By Claire Georgiou, Reboot Naturopath, B.HSc ND
The heart is an organ we mention in times of happiness, love, excitement and also in times of emotional stress, upsets and failed relationships. But how much thought do we give it for its physicality? The heart is not something too many people think about until a problem occurs. Many of us take this amazing organ for granted until it signals a complaint such as heart palpitations, angina or in a worse case, a heart attack.
Heart disease is responsible for 1 in every 4 deaths in the US, and every year 735,000 people in the US experience a heart attack. It’s important to know the warning signs of a heart attack so you can act fast. The chances of survival are greater when treatment is quicker.
Taking care of your heart and your wellness is paramount in living a longer healthier life.
Risk factors include:
Studies show a plant-based diet that is high in anti-inflammatory phytocompounds and nutrients help to support a healthy heart, reduce inflammation inside the vessel walls, and protect the cells from free radical damage. The standard suggestion for the prevention of heart disease is to consume 5-7 servings of fruits and vegetables per day, so why not do this in one glass and consume even more?! So far there is no threshold for continued benefit with a higher fruit and vegetable intake.
Juicing can have a seriously powerful effect in the long-term in the prevention of heart disease and keeping it in excellent working order when fresh juices are consumed on a regular basis.
Special Juice Ingredients to Help Prevent Heart Disease
In one study beet juice lowered blood pressure as soon as six hours after drinking the juice. With the inclusion of other fruits and vegetables juiced regularly, this will have a long-term positive effect on the vascular integrity and health.
Cranberry juice is a natural source of polyphenols, which have been shown to help reduce the risk of heart disease. An article published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that regular consumption of cranberry juice reduced the degree of stiffness in arteries, which occurs from the build-up of plaque inside the atrial walls, which is called atherosclerosis.
An article published in the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology said studies had concluded that red grape juice provided protection from oxidized LDL cholesterol, which can cause hardened arteries. The scientists concluded that the findings made it reasonable to suggest including red grape juice in a daily diet as a way of reducing the risk of developing heart disease. Red grapes also contain resveratrol which helps to keep platelets from sticking together.
Red Grape Recipes:
Pomegranate juice has been shown to lower blood pressure and is loaded with anti-inflammatory antioxidants that will protect the cardiovascular system from tissue damage and inflammation which is a major driving force behind heart disease.
This is not something that people think of when they think of juice but I love it! This can be added to savory juices very easily and can be a delicious juice addition. Garlic contains substances which prevent blood platelets from sticking together, which reduces the chance of life-threatening blood clots from forming and helps to improve circulation. Garlic also helps to prevent atherosclerosis which is the build-up of plaque in the arteries and a leading cause of heart attacks and strokes.
Celery juice has anti-hypertensive properties due to naturally occurring compounds called phthalides. These relax the tissues of the artery walls to increase blood flow and reduce blood pressure. Four stalks per day or the equivalent in celery juice reduces blood pressure in humans.
Other important heart healthy foods include:
Blueberries, raspberries, berries, apples, pineapple, turmeric, ginger, oily fish, walnuts, nuts, hemp seeds, chia seeds, dark green leafy vegetables, avocado and dark chocolate
It’s important to take action as soon as possible to avoid any health consequences for your heart health today!
Heart Healthy Success Story: Thomas survived a heart attack then juiced for 170days to regain his health.
Here are some great myth busters for heart health!