Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a general term that encompasses heart attack, stroke and other disorders of the heart and blood vessels. Cardiovascular disease is the number one killer in North America, claiming over 1 million lives annually. Over 55 million people in North America have some form of cardiovascular disease. Look in specific areas for more details on those problems. Syndrome X seems to be one of the driving forces behind cardiovascular disease with one study showing that over 70% of CVD patients have full-fledged Syndrome X. Traditionally there have been more men suffering from this problem, but women are speedily catching up.
Improper diet and a lack of exercise are common causes of heart problems. The heart becomes over burdened as a result of poor circulation and therefore poor oxygen supply. The bloodstream gets loaded with impurities and the whole system gets sluggish. Our sedentary lifestyles saddle the heart muscle with unnecessary adipose (fatty) tissue, and the extra layers of fat on the body require many more miles of capillaries to supply blood and nutrients to the superfluous cells. The chances of heart failure or of acute heart attack are increased by arteriosclerosis and high blood pressure.
If you experience the symptoms of a heart attack contact a doctor immediately or go directly to the emergency of a hospital. Over half of heart attacks happen within three to four hours of the onset of symptoms. A teaspoon of cayenne pepper in a glass of warm water is an effective first aid remedy for an acute heart attack. If the victim is still conscious, and able to drink it, this will regulate the heart beat. If cayenne is unavailable black pepper may be substituted but requires three times as much to achieve the same results. Regular and vigorous exercise is the primary preventative heart care measure. Remember to start off slowly! Keeping your weight down is also very important.
Diet is instrumental in controlling cardiovascular disease. Fresh fruits and vegetables have been shown to reduce cardiovascular disease by as much as 39%. Eat plenty of raw food with most protein from fish. Garlic and onions are one of the best foods for the blood vessels and heart. It is also important to avoid salt, sugar, or excessive amounts of alcohol, coffee, red meat and all refined carbohydrates in the diet. Supplements such as vitamin E and lecithin are very beneficial for the heart, and potassium is critical to the proper functioning of all muscles, including the heart. Daily doses of Elderberry extract will supply the necessary potassium. Cayenne and Hawthorn berry are the two most important foods for the heart. Reishi is a herb that can both strengthen the heart and calm it down. It is excellent for heart arrhythmia. A malfunctioning thyroid gland is often linked to heart and circulatory problems. In a sense this is the master regulator of all the body’s systems and so should be fed and strengthened with appropriate herbs.
Nutritional Supplements: Vitamin B3, Vitamin B6, B complex, Vitamin B15, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Selenium, Calcium/Magnesium, Potassium, Zinc, Copper, Chromium, Essential Fatty Acids, Coenzyme Q10, Dimethylglycine (DMG), L-Arginine (2 -3 grams), L-Carnitine (500 mg twice daily), Lycopene.
One of the most important causes of circulatory problems is free radical degeneration of the arterial walls. This degeneration puts a large strain on the heart and all of the following foods have the potential to enhance free radicals and should be avoided:
preservatives, food dyes, partly saturated vegetable oils (especially margarine), rancid oils, chlorinated water, cola drinks, high sugar beverages, coffee, tea (most herb teas are alright), table salt (including sea salt), alcohol, protein-carbohydrate combinations, smoked meat, cooking with vegetable oils.
The following guidelines should also be adhered to:
1. Roughage should always be present.
2. Meals should be small and fairly frequent; avoid large meals.
3. Food should be chewed extremely well.