrol Confers Health Benefits
Red Wine Versus White Wine - Comparison Of Effects On Hormones Related To Breast Cancer Risk
Comments? Ideas? Feedback? I'd love to hear from you. Just reply to this zine and tell me what you think!
See you next month...
Good Health to You,
Kristy Russ, BScPharm
Pharmacist and Health Consultant
P.S. Give your body the best nutrition possible. You'll not only feel better now, but you'll also have that quality of life in the future that you've always imagined for yourself. Click here to find out more.