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Embracing Nature’s Wisdom: Heart Health on World Heart Day – A Naturopathic Physician’s Guide for British Columbians
As we celebrate World Heart Day on September 29th, it’s a momentous occasion to reflect on the incredible organ that keeps us alive and well – our heart! Heart health is paramount, and as a Naturopathic Physician, I’m committed to guiding my patients on a journey toward optimal cardiovascular wellness. In this blog post, we will explore heart health from a holistic perspective and discover how embracing nature’s wisdom can be a path toward a healthier heart.
Understanding Heart Health: A Holistic Approach
Naturopathic medicine is rooted in the belief that the body has an innate ability to heal itself when given the right support. When it comes to heart health, this perspective emphasizes the holistic interplay of various factors:
Nutrition as Medicine: The foundation of heart health begins with what you eat. A heart-healthy diet includes fresh, whole foods rich in nutrients, polyphenols and antioxidants. Think colourful fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Reducing processed foods, sugar, artificial sweeteners, and excess salt is crucial for heart wellness.
Natural Supplements: Sometimes, supplementation is necessary to bridge nutritional gaps or address specific concerns. Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), is a particularly important nutrient for the heart and even more important if you are taking a statin medication for elevated cholesterol. Omega-3 fatty acids and magnesium are examples of other important supplements that can support heart health. Consult with a Naturopathic Physician to determine the right supplements for you.
Herbal Remedies: Herbal medicine offers a wealth of heart-protective options. Hawthorn, garlic, and turmeric are just a few herbs known for their cardiovascular benefits. Naturopathic physicians can prescribe these herbs in safe and effective forms.
Know your numbers: Some of the most important markers to check and monitor for your heart health include: blood pressure, waist circumference, cholesterol panel including triglycerides, fasting glucose and fasting insulin, HbA1C, Apo-B, Lipoprotein (a), liver enzymes and hsCRP. If you don’t know your numbers, I can help you. I can provide you with a blood work requisition form for Lifelabs. Check your extended health provider to see if the costs of these tests are covered!
Stress Management: Chronic stress can take a toll on your heart. Mindfulness practices, meditation, the use of essential oils, deep breathing exercises, and yoga can help reduce stress and promote heart wellness.
Regular Physical Activity: Exercise is a fundamental aspect of heart health. Regular physical activity helps lower blood pressure, maintain a healthy weight, relieve stress and strengthen the heart muscle. Maintaining muscle mass is an extremely important part of metabolic health. So exercise and lift heavy things as if your life depends on it… because it does!!
Embrace Nature’s Wisdom: Heart-Healthy Lifestyle Tips
Holistic Nutrition: Focus on whole, unprocessed foods. Include heart-boosting ingredients like avocados, berries, walnuts, oily fish and leafy greens in your meals. Avoid excessive sugar, saturated fats, and processed foods.
Mindful Eating: Pay attention to portion sizes and eat slowly. This approach promotes better digestion and can prevent overeating.
Stay Hydrated: Drinking enough water helps maintain healthy blood viscosity and circulation.
Manage Stress: Incorporate stress-reduction techniques into your daily routine. Even a few minutes of deep breathing or mindfulness can make a difference.
Regular Exercise: Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity per week. Find activities you enjoy, whether it’s hiking, dancing, or cycling.
Quality Sleep: Prioritize sleep as it’s essential for heart health. Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night.
Maintain a Healthy Weight: Achieve and maintain a healthy weight through balanced nutrition and regular exercise.
Avoid Smoking and Excessive Alcohol: Smoking damages blood vessels and increases the risk of heart disease. Limit alcohol consumption to moderate levels or avoid it altogether.
Consult with a Naturopathic Physician
While embracing these natural approaches to heart health, it’s essential to work with a Naturopathic Physician who can provide personalized guidance and treatment plans tailored to your unique needs. They can conduct thorough assessments, recommend specific natural remedies, and monitor your progress to ensure you’re on the right path to heart wellness. This World Heart Day, let’s remember that our heart is a remarkable organ, deserving of our utmost care and attention. By embracing nature’s wisdom and adopting a holistic approach to heart health, you can enjoy the benefits of a stronger, healthier heart.
Consult with our Naturopathic Physician, Dr. Maria Fabbro, to begin the journey towards a vibrant, heart-healthy life. Whether you prefer virtual Telehealth appointments or in-person consultations, Dr. Fabbro is here to guide you. Book your appointment with Dr. Maria Fabbro here and prioritize your heart health today.
Please be sure to consult your primary health care provider if you have any heart related concerns or before making any significant changes to your health.
– By Dr. Maria Fabbro, Naturopathic Physician