The heart pumps, on average, 100 000 times a day – which is an amazing 2.5 billion times in an average lifetime. It moves 8 tonnes of blood every 24 hours. This really is an amazing biomechanical feat, balancing the thickness of the blood, the regular beating of the muscle and continued supply of energy and nutrients to this vital organ. So it’s important to make sure it’s working properly…
- Have diagnosed high blood pressure?
- Have to control the sodium content in your diet?
- Have a family history of high blood pressure?
- Have diabetes?
Hypertension is a serious condition which can, if not properly managed, lead to enlargement and weakening of the heart.
Anyone with high blood pressure should use alternatives to table salt, such as low sodium ‘salt’ products, or other flavourings such as herbs and spices.
Take regular exercise. Research shows that people who take more than 30 minutes aerobic exercise, three to five times a week, lower raised blood pressure levels.
Use calming essential oils such as chamomile, sypress and lavender. If you’re the type of person who gets anzious or depressed, use marjoram, rosewood, rose or ylang ylang.
Take time to rest. This is the key to a strong immune system. Have a long soak in the bath, using a spa system (which are relatively cheap) and scented bath products and use CDs or even candles to calm and relax you.
There is some research showing that fish oils can reduce high blood pressure, but see a nutritionist about this, as levels taken were relatively high (3000mg daily or more).
- Have a family history of heart disease?
- Have a track record of smoking?
- Exercise little in your daily life?
- Eat hardly any fresh fruit or vegetables?
All of these factors increase a person’s risk of heart attack. This is usually caused by atherosclerosis – hardening of the artery walls. A heart attack occurs when blood flow to part of the heart is blocked, often by a blood clot, causing damage to the affected muscle.
It is vital that you eat a diet which is rich in plant oils, which will naturally decrease the amount of animal fat in your diet.
Eat at least five portions of fresh fruit and vegetables a day, not only to increase your intakes of heart-protecting antioxidant nutrients, but to cut the likelihood of you snacking on junk food. You must be disciplined about this.
Vitamin E, at 400µg or above, was shown in one study from Cambridge, to reduce risk of heart attack by up to 75% in some people. Garlic supplements also have some strong research to back them.
If you smoke, make every attempt to quit. Visit a natural healthcare practitioner (herbalist, homeopath) to get remedies to support you.
- Get a racing feeling in the chest?
- Get a feeling that your heart is skipping a beat?
- Feel dizzy, light-headed or fainty?
Cut out caffeine, which can temporarily set the heart racing. It’s important that you can keep a thorough note on how your heart is acting without stimulants.
Consider taking a magnesium supplement, as research shows that this mineral can help to relax heart muscles.
Studies on fish oils have shown that they can help to regulate irregular heart beats, but make sure you do this only under supervision of a healthcare practitioner, as intakes used to acheive this are high (3000mg daily or more).
Some naturopaths believe that Selenium deficiency (which is relatively common in the UK) can lead to irregular heart beat, so supplement with around 100mg daily.
Hawthorn is traditionally used for irregular heart beat.
NOTE: Please be diligent and check with your GP to discuss a treatment plan before taking any supplements or remedies.
Natural Lifestyle © Natural Lifestyle May 2005 in connection with Natural Health Week