Okay, to some of you younger readers, 39 might seem old. In fact, when I was younger it really did seem old. 40 was ancient. I'm knocking on 40's door here in a few months, and, miraculously, it doesn't seem that old anymore. In fact, it feels like the new 20. Except, of course, for a few nagging things that plague me from not being as healthy as I could have been for a lot of years. Of course, I have a ton to be thankful for.
A co-worker of mine was just admitted into the hospital for a heart problem this week. She's 39. She already has blockage in one of her arteries. She's 39!! That just seems young to me.
She will be fine, thank God, but it raises some serious questions. Apparently age 39 isn't too young to start having issues with your heart. Heart disease is the number one killer in our country, presumably because of our terrible Western eating habits. Obesity is the number one indicator of heart disease, and places that serve fast, fried food certainly aren't helping us.
What can you do to protect yourself and your loved ones from heart disease? There are many small changes you can make in your life that will make a mountain of difference.
1. Stop eating fried foods. Fried foods not only contribute to obesity, but they are also the number one food based source of free radicals which cause cancer and other degenerative disease. It's bad for your heart, too, of course.
2. Don't overeat. I struggle with this one, because when I'm hungry...I want to eat! A good rule of thumb is to make sure that you have a source of protein or fat whenever you eat something to avoid getting cravings later, and also eat smaller, more frequent meals.
3. Eat 3 heaping platefuls of vegetables every day, especially green veggies. I'm the first to admit this one is a toughie. If you can do juicing or smoothies it makes it easier to get all these beautiful nutrients.
4. Supplement. One of my two favorite supplements for the heart is quercetin, which is a potent anti-inflammatory. Quercetin is found in the skins of apples and oranges. The other is Taurine, which is an adaptogen. Taurine helps your body balance its sodium and potassium levels, which is crucial for your heart.
Also a good supplement is magnesium. Many of us are deficient in magnesium, and this essential mineral is very important.
5. Stay away from sugar. Sugar is just plain bad for you anyway, so why eat it, except as an occasional treat? It promotes sugar and carbohydrate cravings, promotes obesity, and also is cancer's favorite fuel. If you want cancer, eat tons of sugar.
6. Meat is okay...but choose sources of protein that are leaner and higher in omega 3 fats, such as fish or grass fed free range lean meat. Or..go hunting and catch your own. :) Watch where your fish comes from, however, as the entire Pacific is flooded with radioactivity from the Fukushima meltdown that happened in Japan in 2011. You can bet that much of the fish in the Pacific has traces of cesium and other radioactive elements.
7. Check your blood sugar levels and, if you are diabetic...be religious about keeping them under control. Diabetics have a 3-fold or higher risk of suffering a major heart attack. The reason is that high sugars make the blood more sticky and with more viscosity [resistance to flow]. So, your heart has to work very, very hard to pump this very viscous blood through your veins compared to blood that isn't loaded with sticky sugars.
8. EXERCISE!!!! Doctors recommend 30 minutes at least three times a week..but I say...get out there EVERY DAY and move. It doesn't matter whether you are fast or slow...get out and work up a bit of a sweat...get your heart rate up and keep it up for 30 minutes or more each day.
9. Drink lots of water! Dehydration also makes the blood more viscous [ie-thicker] so that your heart has to work harder to circulate the thicker blood. People with chronic mild dehydration tend to have more cardiovascular issues.
10. If you need to lose weight, do not hesitate. Do it right away. You might just be saving your own life.
To Your Health,