Did you know that February is Heart Health month? Heart disease is still the leading cause of death in America, so take some time this month to examine your heart health and ensure that you are doing what you can to increase your health and longevity. Many people know to eat whole grains and reduce stress for heart benefits, but there are also lesser known ways to keep your heart going strong for years to come.
Nap For A Healthy Heart
One of the best ways to lower stress on your heart is to take a nap in the middle of the day. Chinese medicine has long observed that, in the body’s circadian rhythms, noontime is the peak hour for the heart. Therefore, Chinese doctors advise calming activities and rest at this time of day to maintain the health of the cardiovascular system. Researchers have found that men who napped at least 30 minutes a day were 30 percent less likely to develop heart disease than those who didn’t nap. A siesta is a sign of wisdom, not laziness!
Help Cholesterol With Orange Rind
Plaque can narrow your arteries over time, impairing blood flow and dramatically increasing your risk of heart disease. Here’s a simple way to keep your arteries healthy: grate a little orange peel into your food regularly. In Chinese medicine, orange peel has traditionally been used to improve your ability to digest fatty and rich foods, and it is often found in traditional Chinese dishes with red meat. It turns out that orange peel may actually lower cholesterol better than some current medications, and without the side effects. Studies have shown that compounds called polymethosylated flavones (PMFs), which are found in the pigments of oranges and tangerines, reduce bad cholesterol (LDL) without altering the level of good cholesterol (HDL). Who would guess that orange-peel laden marmalade would also be good for lowering LDL cholesterol?
Floss Your Teeth, Save Your Heart
Your dentist has been telling you for years about the importance of flossing. It turns out that flossing not only protects your teeth and gums, but may also help your heart. For a long time, observational studies have found that people with periodontal disease have significantly higher odds of developing cardiovascular disease. While experts are not sure exactly why taking care of your teeth is linked with better heart health, they speculate that bacteria from your mouth may stick to the fatty plaques in your bloodstream, directly contributing to blockages. Another theory is that these oral bacteria travel through your body, triggering inflammation that causes the blood cells to swell and narrowing arteries. While more studies are needed to confirm the connection, it’s never a bad idea to floss once a day!
Pets: Heartwarming And Heart Protecting
Getting a pet is a great boon to heart health. A study reported in the Medical Journal of Australia found that, in general, pet owners have lower blood pressure, triglycerides, and cholesterol levels than people who do not own pets. Having a cat companion could cut your risk of a heart attack by nearly one-third! According to a study by the Minnesota Stroke Institute, which followed more than 4,000 cat owners during a 10-year period, being a feline owner can significantly decrease the chance of dying from heart disease. Another study, published in the American Journal of Cardiology, found that male dog owners were significantly less likely to die within the year following a heart attack than those who did not own a dog. Man’s best friend helps your heart in yet another way – all those daily walks add up to real cardiovascular benefits.
Heart Health With Hawthorn Berries And Herbs
Widely used since the 17th century by European herbalists, the hawthorn berry was traditionally considered a digestive aid for heavy meats and rich foods, as well as a potent activator of the circulatory system. Today it is used to cleanse the blood of plaque and other toxins. Additionally, hawthorn has also been shown to lower cholesterol and balance blood sugar.
If you want to take your heart health one step further, you can try taking tonic herbs that support a robust and open cardiovascular system, such as Super Clarity. It is an extraordinary blend of Chinese herbs that supports your circulatory system and heart health by using herbs such as ginkgo leaf and jujube seed to keep your heart robust and your cardiovascular system open, which in turn increases your mental abilities.
Reduce High Blood Pressure With Celery Juice
High blood pressure is often the root cause of stroke, heart disease, and kidney failure. A time-tested Chinese remedy for this condition is fresh celery juice, which can be made with a blender or a juicer. Drinking one to two large glasses a day can help prevent high blood pressure or restore it to normal in those who already have high blood pressure. Studies have found that celery stalks are packed with more than a dozen anti-inflammatory agents, including apigenin, a cox2-inhibiting compound similar to some anti-inflammatory drugs.
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 has appeared regularly on “Dr. Oz,” “The Doctors,” and “EXTRA.” Dr. Mao practices acupuncture, nutrition, and Chinese medicine with his associates at the Tao of Wellness in Santa Monica and Newport Beach. Dr. Mao and his brother, Dr. Daoshing Ni founded Tao of Wellness more than 25 years ago in addition to also founding Yo San University in Marina del Rey. To make an appointment for evaluation and treatment please call 310.917.2200 or you can email Dr. Mao at email@example.com. To subscribe to his tip-filled newsletter please visit www.taoofwellness.com.