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Friday, June 22nd, 2012

By Dr. Shawn Dill, Doctor of Chiropractic
Human Touch Wellness Council Member

You have one heart to carry you through life. This heart puts feelings in your limbs and pushes energy throughout your body. A healthy heart allows you to play with your kids, chase your dogs and hike through the woods. Without the power supplied by your heart, you would likely live a greatly decreased quality of life.

This muscle pumps thousands of gallons of blood non-stop throughout the body every year. It does a lot for us, and yet many people neglect to care for this vital organ. Perhaps even more alarming is the fact that many of these people think they need to ingest drugs and practice other unnatural habits in order to keep the heart performing at its peak condition. The truth is, though, that you have a lot of natural options when it comes to carrying for your heart. Bypass the synthetic drugs and abnormal practices; instead, commit to using these natural remedies for heart health.

Healthy heart

First, take a look at your diet. Fresh fruits and vegetables have a lot of potassium, which is good for maintaining low blood pressure. Fiber, which is found in beans, nuts, seeds and whole grains, helps keep cholesterol in check. Essential fatty acids, found in nuts and seeds but also oily fish, helps keep the blood thin; it also aids in weight loss. Limit how much saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol you eat. Select fat-free or low-fat dairy products. Avoid foods that contain partially hydrogenated vegetable oils. Limit your salt intake.

In addition to implementing a heart healthy diet, you need to exercise regularly. Like any muscle, the heart needs a good workout to stay in optimal condition. Lifting weights and maintaining a healthy cardio workout schedule help ensure your heart is getting plenty work. The good news is that exercising is multi-pronged; it helps control blood pressure, prevents diabetes and maintains healthy cholesterol levels. You should also cut out the smoking and cut back on the alcohol; neither of these helps your heart stay in tip-top condition.

If you feel you need to manage a heart-related condition, look into a natural remedy before running to the pharmacy. Among the many natural “cures” out there are:
• Magnesium, which helps to relax blood cells. It also plays a role in maintaining healthy blood pressure.
• Garlic, which also offers a positive effect on blood pressure.
• The amino acid Lysine, which helps the blood vessels remain plaque free, especially when used in combination with vitamin C.
• The B vitamins, which help maintain healthy homocysteine levels in the blood.

Also, if come from a family where heart problems are the norm, you might want to get yourself checked out to see where you stand, but this doesn’t mean you have to jump on the pharmaceutical bandwagon. Keep in mind that, though genes may play a small part in your health, lifestyle is a major factor, so look at your diet, exercise patterns and health habits before writing off your heart as a lost cause.

Finally, remember that stress affects both your mind and physical wellness, including your heart, so be sure to take time to relax. Massage and meditation are both great natural ways to help keep stress under control.