February is American Heart Month, and this year’s marks the 57th consecutive heart health month since President Lyndon B. Johnson (a heart attack survivor) issued the first proclamation in 1964.
Unfortunately, much of the hype that will be bombarding us this month has very little to do with actual heart health!
As usual, we’ll all be reminded to wear red, to control our cholesterol (with statins, of course) and avoid saturated fats while using “heart healthy” vegetable oils.
What a crock.
Here’s what these “heart healthy suggestions” really mean:
- Drug companies get richer selling their blockbuster statins. Note that statins have NEVER, EVER been proven to prevent a single case of heart disease, and at the same time, their side effects continue to mound and become increasingly deadly.
- Food companies get richer selling inflammatory vegetable oils and margarines…yet inflammation is a leading cause of heart disease, so these foul fats are anything BUT heart healthy.
- After 57 years of wearing red during February to raise awareness about heart disease, it still remains our number one killer. So clearly our red garments haven’t done much for us.
If you want to skip all the hoopla and learn about REAL protection against heart disease, read on.
A surprising key to heart disease prevention—your immune system!
Most people don’t realize this, but your immune system plays a major role in whether or not heart disease will come knocking at your door.
A study performed at the Imperial College London in the United Kingdom examined 19,000 patients with high blood pressure—a group of people who most assuredly are at risk for heart attack and heart disease.
The researchers found those with higher levels of Immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies had the lowest risk of heart attack - and this was independent of other risk factors, such as cholesterol.
IgG is the most abundant antibody in your immune system, and its primary role is to protect you against bacterial and viral infections.
And now apparently heart attacks!
The healthier and more robust your immune system is, the better able it is to produce IgG antibodies.
So clearly this is another reason why your immune system is truly worth its weight in gold in terms of disease prevention—because now its blanket of protection includes our number one killer.
The inflammation connection
Inflammation is a major contributing factor to atherosclerosis and heart attack. Most people point fingers at cholesterol, but cholesterol is only “summoned” to help repair damage to your arterial walls—largely caused by inflammation!
So, inflammation is the true guilty culprit here.
A lot of your body’s inflammation stems from your GUT—a weak, unhealthy gut wall can allow toxins, bacteria and poorly digested food molecules to seep into your bloodstream, which can in turn put your immune system on alert and trigger an inflammatory response.
Plus, inflammatory foods such as sugar, refined carbs and the “heart healthy” vegetable oils and margarines I mentioned above also light fires of inflammation.
Real heart disease prevention
Now that you know what’s really behind heart disease (and are no longer distracted by heart health month hoopla) here are 6 ways you can stack the deck in your favor and help keep our #1 killer far away from you!
1--Keep your immune system strong AND sharp
The key here is to help support an immune system that’s strong enough to produce the antibodies you so desperately need, while at the same time keeping your gut wall strong so you’re not taunting that immune system with garbage leaking in your bloodstream!
The best way to encourage a well-functioning immune system and a healthy gut wall environment is through supplementation with a complete, full-spectrum probiotic formula like Super Shield.
Super Shield contains a carefully designed blend of both Bifidobacterium species (that reside in your colon) as well as Lactobacillus strains (that inhabit your small intestine), so your entire intestinal wall is well-supported!
Eating fiber-rich foods like fresh vegetables and getting sources of TRULY healthy fats like real butter (NEVER margarine), olive oil, coconut oil, nuts and avocado are a must.
Even meats are fine in moderation! Your heart draws upon saturated fats during times of stress, so don’t fall for the old, “Steak is a heart attack on a plate” BS. Just keep the servings reasonable—about 4 oz.
It’s also important to avoid sugars and refined carbs and starches. In addition to stirring up inflammation, they are nourishment for harmful bacteria and yeasts in your intestines, which then “eat away” at the gut wall and make it leaky.
Two of the best nutrients for cardiovascular support are vitamin D and Omega-3 essential fatty acids.
Vitamin D has anti-inflammatory properties that can counteract inflammation in your arteries. It’s also a common deficiency because so many people completely shun the sun, and your body needs sun exposure (and cholesterol!) to manufacture vitamin D. To ensure you have proper levels of this heart-healthy nutrient, supplementation with a top-notch formula like Optimum D-K Formula with FruiteX-B® is the way to go.
Omega-3 fatty acids have been medically proven to help lower blood pressure, they can fight inflammation in your arteries, and they help reduce the stickiness in your platelets and curb fibrinogens (which contribute to plaque). VitalMega-3 Fish Oil Formula is your ticket to getting a health-supporting dose of these crucial fats.
4--Get 7-9 hours of sleep each night
Studies have shown that adults who sleep fewer than five hours a night have 50 percent more calcium in their coronary arteries than those who slept seven hours. Calcium buildup is a primary signal of heart disease.
Plus, regular sound sleep has a significant positive impact on your level of insulin sensitivity. Insulin resistance is yet another heart disease risk factor.
Chronic stress leads to high levels of the stress hormone cortisol in your bloodstream. Elevated cortisol can trigger inflammation, as well as lower your immune function, lead to digestive difficulties and nutritional deficiencies, and sap your energy and mental focus.
6--Engage in regular exercise
Exercise lowers your blood pressure, strengthens your heart, and improves blood flow.
Now that sure sounds like heart disease prevention to me!
No excuses—we’re talking about your health and your life here! Get your doctor’s OK and get working up a sweat.
Now you are armed with something to really celebrate for American Heart Month —safe, natural, effective ways to truly have a healthy heart!
To your health,
The information in our articles are NOT intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and are not intended as medical advice.