8 Easy Things to Do EVERY Day for Heart Health
You really need a healthy heart if you are planning on being active and living a long time. I'm talking about living WELL for a long time. Personally, I want to be able to walk up stairs without huffing and puffing, run out to take care of our animals without feeling unduly stressed, and feel strong while hiking, horseback riding, and other activities--even when I'm 80 years old. Luckily, there are some natural proactive things you can do right now to keep your heart healthy.
Heart issues run on both sides of my family, and I've been told in my past by a medical doctor that I need to start taking medications for high cholesterol and blood pressure or risk stroke or heart attack. Frankly, I was not happy about this, and the results of the medications I tried back then are a story for another time. Suffice to say: It was a nightmare.
The attitude, "Here, just take a pill," is so over-arching in our medical system and modern culture. The problem is, pills just cover up the symptoms. They don't actually SOLVE the underlying problems. If you're like me, you'd rather solve the issue and not have to take those pills for the rest of your life! Right?
The first question I asked myself after experiencing some horrible side effects from heart medications that didn't even solve my problems was, "How can I lower my blood pressure and cholesterol, using natural methods?"
Here's the thing: I know NOW that I can keep these things under control by just shifting a few things in my life--by making some lifestyle changes and doing some different things. I know this because I'VE DONE IT!
You can choose to DO something about your heart health now! You are NEVER just staying the same. You are either improving...or you are declining. You are either growing or decaying. Nobody is static. That would be nice, but it's not reality, my peeps. At all.
Here are some things you can do starting right now, to keep your heart in its best health!
NOTE: There are affiliate links scattered throughout this article. If you click through and make any kind of purchase, I will receive a very small commission at no extra cost to you! Thank you for helping support Healing Harvest Homestead-- Heidi
8 Easy, Natural Ways to Keep Your Heart Healthy!
1) Eat a Healthy Diet
I'm not a nutritional expert, but I CAN tell you what I've experienced by cutting certain things out of my diet. I have lower blood pressure, better health, sleep better, and just feel more healthy.
Mr. V. and I have cut out pretty much ALL processed food. I cook primarily from scratch, and we eat mostly vegetables and healthy, clean (organic, grass- or pasture-raised) meat and eggs.
If we do eat something that is processed (like some dressings), we ALWAYS read the labels. If we see any soy, sugar of any kind, chemicals we are not familiar with, MSG, carrageenan, etc., we just don't buy it.
And honestly, once you get in the habit, it's pretty easy to just make it yourself.
The Standard American Diet (S.A.D.) is full of overly processed, chemical-filled, over-preserved foods that are literally KILLING people.
In case you don't believe me:
Check out these books and documentaries. These books and films are just a few of the things that changed Mr. V.'s and my understanding of our unbelievably disgusting modern food system. They were the impetus for us making some serious changes to our food habits.
I hope you'll take a look at these: Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead, Food, Inc., It Starts With Food, Hungry for Change, Forks Over Knives, Folks, This Ain't Normal by Joel Salatin, The Pigness of Pigs also by Joel Salatin, Fed Up, and Food Matters. There are so many more, too! Many of the documentaries you can watch for free on Netflix.
One way Mr. V. and I like to get enough vegetables in our diet is to eat raw fermented foods. We grow many of our own vegetables, and I have found that one of the best ways to preserve the excess and also add beneficial probiotics while still getting the valuable fiber and nutrients is by fermenting our vegetables. Here is an article about fermentation that will help you understand what it is and how it works.
***A little side note about delusion:
If you don't take the steps necessary (reading and watching documentaries) to learn, grow and help yourself, you will NEVER get out of the abyss. Just saying.
I know quite a few people who have TOLD me TO my FACE, "Nope. I don't want to watch those movies or read those books. If I do, then I might have to think about making some changes. I like eating the things I eat too much. I don't want to know where my meat comes from or how the animals are treated. I don't want to know about pesticides and growth hormones."
And all I can say in response is, "WOW." and then...."O-Kaaay."
REALLY?! Friends, THAT's the epitomy of delusion....When you KNOW what you are putting in your body is bad for you, yet you continue on. Worse, you don't want to educate yourself for fear that having the knowledge will make you accountable for making poor (or healthy) choices. That's being delusional.
I'm just being real.
2) Certain Supplements will Help
All righty then. I'm done with the rant, and on to a topic that is more pleasant: Supplements. Taking certain supplements can help keep your heart healthy.
Did you know that over half the American population is deficient in Magnesium? And that it is a factor in over 300 systemic actions in your body? AND that Magnesium plays a major part in the health of your heart and can affect heart arrhythmias, blood pressure, "atherosclerosis, and endothelial dysfunction"? Yep. Little old magnesium is super important.
Luckily, it's easy to take.
The best way is to take it topically, as the molecules easily enter your bloodstream through your skin. Just spray several squirts of Magnesium Oil on your skin once or twice a day. Not only does it help your heart, it will also help your sleep and many other processes you don't realize are happening in your body---until they're not.
Here's an article about the types of magnesium (yes, it matters) plus the benefits of Magnesium Oil, as well as a recipe so you can make your own if you want. You can also buy it, if you like. Amazon sells a high quality Magnesium Oil, that I've used and can say great things about.
Potassium is another mineral absolutely necessary for optimal functioning of your heart. It is responsible for electrical impulses that help power your heart. Too little potassium may cause heart beat arrhythmias and weak contractions.
It's important to have a doctor check your potassium levels before taking supplements, I personally believe. If you are concerned about the levels of potassium you have in your body, you can easily improve the levels by eating foods high in potassium, such as bananas, avocados, broccoli, leafy greens, prunes, and many more!
CoQ10 helps regulate the mitochondria (the power centers) of your cells. It stands for coenzyme-Q10, and is naturally created in your body. The problem is, as we age (or treat our bodies badly), we don't make as much of it! CoQ10 may help with chronic heart failure, high blood pressure, and even decreasing aging processes overall.
* Omega-3 fatty acids:
We've all heard how important it is to take your fish oil! That's because Omega-3 fatty acids may decrease your blood pressure, improve the clotting mechanism of your blood, lower your triglycerides, and reduce inflammation in your body's systems. All of these things help the health of your heart. You can find out more about what kind of fish is best to eat in this article, or find a high quality fish oil supplement.
3) Stop at One (or Two, for Men) Drinks
According to Samuel Mann, M.D. in "3 Little Ways to Keep Your Blood Pressure Low All Day Long," "moderate consumption of alcohol actually lowers systolic blood pressure by two to four millimeters. But if you have more than one drink a day for women, or two drinks for men, it can raise blood pressure."
There you go. Limit your alcohol consumption--or just don't imbibe at all.
I am not going to go on and on about exercise. If you are over the age of 12, I am SURE you know that exercise is necessary and great for all parts of your body. Especially your heart. Find some kind of exercise you like and Just. Do. It. 'Nuff said.
5) Use Herbs to Help Your Heart Out
I LOVE plant medicine. Personally, I believe God made everything on the earth to take care of us. Plants have everything we need!
It's when we start messing around with the things God created that we get ourselves into trouble. THAT's why so many people are dealing with side effects from the medications they take. They have a side effect, then are prescribed another med to deal with the side effect, then are prescribed yet another med so they can deal with the new side effect.....ad infinitum.
For many years, I've been using herbalism and plant medicine to keep myself and my husband healthy. I make our own antibiotics, salves, and tinctures for all kinds of health needs. We use herbal teas daily as they give us nutrition and help keep us healthy.
Here is a list of the best herbs, in my opinion, to use daily for your heart: Hibiscus, Hawthorn, Motherwort, Garlic, Celery, Rooibos Tea, Ginger Root, and Cayenne Pepper.
There are many ways to use these: cooking, herbal teas, tinctures, etc. In this article, "8 Herbs for Your Heart," each herb is explained in detail along with ways to use them effectively.
Have you ever wanted to learn how to blend your own teas for pleasure and health? Find out how in my eBook!You'll learn about herbs, as well as typical teas. You'll also get some recipes to get you started! Available on Kindle too!
6) Use Essential Oils
There is clinical evidence that diffusing Lemon essential oil for about 20 minutes a day is great for helping lower your blood pressure! Your house or office will smell amazing too, and your mood will be happy!
I personally use Marjoram essential oil on my chest three times a day. I just rub a drop or two into my chest area, and place my palms over my nose and inhale deeply. I've experienced a great difference in my mood, my sense of calm, and lowered blood pressure by using Marjoram essential oil.
Where do I get my oils? For use on my body, I only use the highest quality oils. I personally choose doTerra oils because I've tried MANY different brands over the decade I've been using essential oils, and doTerra comes out on top every single time.
In the spirit of full disclosure, I'm a wellness advocate for doTerra, not to make money, but so I can save TONS on my oils with the great discount I get by buying wholesale. If you want more information, please visit my website!
Well, the clinical evidence is in! It turns out that people who have a regular meditation or prayer practice have a lowered risk of dying from heart failure in a five year period. Meditation produces positive changes in your body. It affects your brain activity, lowers blood pressure and heart rate, reduces your sense of stress and anxiety, and therefore reduces stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol. All good stuff!
8) Control Your Anger
Obviously, we all get angry. It's part of being human. But the way we handle our anger is everything when it comes to the health of our heart. When you get angry, the fight or flight response is activated, and this causes your blood pressure to rise significantly and your blood vessels to tighten up. Experiencing this response over and over is devastating for your health and heart.
As a matter of fact, one of my good friends recently had an all-out heart attack because of her anger issues. I'm not even kidding! She is learning to control her raging as of this writing...that heart attack scared her!
You can try to calm yourself through self-talk and deep breathing. Ask yourself if this problem will even matter in the future? Is it worth having a heart attack over? Then walk away if you can. I totally understand that sometimes people do things that just tick you off! I know about this! Some people just push those buttons. All I can say is, "I know." And just do your best not to get that blood pressure going.
Final Thoughts on Natural Heart Health
I would argue that the heart is the most (or at least it's up there, equal to the brain, lungs, etc.) important organ in your body. It feels and reacts to emotions, and its never-ending contractions provide your body with nutrients, oxygen, and all the things it needs. It PAYS for us to take good care of our hearts at all times.
The great thing is, you may never have to end up on heart medication if you consistently follow these natural health practices. Wouldn't that be great!? There are no promises, but I'm going to do everything in my personal power to keep Mr. V's and my heart healthy so we can live an active life as long as we are alive!
What do you do to take care of your heart? I'd love to know! Leave your thoughts in the comments! :-)
Hugs, Health, & Self-Reliance--
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Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor or medical professional. In no manner, stated or implied, is any statement made in this article, elsewhere on my website, in any publication of mine, or video meant or implied to cure, treat, diagnose, or prevent any illness or disease. Please see a medical professional if you have health concerns. My words are simply my personal opinion based on years of study and experience and are for informational purposes only. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA.