Broken Hearts – More Than a Valentine’s Day Problem
In honor of Valentine’s Day and Heart Health Month, today’s blog is dedicated to that spectacular little engine inside your chest.
Although I’m no cardiovascular expert, with more and more people each year seeking out structural orthogonal care for secondary conditions like high blood pressure and arrythmia, I’ve started to become more familiar with problems of the heart.
Most everyone knows about common lifestyle changes and solutions for heart health, so we’ll just gloss over them for a refresher. These include:
- High quality Omega-3 Supplementation
- Quit Smoking
- Increase Cardiovascular Exercise
- Decrease Dietary Sodium
After doing some serious research, I found some surprising facts about heart that may help out. Be warned though, some of these may contrast with what you have thought to be true. For my research/science based readers, the sources are linked.
- Switch up your cooking oils – Vegetable oils from sources like sunflower, corn, and soybean oil are huge sources of Omega 6 fats. While there is nothing inherently wrong with Omega 6, Americans as a whole get WAY TOO MUCH, and it’s causing more damage than saturated fats (1, 2)Vegetable oils also have a low smoke point which make them more susceptible to leaving rancid oil residue on your food.
Make the switch to: Coconut oil, organnic grass fed butter, palm oil.
WHOA, all of those are loaded in saturated fats. Very true. However, saturated fats are actually great for cooking. They have a high smoke point, and in the case with coconut oil, are loaded in medium chain fatty acids, which are burned off by your body very quickly. Plus, research is starting to show that saturated fats (from the right sources) are not bad for you, and are necessary to a healthy body.
- Get Strong – Many folks get their fitness on track most often by increasing their aerobic exercise. This is a great way to start, and it certainly has a profound impact on cardiovascular health. However, many studies are pointing to lean muscle mass as a huge factor in cardiovascular health. What does that mean? It means we have to do resistance training.(3, 4)
Make the switch to: Weight lifting. Now it doesn’t mean that you have to go out and start throwing huge weights over your head. Something as simple a regimen of push ups and band exercises help build lean muscle tissue.
- Throw Out the Simple Carbs- Any substance that spikes your blood sugar has a detrimental effect on the body. Sugar toxicity is quickly becoming the scapegoat for many chronic disease processes. Ultimately, it has had a much larger impact on cholesterol and blood pressure than many of us had ever imagined.
The biggest problem is, we had no idea how much bread and pasta could cause so much sugar toxicity, leading to insulin resistance and overeating. For your heart and your blood chemistry, low carbohydrate focus is the direction science is leaning (5, 6, 7)
- Make the switch to: Low carbohydrate foods. This does not mean sugar-free. Sugar free is just a term to mean artificial sweeteners, which are a non food. Eat real food that are rich in colors like vegetables and lean meats.
- Check the Brain – The nervous system is the master control system for the entire body. Nothing happens in the body without permission from the brain. Therefore ensuring optimal brain health will play a crucial role in heart health.There are numerous tools to help improve brain function. Biofeedback is a growing field that helps people use psychological tools to manage their brain function. Things like meditation and hypnosis also have shown promising roles in blood pressure control
However, one of the biggest keys is the vascular flow between your brain and the body.
Structural abnormalities in the upper cervical spine can alter the blood flow in and out of the brain. When this happens, signals to the brain are misinterpreted and heart rate, rhythm, and blood pressure can be thrown off. Particularly, the area of the Atlas has shown to be a sensitive area that can have a huge impact on blood pressure (8,9)
Make the switch: How does one see if their structure is causing secondary conditions in the heart? Visit a structural orthogonal chiropractor for a consult. But that’s enough shameless promotion from me for the day 🙂
Just like there’s no one solution for any disease, there’s not just one solution to help make the heart stronger. It takes a multifaceted approach, and most importantly a commitment from you to embrace a stronger and healthier lifestyle.