For most, the first sign of heart disease is a heart attack. Heart disease is a silent killer and still the number one cause of death in this country and worldwide. Plaque build-up in the coronary arteries is the number one cause of heart attacks followed by heart failure. There are preventative measures we can take to decrease the risk of heart disease.
First is exposure to sunlight. When the sun’s rays hit the skin we produce cholesterol sulfate (we also produce Vitamin D sulfate). Cholesterol sulfate is both fat and water soluble and does not need LDL particles to transport it through the blood. The LDL particles have a high association with heart disease, and so many patients are put on a statin drug to try to decrease it, which is a very bad idea since there are detrimental side effects and these drugs do not address the underlying cause of high LDL. Cholesterol sulfate, on the other hand, keeps artery walls intact and healthy and is essential for the well being of all cells particularly heart muscle cells. A good rule of thumb is 15-20 minutes of sun exposure most days when the sun is high in the sky.
Next is to make sure you do not have vitamin and mineral deficiencies since many nutrients are required for heart health, cellular health, artery integrity, energy production and many act as coenzymes for biochemical reactions. There are some particularly good for the heart. These include d-Ribose, Ubiquinol, Vitamin C, Vitamin D3, Vitamin K2, Magnesium, Zinc, l-carnitine, B Vitamins for methylation and many more found in a sound diet and proper supplementation. Dr. Sinatra refers to Coenzyme Q10, L-carnitine, magnesium, and D-ribose as the “Awesome Foursome” of heart health nutrients. This combination of nutritional supplements has a favorable impact on cardiovascular health, including cholesterol and blood pressure.
Also, exercise, or basic movement, can not be underestimated. We were meant to move, a lot, everyday. The best exercise for heart and lung health is high intensity, interval training. This type of exercise mimics how our Paleo ancestors moved and will strengthen the heart muscle and increase energy reserve. Couple this with walking or other gentle movements for a perfect regime.
Last, but certainly not least, is a healthful diet loaded with fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, flavonoids, polyphenols, healthful fats, and protein. There really is no substitute for a healthful diet.
Visit Flex Health and Wellness for micronutrient testing to evaluate your nutritional status. We can also guide you with diet and lifestyle evaluation.