Cardiovascular health starts with good nutrition. Food is a primary part of Eastern medicine, but not a part of Western medicine. Real food- not Pop Tarts passed off as a serving of fruit and whole grains – I’m talking about an actual piece of fruit
and an actual grain (hull and all). If the food we eat is devoid of nutrients, so is the blood that pumps through the body. As incredible as the human body is, it can’t make something out of nothing.
PAUSE A MOMENT…AND LET THAT LAST SENTENCE SINK IN.
Magnesium is a good example of that. It’s a mineral and good sources include green leafy vegetables and whole grains, especially. That mineral is incredibly important to muscle function and what is the heart? It’s a muscle. And guess what is a main component of the structure of arteries and veins…muscles again.
Magnesium helps muscle contract and relax normally. In fact, they don’t really relax well without it. With green, leafy vegetables being a top source of magnesium from food, does it make sense that many people with heart disease are advised not to eat large amounts green, leafy vegetables because of certain medications (blood thinners)? What is a “large amount?” 1 serving? 2 servings? 3? Because of those questions, many people avoid green, leafy vegetables all together. That seems a bit counterproductive, because the most nutrient-dense foods are typically plants. Here’s another little tidbit – we are told over and over again to avoid saturated fats, the “bad fats” as they are known (mistakenly). We are told to replace them with polyunsaturated fats – especially olive oil. We all know how good olive oil is for our hearts! News flash – olive oil is pretty high in vitamin K – (that’s the reason why people on blood thinners are told to avoid “large amounts” of green, leafy vegetables.) So…let’s think about this. If you are a heart patient, with let’s say a stent and possibly on blood thinners, you can’t eat green leafy vegetables, you can’t eat olive oil, and you’re being told to avoid saturated fats. Hmmmmm…. what’s left? Low-fat/no-fat refined carbohydrates and low-fat/no-fat dairy? The foods that probably put this person in this situation in the first place.
Here’s a simple solution to this predicament. Eat your food in the way nature presents it to us. Full fat-unrefined and whole. Avoid processed food. It’s really that simple. Honey nut cheerios? Try steel cut oats instead. Sodas and soft drinks - how about some water? Skim milk? No thank-you!!! I’ll stick with the full-fat, whole version-cholesterol and all. And I’ll tell you why in our next blog post.