Can You Reverse Heart Disease?

Can you reverse heart disease? Here we provide 8 methods to change your lifestyle and diet habits, which can both reverse and prevent heart diseases.

The notion of reversing heart disease is far closer than it was 20 years ago, when Dr. Dean Ornish (Founder and President of Preventive Medicine Research Institute and Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of California) discovered a 4-step program targeting cardiac conditions. In order for the regime to be successful, you have to be willing to change your lifestyle, at least regarding eating and exercising.

Can You Reverse Heart Disease?

Dr. Dean Ornish published several books on heart disease, but in a specific one —The Spectrum, he observes and describes the evolution of transplant-ready patients undergoing his program. He claims that some of them had made such an improvement that they no longer needed a transplant.

Dr. Dean Ornish proved that making major changes in your lifestyle would definitely improve blood flow and cardiac muscle strength. Moreover, you will experience less chest pain as even severely blocked arteries will be able to drain themselves after 5 years of performing the program.

How Can You Reverse Heart Disease?

Now the answer to the question: can you reverse heart disease has been figured out, you will naturally want to know how to reverse the heart disease. If heart diseases run in your family, beware that you have greater chances of being exposed to cardiac events. Make sure you take all the precautions to distance risks. Whether you want to prevent or reverse heart disease, you should keep in mind some of the following ideas:

1. Stay Away from Smoking

Puffing on cigarettes or pipes is the first place to start when trying to reverse and prevent cardiac conditions. The fume inhaled acts as a stimulant for the heart, raising the blood pressure and exhausting the muscular tissue, thus making you twice as susceptible for strokes or other heart illnesses. Beware that even if you are not a smoker, you should keep your distance as you can easily breathe in smoke.

2. Control Your Cholesterol and Triglycerides

The excess of fatty substances builds up on the interior of the arteries, blocking the natural blood and oxygen flow. Triglycerides should be lower than 150 mg/dl. Also you need to maintain your total cholesterol under 200 mg/dl. Generally, the LDL (bad cholesterol) should be under 130 mg/dl. For people with blood vessel and heart diseases, they should keep it under 70 mg/dl; for people with diabetes or other risk factors of heart disease, the LDL should be under 100 mg/dl to avoid getting cardiovascular disease.

Also, you will be beneficial from raising your HDL (good) cholesterol. It has been proven that high HDL cholesterol levels help to protect the cardiac blood vessel and thus should be kept over 55 mg/dl for women and 45 mg/dl for men.

3. Stabilize Blood Pressure

High blood pressure translates as extra work done by your heart with each heartbeat. The consequences of raised blood pressure include the risk of early heart attack, heart failure and stroke as well as kidney disease. To keep it under 120/80, make sure you limit alcohol and very salty foods.

4. Beware of Diabetes

You need to beware of the diabetes and control your sugar levels, which helps to reverse heart disease. Uncontrolled levels of sugar in the blood stream will influence total cholesterol, LDL and triglycerides, thus the body is unable to lower the amount of bad fat or increase the amount of the good one. Eventually the fat will travel to the arteries, clogging them.

5. Maintain a Healthy Body Weight

Greater weight means greater effort put in by your heart in order to give out nutrients to your system. However, it depends on how the fat is distributed on your body. Those who carry it on the belly are exposed to higher risk of diabetes and heart disease. To know your ideal body weight, calculate your body mass index and waist circumference. The BMI should be from 18.5 to 24.9 kg/m2 and waist should be less than 40 inches (men) and 35 inches (women).

6. Embrace Exercising

This way, not only will you strengthen the cardiac muscle, but will also lower other risk factors such as cholesterol, blood pressure and stress. Try a 30-minute workout (aerobics, cycling, swimming etc.), or set up 10,000 feet as a daily goal.

7. Follow a Heart-Healthy Diet

Of all the answers to: can you reverse heart disease? This one is very essential. Following a low-sodium, low-sugar diet that also excludes saturated or partially hydrogenated fat. Try focusing on omega-3 fatty acids, mono-unsaturated fat, fruits and vegetables. Here is a chart listing several foods that are beneficial for the heart.

Foods

Benefits for Heart Health

Cold-water, fatty fish

Salmon, tuna, sardines and mackerel are full of omega-3 fatty acids and lacking in saturated fat, unlike most other meats. The fatty acids are proven to reduce mortality from all causes by 17%.

Antioxidant-rich foods

All dark, leafy greens as well as berries and red meat are rich in antioxidants that protect our system from oxidative stress. Don’t limit your diet and include a wide variety of fruit and vegetables, as well as organ meat and dairy.

Polyphenol-rich foods

Try including green tea, dark chocolate, blueberries, extra-virgin olive oil and red wine to your diet. They contain substances that protect you from sunlight damage, chemical oxidation and predators, as well as infections.

Nuts

Macadamia nuts, almond and hazelnuts are known to lower omega-6 linoleic acid. They also stabilize blood pressure, BMI and waist circumference.

Soluble fiber

The consumption of oatmeal, beans and apples helps the liver deal with cholesterol levels and thus lowering the risk of cardiac events.

8. Follow a Healthy Diet Plan

Here we give a possible diet plan for reversing heart disease, including breakfast, lunch, dinner, and night snack time.

  • For breakfast, you may have oatmeal and dried cranberries as well as 4 oz. fruit or vegetable juice, all natural. The morning snack would be a banana, a non-fat granola bar and a cup of green tea, unsweetened and with no milk.
  • Lunch will include stir-fried veggies with teriyaki sauce and brown rice. Have a side dish made from green salad, edamame, beans and raspberry dressing all put up in a wheat roll.
  • For dinner, have a taco made from black beans and brown rice, fat-free sour cream, fat-free cheese and salsa, corn tortillas.
  • The night snack includes hummus with vegetables.
  • Note: Always remember to include exercise to your diet plan.

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