DR. MAO SHING NI
SPECIAL TO THE MIRROR
Heart disease is the highest-ranked cause of early mortality in adults. The most common type of heart disease is clogged arteries due to plaque. Plaque formation brings about hardening of the arteries, also known as atherosclerosis. A combination of cholesterol crystals and calcium deposits, arterial plaque narrows the artery over time, impairing blood flow, and can even cause aneurysms, blood vessel bulges that may rupture, and internal bleeding.
Unfortunately, because arterial plaque has no outward signs, the condition is often discovered too late, with devastating consequences. In 2004, 65 percent of men and 47 percent of women experienced either heart attack or sudden death as their first symptom – and that is in the United States alone. One indicator in routine blood tests called C-Reactive Protein, can alert your doctor to potential dangers. Another simple, life-saving test is the carotid ultrasound, which detects plaque obstructions in the arteries that supply blood to the brain. Factors that put people at higher risk for arterial plaque include diabetes, insulin intolerance, high LDL cholesterol, stress, obesity, inflammation, and high blood pressure.
Here are some dietary and herbal suggestions to increase your heart health:
An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away
Scientists have confirmed that apples significantly contribute to a healthy heart. In fact, eating two to three apples per day results in decreased cholesterol levels due to the fruit’s rich pectin content. Pectin also helps prevent colon cancer; you can think of it as a broom that sweeps our intestines. Munching apples is one snack temptation that is healthy to give in to!
The Big Five Herbs for Heart Health
Many patients, especially women in midlife and beyond develop plaque buildup in their arteries, especially the coronary arteries, due to loss of elasticity in the blood vessels and a natural increase in cholesterol during and after menopause. Follow your cardiologist’s recommended protocols—and discuss using nature’s help, too, with the herbs in this traditional Chinese formula:
• Ginseng reduces cholesterol and has shown positive effects on blood vessel elasticity.
• Dong quai, or Chinese angelica root, is traditionally used to treat blockages and help increase blood flow.
• Sacred pine contains a potent antioxidant called pycnogenol in its bark, needles, and nuts that helps reduce inflammation in the blood vessels, lowering the risk of plaque buildup.
• Ginkgo also increases microcapillary circulation and expands blood vessels.
• Hawthorn berries reduce fat and mucus accumulation, purify the blood, and improve blood flow.
These herbs are available separately or as a combined supplement called Super Clarity from the Wellness Store and in some health food stores. Some of the herbs, like ginkgo, possess mild blood-thinning properties and may interact with blood-thinning drugs. You must talk to your medical doctor and cardiologist before you take these herbs if you are already taking prescription medications.
I hope this advice and recipe help you stay healthy and keep your heart pumping well into the future! Learn how to take control of health with good eating with more recipes found in my book, the “Tao of Nutrition.” The advantage in Chinese nutrition lies in its flexibility in adapting to every individual’s needs in the prevention of disease and treatment of the whole person. In the book you can learn how more than 100 common foods, along with their energetic properties and therapeutic functions, can heal many ailments.
May you Live Long, Live Strong, and Live Happy!
Dr. Mao Shing Ni, best known as Dr. Mao, is a bestselling author, doctor of Oriental Medicine and board certified anti-aging expert. He practices acupuncture, nutrition and Chinese medicine with his associates at the Tao of Wellness in Santa Monica, a Wellness Medicine group that won the “L.A.’s Best” Award. Dr. Mao and his brother, Dr. Daoshing Ni founded Tao of Wellness in Santa Monica over 25 years ago. In addition, he is the cofounder and Chancellor of Yo San University in Venice/Marina del Rey. To subscribe to a free newsletter please visit www.taoofwellness.com To make an appointment for evaluation and treatment please call 310-917-2200 or you can email Dr. Mao at email@example.com