Our heart is an amazing organ

This powerful muscle, essential for the formation and survival of the foetus, is the first organ to form and function as a baby develops in the womb. Around day 21 of a human pregnancy, this tireless body part starts to pump, and from that moment on there is no going back as it continues to pump over 100,000 times a day. In so doing, it moves an impressive 2,000 gallons of blood around our vessels. If you stretched them out, they would extend over 60000 miles.

But despite all the hard work our heart endures, billions of people around the world don’t treat this organ as well as they should, and cardiovascular diseases cover top ranks when it comes to leading causes of deaths. Apart fr

om the lottery of bad genes, controllable risk factors for high blood pressure are smoking, hyperlipidemia, obesity, stress and a lousy lifestyle with sugar loaded, meat-based and processed foods. The good news is, simple changes in our lifestyles will make a huge difference to our industrious pump.

Step 1: Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables with every meal, as well as looking to include healthy oils such as olive-, pumpkin seed- or linseed-oil and last but not least cut down on sugar and salt and choose to steam your food instead of frying it. To take the heart-friendly nutrition one step further you could look out for lin seeds, salmon, walnuts and soybeans to provide omega-3 fatty acids on a daily basis. Spinach, avocado, broccoli, oranges or pulses provide folic acid and peanuts, wholemeal products, asparagus or avocado are rich in L-Carnitine – all of them true friends for the heart.

Step 2: Exercise. It is no secret, that physical activity must be included in a long-term strategy to maintain a healthy heart. But what might be a secret for some people is the fact that it doesn’t have to be strenuous marathon training to keep the heart in shape. It is quite the opposite: Just moderate but regular exercise is the way to go. The heart is already pleased if we walk, jog, swim or cycle. So how about climbing the

stairs instead of taking elevators or lifts, getting off the bus one or two stops earlier and walk home. Just half an hour of swift moves has been proven sufficient to keep our pump happy. Most important here: Pick a sport you enjoy and which makes you happy.

Step 3 : LAUGH! Laughing is the best medicine – and that is not just a saying. Laughter releases tensions activate muscles, get the cardiovascular system going and pours serotonin, commonly known as the happy hormone, into the bloodstream.

Ancient Yoga-masters already knew of the importance of certain breathing techniques breathing. In historical transcripts, we can read that yogis calculate their lifespan through the number of their breaths as each of us has a certain

amount of breaths to spend; once they are used up, life will end.  It might not be as drastic, but the truth is, that deep and mindful breathing lowers the heart rate, the parasympathetic part of the autonomous nervous system kicks in, which strains the heartless. The wise old men were right after all.

Of course, various herbal and homeopathic preparations and supplements are out there to support our cardiovascular health. Potassium, magnesium or B-Vitamins are essential nutrients to guarantee a sound function of the heart. L-arginine might help with slightly elevated blood pressure, and Hawthorne is a common herb for heart-strength.

If you want to learn more about how to look after this precious organ, please book in for your 15 min free consultation. Our naturopathic doctors are happy to answer all your questions.