Friday, April 26, 2013

6 Little-Known Heart Health Boosters

When it comes to heart health, many people are already familiar with the old standbys like exercise, garlic, magnesium and flax.  But these aren’t the only ways to prevent heart disease or to boost your cardiovascular health.  Here are seven little-known heart healers:

Hibiscus Flower Tea: Not only is hibiscus beautiful, it is equally healing, especially for people with high blood pressure.  The tea has a cranberry-like flavor and gently lowers blood pressure while eliminating excess water buildup in the body.  Hibiscus is naturally packed with phytonutrients called anthocyanins that block the compounds that cause blood vessel constriction, but without the side-effects of the drugs.

Sea Buckthorn: An ancient Tibetan healing secret is finally being discovered in the West.  Research shows it dramatically reduces harmful cholesterol levels and C-reactive protein, which is known to inflame and damage cells and be linked to illnesses like heart disease.

Vitamin C: This readily-available nutrient is a powerful healer against heart disease.  A recent study showed that men who consume at least 300 milligrams of vitamin C, through food and supplements, slash their risk of death from heart disease by 40 percent.  It works on many levels:  It helps to prevent high blood pressure; prevents hardening of the arteries, lowers cholesterol levels, repairs damaged arterial walls, increases high density lipoproteins (HDLs, or the “good” cholesterol).

Gratitude: Biologist Glen Rein at the popular Institute of HeartMath, in Boulder Creek, California, conducted a study of people who entered a state of heartfelt appreciation or unconditional love, what he referred to as “heart consciousness.”  When people held gratitude in their hearts, their heart rhythms became extremely coherent. Their electrocardiograms (ECGs) were analyzed by sophisticated frequency-analysis software. Whenever they held the loving, appreciative thoughts, their heart rhythms followed a more coherent rhythmic pattern.

Eating organic: Pesticides and herbicides are increasingly linked to heart conditions and many other health problems.  Organophosphates are the most widely used type of pesticides.  At least forty different types are in use in homes, gardens, agriculture, and veterinary practice. Originally developed by Nazi chemists during World War II as a chemical weapon nerve agent, corporations manufacturing the toxic chemicals found a new use for these nerve agents after the war was over. 
Resveratrol: A natural phytonutrient found in purple grapes and blueberries, resveratrol is primarily used for brain health but it has also been shown to allow blood to flow better through the blood vessels, giving it excellent potential with high blood pressure and heart disease.  Resveratrol demonstrated the ability to improve the dilation of blood vessels, which may allow blood to flow more easily through blood vessels.  It has also been shown to relax the walls of the blood vessels, making their diameter larger, thereby lowering blood pressure, and allowing a higher volume of blood to flow through all areas of the body, delivering increased oxygen and nutrients to the body’s cells.

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