Part 2 of 4
By Dr. Sara Hart, ND, MSOM, CO registered Naturopathic Doctor and Licensed Acupuncturist
When we take a deep breath and consider how we’re feeding the heart today it may be the things we love that come to mind, or the amount of exercise we’ve had. Just as important is the food we eat to nourish and keep our heart healthy.
Mechanically speaking, the heart is the most metabolically active tissue in the body. It works all day and night and truly never takes a break. As a result, the energy requirements for the muscle of the heart are greater than anywhere else in the body. Mitochondria are known as the energy factories of every cell in the body, and the
heart is loaded with them.
Ensuring adequate energy is provided for the heart is a lifelong task. The recipe for energy production includes Coenzyme Q 10, adequate B-complex vitamins, amino acids, balanced minerals, healthy fats and most important avoiding and healing oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is the injury to the cells, vessels and organs that result from both internal and environmental factors.
By today’s standards, a healthy diet is often far from ideal nutrition for optimal heart health. The confusion around the commercial benefit of genetically modified food sources and the myriad of chemicals in our foods has altered the biochemical value of our foods for their ability to build and sustain healthy bodies. Ideal nutrition is free from additives and alterations that require the body to work harder to get less optimal fuel. Fresh, organic, unprocessed foods are especially beneficial.
For those who have elevated risk factors for heart disease, nutrition for the heart requires extra attention. This includes congenital heart anomalies, family histories of cardiovascular disease and especially those who have had times in their lives where they know their hearts have been stressed. For example, someone who has high cholesterol is known to have elevated risk factors. This doesn’t mean to worry about lowering cholesterol exclusively, but to ensure that the body has adequate cardiac energy production, protective factors for overall cardiovascular health and working towards understanding and removing the contributors to the elevated cholesterol. A statin drug alone may effectively force cholesterol levels to drop but it is not a solution to why it elevated to begin with. In addition, statin drugs deplete the heart of the mitochondria’s most vital nutrient, Coenzyme Q10.
A great place to start for enhancing food for the heart is to emphasize whole foods in the diet. Getting a comprehensive evaluation done for your personal health needs is a great way to ensure you’re getting the right food for your heart's needs. Some of our favorite heart health resources at Stillwater’s Apothecary include:
Heart Protector Herbal Mouthwash – rinse and swallow this herbal blend with food for the heart
Co-Q10 in many forms to enhance the hearts energy production
Active B-complex – high potency b vitamins with the reduced form of folic acid for assisting inflammation processing
Inflammazyme – combining some of our best natural enzymes for reducing atherosclerosis, nattokinase, lumbrokinase and serrapeptase each individually have excellent historical information about the reduction of vascular obstructions
Infrared sauna – while a regular dry heat sauna is not recommended for individuals with cardiovascular compromise, the gentleness of the infrared sauna is highly beneficial for cardiovascular health through several mechanisms
Stillwater Clinic & Apothecary is a natural medicine resource for the Lyons community and beyond! Come visit our shop with your curiosities or your ailments and find yourself deeply restored.