February is “Heart Health Month” and there are some important findings in the literature that you can easily incorporate into your lifestyle to make a big difference in your heart health.
First, the role of inflammation is now thought to play a very big role in heart disease. This appears to be far more important than the role of cholesterol. Inflammation occurs in the body in large part from eating unhealthy foods. It also occurs due to extreme stress, inadequate water intake, elevated blood sugar and lack of sleep. Processed foods are a big player in inflammation. A recent article in the New York Times cited a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association that found for every 10% increase in eating ultra-processed food, there was a 14% increase in the risk of death. Ultra-processed food is described as instant noodles and soups, breakfast cereals, energy bars and drinks, chicken nuggets and many other packaged snacks and ready-made meals which are loaded with toxic chemicals.
What you can do now to help your heart:
1. Load up on anti-inflammatory foods: vegetables, fruits (especially berries), turmeric, ginger, parsley and fish oil have powerful ant-inflammatory properties
2. Cut back or eliminate inflammatory foods: dairy, meat, sugar, processed foods and excessive carbohydrates.
3. Control blood sugar: elevated blood sugar is a major cause of heart disease.
4. Lose weight: too much fat is inflammatory and toxic.
5. Manage stress: high stress levels increases cortisol and adrenalin, raises blood sugar, inflammation and strains your heart.
6. Take good care of your gums and teeth by brushing, flossing, irrigating, and regular dental visits. Bacteria lives in plaque on teeth and we swallow it and it reaches the blood system, causing systemic inflammation.
7. Make time to exercise: exercise is amazingly beneficial to physical, mental and emotional well-being. Moderate exercise just 30 minutes a day, 5 times per week, reduces the risk of heart disease by 30%.
8. Chiropractic adjustments re-set the chemistry of the brain and re-allocates blood flow back to the areas of the body that need it. The alignment of the top 2 bones of the neck (C1 and C2) are vital to a properly functioning brain stem, Vagus nerve, and normal heart function. The upper thoracic spine (T1, T2 and T3) are also directly involved in healthy heart function.
Have you and your family been checked for proper vertebral alignment? Mention this blog for your complementary consultation to see if chiropractic can help you!* Call us today at 512-346-3536 to schedule your appointment.
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