Cardiovascular Health: Information, Research, Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Cardiovascular Health



Index of Diseases / Health Conditions ... Medicinal Foods, Herbs, Spices & Household Items

For general information only, consult a healthcare practitioner for any health problems ... Disclaimer.



Sixty-four (64) million of Americans suffer from some form of Cardiovascular disease - and 39 million of them are age 65 or younger.


Heart Disease

Prehypertension:

Prehypertension puts you at high risk for developing hypertension (high blood pressure), which in turn increases the risk of a heart attack or stroke. High blood pressure can also lead to heart failure or kidney disease.



Steps you can take:

  1. Reduce salt: The National Institute of Health suggests consuming no more than 1,500 milligrams of sodium daily.

  2. Exercise: Get at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical actvity on all or most days.

  3. Supplements: Discuss with your doctor fish oil supplements, which contain omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) - i.e. Cod Liver Oil - also click here to find the best and the worst fish to eat . Research has shown that omega-3s can lower blood pressure slightly in people with both normal and high blood pressure. In fact, one study suggests that the blood-pressure-lowering effect was greater amongst those who had not yet developed hypertension (Hypertension, August 2007).





Mark Stengler

The following food items are recommended for:

Blood Pressure:

High blood pressure, or hypertension, is often called "the silent killer," since many have it without experiencing obvious symptoms. But don't make the mistake of thinking the lack of symptoms means all's well inside your body -- high blood pressure damages healthy blood vessels and causes inflammation.

According to recent estimates (2009), nearly 1-in-3 American adults has high blood pressure.

According to Bauer, you can help control high blood pressure by making sure you get enough calcium, vitamin D, magnesium and potassium in your diet.

High Blood Pressure Can Mask Heart Attack Symptoms

High blood pressure, also called hypertension, is a tricky problem. Because people who have it often don't experience any symptoms or unusual pain or sensations, many tend to underestimate the serious health risks of hypertension, and fail to seek treatment or take medication as prescribed. And now yet another challenge with hypertension has emerged: People with this condition are less likely to experience angina (or chest pain) during exercise, which means they may miss an important warning sign of a heart attack.

WHY HBP IS THE SILENT KILLER

The Heart Disease Breakthrough: The 10-Step Program That Can Save Your Life At the Montreal Heart Institute in Canada, more than 900 people took exercise stress tests to diagnose possible cardiac ischemia, a condition that may occur when blood flow to the heart muscle is narrowed or obstructed. A stress test consists of walking on a treadmill while blood pressure is measured and the heart is closely monitored via EKG for abnormalities and to see if and at what level the patient reports pain, is out of breath, or reaches 90% of the maximal heart rate for his/her age.

Researcher Bianca D'Antono, PhD, and her colleagues compared these results to participants' self-reported pain scores. They found that people with greater increases in systolic (the number on top) blood pressure during the stress test, whether or not they actually had hypertension, less frequently experienced chest pain -- or experienced it less intensely -- than those with lower blood pressure responses. The implication? Greater blood pressure reactivity to stress may decrease the perception of heart pain, possibly increasing the chance of suffering from a silent heart attack or developing silent angina.

TAKE CARE OF YOUR CONDITION

This study serves as a critical reminder of how important it is to follow your doctor's instructions when you have high blood pressure. First of all, seek regular medical treatment and don't skip doses of your medication -- even when you feel perfectly fine. Proper nutrition, adequate management of stress and regular exercise are also helpful in controlling high blood pressure and associated risks. Talk to your doctor about the level of exercise that is right for you and, during workouts, pay attention if you experience anything else unusual, not just pain -- including excessive fatigue, shortness of breath and perspiration. These are signs that you may be overdoing, and it might be better to slow down or call it quits for the day. Other symptoms that can accompany a heart attack are arm or back pain, nausea and vomiting, dizziness or fainting and palpitations.

Sources:

  • Bianca D'Antono, PhD, clinician-scientist, Montreal Heart Institute and University of Montreal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
  • Anil Nigam, MD, MSc, preventive cardiologist, Montreal Heart Institute and University of Montreal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Heart DiseaseThe following are excellent food / supplement choices:

  • Cocoa - the next "wonder drug"?: For the Kuna Indians native to a group of islands off the Caribbean coast of Panama, hypertension doesn't even exist. In fact, after age 60, the average blood pressure for these Indian islanders is a perfect 110/70. Harvard researchers were stunned to discover it's because they drink about 5 cups of cocoa each day. Studies show the flavonols in cocoa stimulate your body's production of nitric oxide—boosting blood flow to your heart, brain, and other organs. In fact, one study found cocoa thins your blood just as well as low-dose aspirin!
  • Magnesium (250 - 300 mg) - found naturally in dairy foods and fish
  • Potassium (100 mg) - found in apricots, bananas, meat, poultry
  • Zinc (25 mg) - found in chicken and yogurt
  • CoQ10 (100 - 200 mg): found in beef, sardines, broccoli, chicken, trout - note: CoQ10 may worsen low blood pressure
  • Whole grains may lower the risk of high blood pressure, say researchers who followed roughly 29,000 middle-aged and older health professionals who participated in the Women's Health Study. After ten years, those who ate at least four servings a day of whole grains (in breads, cereals, rice, pasta, popcorn, etc.) had a 23 percent lower risk of high blood pressure than those who averaged less than half a serving a day. (Ref. J. Clin. Nutr. 86, 472, 2007)
  • Unsalted pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds and cashews. Research shows that these magnesium-rich foods bring a variety of cardiovascular benefits. They can reduce high blood pressure, lower blood fats known as triglycerides and lower "bad" LDL cholesterol. Tip: Instead of reaching for chips or candy, snack on a daily handful of healthful seeds or nuts.
  • Potassium-rich foods help your body maintain a normal balance between sodium and potassium, which in turn helps regulate blood pressure. The following are excellent choices: bananas, figs, avocados, beans, lentils, split peas, kale, Swiss chard, radicchio, arugula, papaya, pistachio nuts, butternut squash, mushrooms, cantaloupe and carrots
  • Cayenne Pepper: Capsaicin, the main extract of cayenne pepper, releases neurotransmitters in the body that help the vascular system expand, allowing blood to flow more easily. These neurotransmitters also initiate diuresis (the process by which the body excretes salt), which also lowers blood pressure. (Natural Solutions Magazine, March 2008).
  • Hawthorn Berry: A study done in Britain used Hawthorn berries to lower blood pressure in diabetic patients. The results indicated that Hawthorn Berries were effective in reducing diastolic pressure in the patients that were given 1200 mgs of Hawthorn extract for 16 weeks. However, no significant difference in systolic blood pressure readings were noted. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16762125
  • Flax Seeds ... Cucumber ... Olive Oil (instead of other oils)




The South Beach Heart Program: The 4-Step Plan that Can Save Your LifeCardiovascular Disease:

Fish - Click here to find the best and the worst fish to eat. Also refer to health benefits of Cod Liver Oil

Onions are a major source of both phenols and flavonoids, two types of phytonutrients that numerous studies have shown are protective against cardiovascular disease as well as cancer. Summer onions such as Walla Walla, Vidalia and Maui Sweet Onions are high in sugar content, are not as high in nutritional value and do not provide the same health-promoting properties.

Apples ... Almonds ... Bananas ... Bartlett Pears ... Bell Peppers ... Blueberries have an oxygen radical absorption capacity value of 2,400 per 100 grams of antioxidant power and they are rich in anthocyanins, ellagic acid and phenolic acids. They help fight bacteria that can cause urinary tract infections, and blueberry extract may combat pain. Fresh and frozen (without added sugar) are comparable from a nutritional standpoint, but dried blueberries contain lower amounts of antioxidant anthocyanins ... Collard Greens ... Eggplant ... Fennel Bulbs ... Figs (toxic to birds) ... Garlic ... Grapes ... Green Beens ... Kale ... Kiwifruits ... Oranges ... Parsley ... Potatoes ... Prunes ... Sea Vegetables / Sea Weed ... Spinach ... Summer Squash ... Swiss Chard ... Tomatoes ... Yams



Stroke



Heart Attack:

Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health and Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston conducted a study on heart attacks and the findings appeared in the June 9, 2008 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Scientists analyzed medical records and blood samples from 454 men, aged 40 to 75, who had a nonfatal heart attack or fatal heart disease, and compared them to 900 men who had no history of cardiovascular disease. Men with a vitamin D deficiency (15 nanograms or less per milliliter of blood) had a higher risk of heart attack than those with a sufficient amount of vitamin D (30 nanograms per milliliter of blood or more).

"After additional adjustment for family history of myocardial infarction, body-mass index, alcohol consumption, physical activity, history of diabetes mellitus and hypertension, ethnicity, region, marine omega-3 intake, low- and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels and triglyceride levels, this relationship remained significant," the study authors wrote.

"Vitamin D deficiency has been related to an increasing number of conditions and to total mortality. These results further support an important role for vitamin D in myocardial infarction risk," the researchers concluded.



High Cholesterol / Natural Cholesterol Lowering




Heart Health



Weight Control


Liquid Chlorophyll is another excellent detoxifier and antiseptic for the internal organs, especially the digestive tract and bloodstream. Use it internally for any illness, especially a digestive problem -- 1/2 tsp. three times a day. It combines very well with aloe vera. Liquid chlorophyll is also used by holistic vets to balance blood sugar levels in some pets with diabetes or chronic hypoglycemia. (discuss with your holistic physician)




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