Healthy Heart Superfoods

 

‘Prevention is definitely the best medicine when it comes to heart health’.

 By Dr. Kathleen Regan, ND

Healthy hearts are predicted by:

Normal blood pressure (~120/80mmHG),
Balanced lipid profile (Low Total Cholesterol, Low LDL, High HDL, Cholesterol Ratio)
Body mass index between ~18 and 24.

Cardio-vascular problems such as hypertension, high cholesterol and obesity are caused by a perfect storm of poor nutrition, high inflammation and poor immune function. Much of this can be avoided or even remedied with diet and lifestyle.

Balanced consumption of carbohydrates, protein and fat feeds a hungry heart, fights inflammation and balances the immune system. Specific vitamins and minerals are required daily for the heart to function and most of these can be found in food. But what do these ‘heart friendly’ foods actually do to protect our hearts? Whether you are in wellness mode or struggling with cardiovascular issues, understanding how your foods work will help you to make the right choices.

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By |February 4th, 2016|Cardiovascular Health, Nutrition|0 Comments

The Secret to Heart Medicine from Ancient Tradition

with Dr. Kathleen Regan, ND

 

Heart disease is one of the western world’s most prevalent diseases. The Heart and Stroke Foundation rates it as the number one cause of death in Canada. If you look on the Heart and Stroke Website you will see listed the following preventative strategies for heart disease:

Maintain a healthy weight
Consult a dietician for help with creating a balanced diet, monitoring fat intake, increasing complex carbohydrates such as fruits and vegetables, reducing alcohol consumption
Quit smoking or maintain a smoke-free environment
Remain Physically Active
Decrease stress

All great suggestions that we give out as naturopathic doctors every day…  lifestyle, lifestyle, lifestyle! But, our patients protest,  ‘it is so hard to change!’ WHY?

One of the BIG reason we have difficulty maintaining lifestyle is stress. Our bad habits make us feel really, really good – for a really short period of time. Yet, many of our global authorities on heart health have a hard time directly connecting emotions with heart health – or at least they have a hard time talking about it. Yet in ancient times, this connection was well understood.

 According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) one of the biggest blocks to mental and spiritual wholeness is that between the heart (feeling) and the mind (thought). Somewhere along the way, our western minds came  to believe that feelings and thoughts are separate. While in eastern medicine, the relationship is so important that a block or separation between heart and mind is considered a precursor to disease.

In TCM the ‘Heart-Mind’ is the residence of memory, thinking, consciousness, mental activity, emotions, sleep and is said to be the home of the spirit or, ‘the Shen’. A divided Heart-Mind has a serious impact on the Shen. A disconnect between the heart and the mind (between emotions and thoughts) manifests in poor memory, attention deficits, insomnia, depression, anxiety and….stress. And in turn, these ongoing ‘Shen’ disturbances – injure the heart.

 In life it is hard to change our everyday stresses, yet we can change how we respond. What is one factor that strengthens our natural defences against stress?

 LOVE. […]