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(46) Heart Smiling

Mediterranean Diet by Dr Oz

MAYO CLINIC - Mediterranean diet: A heart-healthy eating plan

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No One Need Suffer Heartburn

If the way to a person’s heart is through their stomach, then heartburn (acid indigestion) is the end of the romance. Heartburn is a much misunderstood condition that has been written about since Roman times. First, it has little to do with the heart. Second, it has little to do with spicy or acidic foods. It is caused when the stomach’s contents back up into the lower throat (the esophagus). These powerful stomach acids, which are stronger and more acidic than even the spiciest of foods, burn the sensitive walls lining the esophagus.

Apple Cider Vinegar Relieves Heartburn

It is vitally important that you don’t join the millions of Americans who regularly take a variety of antacids, seltzers, etc. These over-the-counter medications neutralize stomach acids which only further throws off a digestive process already out of balance. You must reduce the amount of fat in your diet because fatty foods cause stomach acids to back up into the esophagus. Also, don’t dilute your precious digestive juices by drinking water, juices and herbal teas with your meals. Make it a habit to enjoy beverages between (not during) meals.

When it comes to good digestion, you must practice good posture - sit up tall and straight, lifting up your chest with your shoulders slightly back. This will keep your esophagus, stomach and intestines properly aligned and will not crowd your vital machinery. Most importantly remember your stomach has no teeth! You must chew each and every mouthful of food slowly and thoroughly to a pulp (Fletcherizing) that slides down easily. This helps insure a painless, healthy digestion of your meal.

Dr. Gabriel Cousins, famous author of Conscious Eating, treats his patient’s heartburn with simple sips of 3 teaspoon of Organic Apple Cider Vinegar before meals. Dr. Cousins says: Organic Apple Cider Vinegar is the #1 food I recommend to maintain the body’s acid-alkaline balance which is so important!

Olive Oil – Mediterranean’s Tasty Heart Treat

Olives have been used for centuries. Not only are they eaten and used on foods and in cooking, but olive oil is used for ointments, body lotion and in many other ways. In 400 B.C. Hippocrates, the Greek physician (the father of medicine) wrote about the great curative properties of olive oil he called the great therapeutic. He also told of the powerful cleansing and healing properties of apple cider vinegar. www.oliveoilsource.com

The words of Hippocrates still hold true today. In 1994, the Lyon Diet Heart Study wanted to find out why the people of the Mediterranean region had much less heart disease than Americans and Northern Europeans. The answer was found in the characteristic diet of the region. Spanish, Italians, Greeks and Portugueses share a diet that is much lower in saturated fats than the diet of those regions with high rates of heart disease. The dietary fat of the Mediterranean residents is primarily olive oil.

The Lyon Diet Heart Study (For more on this study see website: http://deliciousliving.com/fats-amp-oils/golden-oldie) and other European research has found that olive oil offers great cardiovascular rewards. After 2 years, people who decreased their fat intake and ate most of the remaining fat in the form of olive oil had a 76% decrease in new heart trouble. The greatest reduction was angina pains and non-fatal heart attacks.

Olive oil beneficially influences cardiovascular health by reducing cholesterol levels. It helps protect and strengthen the digestive system by providing the body with polyphenols (powerful antioxidant compounds). Don’t let this delicious, healthy gift of Mother Nature pass you by! Make Bragg Organic Olive Oil a part of your diet. Dr. Julian Whitaker says it’s the best for the heart.

Nutritionist has been studying the Mediterranean diet for the last 20 years and has found that the residents have a very low incidence of heart disease. With the recent discovery of “good” cholesterol (HDL), scientists have begun to understand why people from the Mediterranean area have a very healthy cholesterol balance, despite their high consumption of olive oil. This is because olive oil helps stimulate body’s production of “good” HDL that helps the body limit the buildup of substances that block arteries, causing heart disease.

Folic Acid Helps Protect the Blood

Folic acid plays a vital role in the smooth functioning of a healthy body. Long revered as a brain food, it’s needed for growth of red and white blood cells and the body’s energy production. Deficiencies of folic acid and also B6 and B12 can lead to serious conditions such as depression, anxiety, insomnia, immune system problems and dangerously high homocysteine levels. Two must-read books by Kilmer S. McCully, M.D. The Homocysteine Revolution and The Heart Revolution educate the reader about the deadly toxic effects of high homocysteine levels and the tragic results to the cardiovascular system.

High Homocysteine Levels Cause Heart & Osteoporosis Problems

High homocysteine levels can damage cells that line the blood vessel walls, setting the stage for future cardiovascular disease and increasing problems with diabetes, osteoporosis and kidney diseases. When having a physical, be sure to ask for a blood panel test that includes homocysteine levels. Dr. McCully says the safest and best levels are 6-8 mcm/L. Dr. White agrees.

For every 10% rise in homocysteine levels, there’s an equal risk of developing severe coronary disease and osteoporosis. In patients with heart disease, the risk of death 4 to 5 years after diagnosis, was related to the amount of homocysteine in the plasma. Everyone produces this substance naturally, a product of protein metabolism. The homocysteine levels rise when the body is sluggish and fail to convert it to non-damaging amino acids, then they dangerously accumulate in the blood.

In most cases, therapy with various B vitamins and a healthy lifestyle menu of fresh fruits and vegetables offers the B vitamins necessary to reduce high homocysteine levels. But a “normal” American diet doesn’t supply enough B vitamins to adequately detoxify homocysteine. This has been scientifically documented by Dr. McCully.

High homocysteine blood levels (safe - 6-8 mcm/L) and dietary deficiencies of vitamins (B6, B12, folic acid and CoQ10) are underlying causes of heart, osteoporosis, diabetes and kidney diseases. - Kilmer S. McCully, M.D. (www.homocysteine.com)

B Vitamins & Folic Acid Are Heart Protectors

Dr. Kilmer S. McCully pioneered the Homocycsteine Revolution and here are more positive facts: high homocysteine levels are easily corrected in most people with B-vitamins. B-6, B-12 and folic acid that helps reduce homocysteine levels in the blood. This is especially important for those who are at risk for cardiovascular problems, because 1 in every 3 people with cardiovascular disease has dangerously high levels of homocysteine. Godfrey Oakley, M.D., of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, says there is strong evidence from over 200 studies that increased consumption of folic acid (from foods or supplements) will prevent cardiovascular disease.

In addition to supplements, folic acid is found in dates, nutritional yeast, brown rice, mushrooms and more as the list shows. Folic acid works best taken with vitamin C and vitamins B6 and B12.

Some doctors prescribe short-term relief to sufferers of angina with nitroglycerin nitrolingual spray and digitalis (foxglove) medications. Both increase blood flow to the heart, but in different ways. The former relaxes the veins, increasing blood supply to the heart. The latter makes the heart muscles contract more forcefully. It’s important to keep in mind that these merely offer temporary relief. 

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