What happens during a heart attack
Lowering your cholesterol is an important step in preventing a heart attack. Here are some fairly simple things you can do to lower your cholesterol:
Eat the recommended 5 servings of fruits and vegetables in place of the more processed snacks. Fruits and vegetables are fat free. Another idea is to add wheat germ, wheat bran, or oat bran to foods. This will increase the fiber. Increased fiber in the diet decreases cholesterol levels. Wheat germ will fit into spaghetti sauce, meat loaf (ground turkey, of course), salads, mashed potatoes, applesauce, yogurt and whatever else you can think of. Apple pectin or guar gum, usually found in health food stores, also lowers cholesterol levels, as does garlic. (One clove of garlic daily or 900mg of garlic oil in capsules is the recommended amount for this purpose.)
Buy whole grain products instead of their white flour counterparts. This means whole grain breads, not white breads, whole grain pasta, not regular, and whole wheat rolls instead of white. The reason for eating whole grain products is that they take longer to digest, so you won’t feel hungry for a while and they aren’t converted to simple sugars as quickly as their white flour counterparts, so they won’t raise triglyceride levels as much. They also have more fiber, which as we know reduces cholesterol.
Exercise – Lowering your cholesterol also requires some exercise to keep the foods from being stored as fat. Consult with your health care practitioner and possibly a trainer to determine where and how to start. Long-term exercisers experience more cardiovascular benefits than short-term exercisers when it comes to fighting arteriosclerosis or hardening of the arteries.
Quit smoking! If you have high cholesterol, smoking can be a leading contributor. Quitting smoking will lower your cholesterol level and help to reduce your risk of heart attack and other heart diseases.
Lose weight – this will be achieved by the following the diet changes above and incorporating exercise into you routine.
The next step in heart attack prevention is to Lower Your Blood Pressure:
Drinking enough water is one of the best safe guards against high blood pressure. It keeps blood flowing freely and veins & arteries supple and open. Take ½ your body weight in ounces every day. Say you weigh 160 lbs. Half of that is 80, so you would need 80 ounces of water per day.
It’s very important to drink water at bedtime because heart attacks often occur in the morning when we are dehydrated and our blood is thicker than during the day. If you have dark urine when you wake up, it’s a signal that your body is dehydrated.
Lose Weight: When your weight increases, your blood pressure rises. Being overweight can make you two to six times more likely to have high blood pressure. Even losing a small amount of weight can make a big difference in prevention of high blood pressure.
Choose foods low in salt: Everyone should eat no more than about 2,000 milligrams of sodium a day- that’s about 1 teaspoon of table salt! Americans eat 4,000 to 6,000 milligrams of sodium a day, so most people need to cut back on salt and sodium.
Take Supplements to Nourish and Protect Your heart
Potassium – Regulates the water balance within the body and its cells. It also helps govern the body’s acid balance and the electrical charge within the cells. It is essential to the healthy functioning of the brain, heart, muscles, and kidneys.
Calcium – A new study has found that women who took calcium citrate supplements lowered their cholesterol levels. According to the researchers, calcium citrate has a positive effect on heart health.
Magnesium – Every cell in the body needs magnesium. It helps keep muscles strong and nerves alert. And daily magnesium supplements can help an ailing heart.
Fish oils – Populations with high consumptions of oily fish have a lower incidence of heart disease. There is also evidence that fish oil helps prevent arteriosclerosis, lowers blood pressure, reduces triglyceride levels, and are highly protective against both fatal and non-fatal heart attacks. Fish oils also have anti arrhythmic effects and help prevent blood clotting.
Co Enzyme Q10 – Co Enzyme Q10 strengthens the heart, and has enabled 43% of patients with different forms of heart disease to discontinue some of their medications after about 4 months.
There is evidence that a vegetarian diet , with low levels of cholesterol and fat, can reverse heart disease. A vegetarian diet is sometimes recommended to persons who have had a heart attack.
Pet Your Pet!
In a study of patients with heart disease, pet ownership made a huge difference in survival regardless of how bad the heart disease or the type of pet. Studies indicate watching fish in an aquarium or petting a dog or a cat can lower blood pressure, even among healthy people.
Remember- your mind and heart are made up of what you think, and your body is made up of what you eat. Take control of your health!