With 90% of women in Australia having one risk factor of heart disease, when I was asked to write an article on The Heart I jumped at it. Whenever I write these articles, I think of these areas that, when we understand them more, we can make better decisions as they need to be considered;
- Heart Brain communications
All these areas work together to give an overall general health to any area of the body. So let’s explore them;
With up to 50% of women tested recently for cholesterol showing a higher than normal cholesterol reading, it’s time to consider what we are eating. It’s all about the good fats vs the bad fats…or is it? I think it’s more than that, however fats do play an important part specifically in heart health. So what are the good fats? These are the HDL’s or High Density Lipoproteins. They are the polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats from foods like nuts, avocados, pepita seeds and olive oil which may actually lower your cholesterol. I make up a natural granola mix with all HDL’s in it and have it to start my day (almonds, macadamias, pepita seeds, raisins, vanilla and cinnamon with a touch of shredded coconut to taste. It’s not only yummy, you are giving your body all the HDL’s in one serving.
I also think supplementation here is the key. To clean out the arterial walls you need a great anti-oxidant and a good multi-vitamin. If you don’t feel you are eating enough foods that are great for detoxing then supplementing with one anti-oxidant may assist you and your heart.
Minerals are also vital as every muscle in the heart requires minerals to assist them to contract. Minerals are also the basis of good hormone health which we will talk about later. The Mitochondria of the heart loves to have Minerals and CoQ10 as its food. A recent study showed that when heart patience took CoQ10 for 3 months their skin improved as well.
Did you know that your weight around your middle area may be indicative of your heart health? Weight around the stomach area is created from many things. Often this fat is formed from eating the LDL’s or bad fats. As you gain this belly fat, your fat cells swell to accommodate the higher triglycerides and the exposure to chemicals. They can also be created when our hormones change. It has been found recently that the lower your Testosterone is the more fat you have around the middle. So for you men out there. If you want to raise your Testosterone you know what area of your body you may like to work on. It’s the ‘brown fat’ area. We use to call it the ‘ugly fat’ because it really can do lots of damage to our organs as well as our heart. Releasing ‘brown fat’ could be the best decision you ever made. I just lost 6kgs by specifically targeting the brown fat areas. The renewed energy is fabulous. Your whole body benefits.
Your inheritance could also affect your fat cell positioning and storage. Men tend to inherit fat cells in the abdominal and face areas and so may be more prone to belly fat. Women on the other hand tend to inherit fat cells around their ‘child bearing areas’ hence the sometimes bigger hips. The point here is that while that is where we may inherit fat cells we actually don’t have to fill them…..it’s a choice. You may however have also inherited your nutritional habits that fill those fat cells so again it’s a choice for you to continue down that path or change.
I always say, “If you can’t find time and money for wellness, then you better find time and money for illness”. It’s so easy in today’s busy life schedule that we exercise on the back burner. It is my absolute priority. I get up, take my minerals, and I power walk for 30-45 minutes. I then do two aquafitness fast paced classes with weights every week in my lunch hour. That combination of cross training is excellent on your fitness and health. Without exercise you are running around with very little oxygen in your blood stream. This may lead to tiredness and increased acidity which is not good for your health or your mood swings.
Years ago, I remember a study done at Prince of Wales Hospital. This Doctor John Ward was looking for a marked improvement in older peoples muscle mass, cardiac function and overall health. He got such a shock when, while he did get improvement in those areas, the biggest improvement he got was in changes from depression to happiness by up to 50%. When I was working at the retirement village, years ago I put his research to the test. I offered the older residents three types of exercises to choose from every morning, from cardiac circuits to chair exercises to aquafitness. I then added other activities like dancing etc. throughout the week. One lady came in with depression at that time. Her daughter phoned me to thank me for the happy state her mother was now in. She didn’t have much time now for her daughter’s visits because she was in the ‘line dancing’ group and needed to borrow a red shirt. So exercise definitely assisted her.]
If you want to reduce that abdominal fat we mentioned earlier then exercise is the key when it is coupled with great nutrition. On top of reducing the belly fat, you may notice you have more energy and that your risk for heart disease can decline by up to 50%.
Let’s continue this in the next newsletter where I will talk about Hormones and the Heart, Communication of the Heart to other areas of the body including the brain And STRESS.