Natural Solutions for Cardiovascular Disease
Cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of death in the US—and is now a major risk factor in emerging viral infections, as well. And while cholesterol, blood pressure and body weight steal the media spotlight in terms of cardiovascular risk factors, there’s actually a more insidious, predominant culprit: inflammation. System-wide inflammation linked to an over-active immune response leads to tissue damage, and plays a major role in cardiovascular disease, along with many other other chronic diseases. Environmental pollution, chronic stress, sedentary habits, and inflammatory diets all play significant roles in fueling the “inflammation epidemic.”
Fast-paced lifestyles combined with poor dietary habits tend to heat things up in the body. But the truth is, this is the way many of us spend our days: Eating on the go, sleeping poorly, not hydrating enough, and eating too many processed foods.
The result: Chronic, total-body inflammation.
A similar process in your car: if it runs too long and too fast without enough coolant in the radiator, it eventually overheats—and then it breaks down.
This may be the closest metaphor for what inflammation does to the body. Chronic inflammation — and the free-radical, oxidative stress it causes—drives nearly every chronic disease, from cardiovascular disease, cancer, autoimmune diseases and infections, to arthritis, intestinal conditions and much more. Regulating inflammation—both upstream at its source, and the downstream effects in tissues and organs, has immense benefits—not just for your heart, but for all areas of health.
Movement and Blood Flow
Poor circulation is both a cause, and an effect, of inflammation—and can make the situation much worse. As your body heats up, things tend to get “stickier”; and, as a result, blood has trouble flowing smoothly to nourish organs and remove waste. In Western medicine, this stickiness can be viewed as hyperviscosity (thickness of the blood), circulatory blockages, and even cancer. This type of thickness also occurs when a genetic tendency toward hyperviscosity, such as elevated homocysteine or Lp(a). Related factors like oxidized cholesterol or elevated fibrinogen levels in the blood, cause hyperviscosity, which contributes to inflammation.
Inflammation, Circulation and Immunity
When inflammation and hyperviscosity combine, they can disrupt every system in your body—especially the immune system. A healthy immune system produces a healthy inflammatory response, that ramps up when needed and retreats when the threat has passed. If the inflammatory response is too weak, the immune system can’t adequately address pathogens and illness becomes overwhelming. But when inflammatory processes ramp up too high, the body’s response becomes overexaggerated. This is when people develop allergies, autoimmune diseases, and other degenerative inflammatory conditions. Optimal immunity requires a fine-tuned balance of inflammation reactions. When we support this intricate relationship between healthy circulation, inflammation and immune response, we can improve cardiovascular health and protect vital organs and systems.
Effective Stress Relief
Slowing down and making simple lifestyle adjustments to decrease stress and anxiety can proactively reduce inflammation throughout the body. In this vein, research demonstrates that yoga and Tai Chi can dramatically reduce stress levels when practiced regularly.
Yoga aims to relax and rejuvenate, but it also invigorates. The constantly moving poses release dormant energy in your body. Similarly, the Chinese martial art called Tai Chi is designed to help bring about a state of mental calm and clarity. The strategic breathing involved in both yoga and Tai Chi naturally increases energy levels, while the postures and meditation keep the mind, body and spirit focused and grounded, allowing you to let go of your anxieties. Reducing stress by integrating short meditation sessions into your daily routine can have a profound impact on inflammatory conditions as well. Numerous published studies document the beneficial physiological changes that happen within the body during meditation.
While these simple lifestyle practices direct you toward a healthier mind and body, the greatest effects occur when you combine them with a healthy diet.
Drink plenty of filtered water and make smart food choices by sticking to unprocessed, natural whole foods, with an emphasis on fresh fruits and vegetables. The high nutritional and antioxidant content of many whole foods contributes to increased antioxidant activity, improved digestion, healthy inflammation response, healthy glucose metabolism, healthier lipid profiles and increased immune activity (among other benefits).
Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids such as cold-water oily fish, flax and pumpkin seeds, also decrease inflammation, reduce the risk of heart disease and improve brain function.
Supplements for Chronic Inflammation
Extensive research shows that a protein in the body called galectin-3 acts as the pilot light for chronic inflammation throughout the body, and fuels inflammation and fibrosis (uncontrolled scar tissue build up) in organs and tissues. Galectin-3 is now known as a key driver of cardiovascular disease, kidney and liver disease and even metastatic cancer.
Fortunately, there’s a proven solution: The clinically researched form of modified citrus pectin (MCP), has the proven ability to bind and block excess galectin-3 molecules throughout the body. MCP is shown to prevent and in some cases reverse the devastating impacts of galectin-3 in the cardiovascular system, and throughout the body.
Tibetan Herbal Formula: Proven for Cardiovascular Health
Other powerful supplements play an important role in the fight against inflammation, especially those that offer comprehensive antioxidant-rich nutritional support. One of the most extensively researched formulas for cardiovascular support is a classical Tibetan herbal formula with 19 antioxidant-rich botanicals. This ancient blend has been treasured for centuries in Tibetan monasteries, and was introduced to Switzerland in the 1950s. Since then, more than fifty published studies have demonstrated its broad spectrum of benefits for circulation, cardiovascular health, immunity, and more. A powerful “cooling formula”, this blend offers significant anti-inflammatory benefits, and is considered a powerful vitality formula for overall health and longevity.
Integrative medicine strategies can provide effective solutions to achieve optimal circulation and healthy arteries, safely and naturally. When you combine researched supplements and formulas with positive lifestyle modifications, a heart-healthy diet and regular exercise, you can actively protect your heart, regulate inflammation and boost circulation to help you live a longer, healthier life.