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HEART DISEASE AND HEART ATTACK

Coronary heart disease or cardiovascular disease involve the heart and blood vessels, (arteries, valves, heart muscles, capillaries and veins). In time, arteries may become so narrow that they cannot deliver enough oxygen-rich blood to the heart. This can cause angina which is a pain or discomfort in the chest.

This can be exasperated by high blood pressure and may be caused by high levels of LDL cholesterol building up the fatty materials and plaque on the artery walls. If a piece of the atheroma (fatty material) in the arteries breaks away it may cause a blood clot to form.

If the blood clot blocks the coronary artery and cuts off the supply of oxygen-rich blood to the heart muscle, the heart muscle may become permanently damaged. This is known as a heart attack. If it travels to the brain it will result in a stroke.

A clean healthy diet is essential to avoid and recover from heart disease. Follow the advice here and you are sure to see and feel the difference with in a very short space of time.

Diagram of the human heart. Click to enlarge.

Common conditions associated with the heart

  • Angina - an indication of heart disease.

  • Aortic stenosis - can be present at birth but it's more common in older people,

  • Arrhythmia - an abnormal heartbeat is common and not always dangerous.

  • Arteriosclerosis - hardening of the arteries.

  • Atrial fibrillation - this is the most common cause of the heart beating irregularly.

  • Atherosclerosis - hardening of the arteries caused by plaque building up in the vessel.

  • Cardiomyopathy - where the structure of the heart muscle changes or weakens.

  • Cardiovascular disease - a group of conditions including stroke and heart disease.

  • Congenital heart defects - present in about six out of every 1000 babies.

  • Erectile dysfunction - this can be caused by heart and vein problems and high blood pressure.

  • Heart attack - occurs when blood flow to part of the heart is blocked.

  • Heart failure - one in 20 admissions to hospital is the result of heart failure.

  • Heart murmurs - about 30 per cent of children have an innocent heart murmur.

  • Heart problems in babies - most heart problems in babies are due to faulty genes.

  • Heart valve disease - can develop over years or in a matter of days.

  • High blood pressure - hypertension increases the risk of a heart attack.

  • LDL Cholesterol - high levels can cause plaque build-up and lead to heart problems.

  • Palpitations - when the heart seems to be 'racing', 'thumping' or 'pounding'.

  • Pulmonary oedema - fluid build-up in the lungs

  • Trimethylamine-N-oxide - an artery clogging compound derived from carnitine.

  • Ventricular hypertrophy - heart becomes abnormally large and less efficient sometimes due to high blood pressure.

 

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Angina

Angina often feels like a heaviness or tightness in the chest, and this may spread to the arms, neck, jaw, back or stomach as well. Some people describe a feeling of severe tightness, while others say it’s more of a dull ache. Some people experience shortness of breath too.

To help reduce angina symptoms do the following:

  • Achieve and maintain a healthy weight.

  • Be physically active.

  • Control blood glucose if diagnosed with diabetes.

  • Control high blood pressure.

  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet which includes plenty of different coloured vegetables, fish, nuts, seeds and fruits, cut down on fatty meat consumption and avoid all processed and refined foods.

  • Reduce alcohol consumption.

  • Reduce the LDL cholesterol level in the blood.

See below for Natural remedies for heart disorders

Arteriosclerosis and antherosclerosis

 

The terms atherosclerosis and arteriosclerosis are frequently used as though they are the same condition. While both conditions are types of coronary artery disease, and may lead to the need for heart surgery, they are not the same.

 

Arteriosclerosis is hardening of the arteries. This condition not only thickens the wall of arteries, but also causes stiffness and a loss of elasticity. Over time, the arteries become harder and harder as they are slowly damaged by high blood pressure. Arteriosclerosis may be present in any artery of the body, but the disease is most concerning when it attacks the coronary arteries and threatens to cause a heart attack.

 

Raw juice therapy can treat arteriosclerosis. The best natural foods to juice or blend are: beetroot, carrots, celery, cucumber, ginger, grapes, oranges and pomegranates

 

Atherosclerosis is the most common type of arteriosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, and caused by plaque building up in the vessels. Over time the plaque causes thickening of the walls of the artery. Stiffness and a loss of elasticity also result.

 

To clarify, a patient with arteriosclerosis (hardened arteries) may not have atherosclerosis (plaque), but a patient with atherosclerosis does have arteriosclerosis. Patients often have both conditions, which can cause a decrease in the blood flow to the heart muscle.

 

Long before any symptoms are clinically evident, vascular disease begins as a malfunction of specialized cells that line the arteries. These cells, called endothelial cells, are the key to atherosclerosis and underlying endothelial dysfunction is the central feature of this  disease.
 

Not every person who suffers from atherosclerosis presents with the risk factors commonly associated with the condition, such as elevated cholesterol, but every single person with atherosclerosis has endothelial dysfunction. Aging humans are faced with an onslaught of atherogenic risk factors that, over time, contribute to endothelial dysfunction and the development of atherosclerosis.

 

In the antiquated view of mainstream medicine, blood vessels have been thought of as stiff pipes that gradually become clogged with excess cholesterol circulating in the bloodstream. The solution that physicians recommend most often is cholesterol-lowering drugs, which target only a very small number of the numerous factors that contribute to cardiovascular disease.

Conventional medicine’s preferred method of re-establishing blood flow in clogged vessels is through surgery (coronary artery bypass graft surgery) or by insertion of catheters bearing tiny balloons that crush the plaque deposits against the arterial walls (angioplasty), followed by the implantation of tiny mesh tubes (stents) to keep the blood vessels open. However, the grafts used to re-establish blood flow often develop plaque deposits themselves. The same was true for balloon angioplasty; in their early years, up to half of all angioplasty procedures “failed” when the arteries gradually closed again. Even today, with the use of improved stents, the failure rate is considerable and many people have to undergo repeat angioplasty or even surgery.

The cause and progression of vascular disease is intimately related to the health of the inner arterial wall. Blood vessels are composed of three layers. The outer layer is mostly connective tissue and provides structure to the layers beneath. The middle layer is smooth muscle; it contracts and dilates to control blood flow and maintain blood pressure. The inner lining consists of a thin layer of endothelial cells (the endothelium), which provides a smooth, protective surface. Endothelial cells prevent toxic, blood-borne substances from penetrating the smooth muscle of the blood vessel.

 

However, as people age, a barrage of atherogenic factors, if left unchecked, damages the delicate endothelial cells. This damage leads to endothelial dysfunction and ultimately allows lipids and toxins to penetrate the endothelial layer and enter the smooth muscle cells. This results in the initiation of an oxidative and inflammatory cascade that culminates in the development of plaque deposits. Subsequently, these plaques begin to calcify and, over time, become prone to rupture. If a plaque deposit ruptures, the result is oftentimes a deadly stroke causing blood clot.
 

Numerous factors that directly contribute to endothelial dysfunction have been identified and aging individuals can easily assess their risk for vascular disease through blood testing. The results of these blood tests can then be used to develop targeted intervention strategies to modify levels of risk factors that do not fall within an optimal range. Atherogenic factors that all aging individuals must be aware of include:

 

Consuming plenty of oily fish can prevent the development of atherosclerosis. See below for more natural remedies to prevent atherosclerosis and protect the heart.

 

Cholesterol imbalance

 

There are many foods that can readdress the balance of cholesterol in the body. Some organs such as the brain and heart require cholesterol to function normally. Pharmaceutical companies have become rich on the assumption that reducing cholesterol levels in the blood will also reduce build-up of plaque on the artery walls. This is untrue however because the body excretes excess cholesterol as a natural function if the correct diet is being consumed. It is the plaque which attaches itself to the walls of the arteries which causes atherosclerosis (plaque build-up) and arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). 

 

Cholesterol is not a fat, but rather a soft, waxy, "fat-like" substance that circulates in the bloodstream. It is vital to life and is found in all cell membranes. It is necessary for the production of bile acids and steroid hormones and vitamin D. Cholesterol is manufactured by the liver, but is also present in all animal foods. It is abundant in organ meats, shell fish and egg yolks but is contained in smaller amounts in all meats and poultry.

 

If cholesterol levels were precursors to heart disease, Eskimos (who eat raw blubber as a steady diet) would have become extinct due to heart disease years ago. Yet, heart disease is virtually non-existent among these people probably due to the high amount of omega-3 fatty acids they consume from fish.

 

Triglycerides


Triglyceride is a form of fat made in the body. Elevated triglycerides can be due to overweight/obesity, physical inactivity, cigarette smoking, excess alcohol consumption and a diet very high in carbohydrates (60 percent of total calories or more). People with high triglycerides often have a high total cholesterol level, including a high LDL (bad) level and a low HDL (good) level. Many people with heart disease and/or diabetes also have high triglyceride levels. Most natural foods that lower cholesterol also help to lower triglyceride levels. See below.

 

Elevated triglycerides. Triglycerides interact with LDL cholesterol to form a particularly dangerous sub-type of LDL known as small-dense LDL. Small-dense LDL particles penetrate the endothelial layer and contribute to plaque formation much more efficiently than larger, more buoyant LDL particles. Fasting triglycerides levels should be below 80 mg/dL to limit the formation of small-dense LDL particles.

 

LDL cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein)

 

LDL cholesterol is what the body uses, together with other substances, to form a glue which instantly repairs damaged arteries in the body to prevent death from internal bleeding. Plaque is this hardened glue and is only found in arteries and not in veins. Unfortunately due to diet and excessive damage to the arteries there can be an overproduction of plaque which can narrow the arteries and make them less flexible. This condition is known as atherosclerosis. If a clot forms and blocks a narrowed artery, heart attack or stroke can result. The liver is responsible for over 80% of the body's cholesterol levels.

 

Diet accounts for less than 20%. The liver not only manufactures and secretes LDL cholesterol into the blood, it also removes it. To remove LDL cholesterol from the blood, the liver relies on special proteins called LDL receptors that are normally present on the surface of liver cells. LDL receptors snatch LDL cholesterol particles from the blood and transport them inside the liver. A high number of active LDL receptors on the liver surfaces are associated with the rapid removal of LDL cholesterol from the blood and low blood LDL levels. A deficiency of LDL receptors is associated with high LDL cholesterol blood levels. But it is also crucial that the cholesterol which has been stored in the liver by the LDL receptors be regularly "flushed" to make room for “new” deposits, or the process comes to a standstill, thus causing levels to soar in the bloodstream.


Elevated LDL cholesterol. LDL cholesterol is dangerous because it can penetrate the endothelial wall and contribute to the creation foam cells, which form the core of a plaque deposit. Oxidized LDL cholesterol (LDL that has been exposed to free radicals) within the endothelium also triggers an inflammatory process that accelerates vascular disease. LDL cholesterol levels should be below 80 mg/dL.

 

Foods rich in LDL Cholesterol are: egg yolks, beef, butter, cheese, lamb, milk (full fat) and full fat milk products, pork, poultry and shellfish.
 

Lp(a) cholesterol


Lp(a) is a genetic variation of LDL (bad) cholesterol. A high level of Lp(a) is a significant risk factor for the premature development of fatty deposits in arteries. Lp(a) is not yet fully understood, but it may interact with substances found in artery walls and contribute to the build-up of fatty deposits.

 

HDL cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein)


About one-fourth to one-third of blood cholesterol is carried by high-density lipoprotein (HDL). HDL cholesterol is known as "good" cholesterol, because high levels of HDL seem to protect against heart attack. Low levels of HDL (less than 40 mg/dL) also increase the risk of heart disease. HDL is responsible for carrying cholesterol away from the arteries and back to the liver where it's stored until the liver is flushed by antioxidant rich foods and passed from the body. HDL helps to remove excess cholesterol from arterial plaque, slowing its build-up.

 

An imbalance of cholesterol in the blood can be caused by liver damage where some LDL receptors are missing. This could be due to too much alcohol ingestion, toxic overload and some medications. Reducing LDL cholesterol synthetically using drugs such as statins simply masks the underlying cause which should be treated first. The liver can easily repair itself given the chance by detoxification. But to add more toxic chemicals, such as statins, is actually adding to the problem by overworking the damaged liver even more and certainly not resolving it.

A preventive approach of a diet of natural foods high in enzymes and antioxidants with beta-carotene,  omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B9 (folic acid) and vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin) vitamin C and vitamin E would lower the risk of heart disease substantially and certainly far more than cholesterol lowering drugs without the side effects.

There are many natural foods that can readdress the balance of cholesterol in the body. Some organs such as the brain and heart require cholesterol to function normally. Pharmaceutical companies have become rich on the assumption that reducing cholesterol levels in the blood will also reduce build-up of plaque on the artery walls. This is untrue however because the body excretes excess cholesterol as a natural function if the correct diet is being consumed. The consumption of fibre and omega-3 fatty acids are essential to stop plaque build-up.

See the highest food sources of nutrients required for heart health

Low HDL cholesterol

 

HDL cholesterol protects against vascular disease by transporting cholesterol from the blood vessel wall back to the liver for disposal through a process known as reverse cholesterol transport. If HDL levels are low, then reverse cholesterol transport becomes inefficient, allowing for increased accumulation of cholesterol in the vessel wall. HDL levels of at least 50-60 mg/dL are recommended for optimal vascular protection.

 

Oxidised LDL

 

The oxidation of LDL results in severe vascular damage. Thousands of studies now reveal how oxidised LDL contributes to the entire atherogenic process from start to finish. Commercial blood tests are not yet available at affordable prices to measure oxidised LDL. Aging individuals should assume their endogenous antioxidant levels (superoxide dismutase, catalase and glutathione) are being depleted and that the oxidation of their LDL is progressively worsening. Medications which deplete or block absorption of methionine, vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), vitamin B9 (folic acid), vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin) may also decrease the production of the amino acid glutathione.

 

See Medication dangers

Natural sources of the precursors needed for the body to make glutathione

  • Asparagus

  • Avocado

  • Balloon flower root

  • Broccoli

  • Brussel sprouts

  • Dill

  • Garlic

  • Milk thistle

  • Organ meats

  • Peas

  • Ricotta cheese

  • Spinach

  • Tomatoes

  • Turmeric

  • Walnuts

  • Watermelon

  • Whey

NOTE: All these foods must be unpasteurised, organic and eaten raw or juiced when possible.

NOTE: Foods rich in alpha-lipoic acid and selenium can also help to increase levels of glutathione.

Highest food sources of alpha-lipoic acid in alphabetical order

  • Brewers yeast (depends upon source check label)

  • Broccoli

  • Brussel sprouts

  • Flaxseeds

  • Organ meats

  • Peas

  • Rice bran

  • Spinach

  • Swiss chard

  • Tomatoes

  • Watercress

Highest sources of selenium in micrograms pr 100 grams

  • Brazil nuts 1917 g

  • Oysters 154 g

  • Lamb's liver 116 g

  • Tuna 108 g

  • Whelks and octopus 89.6 g

  • Wheat germ 79.2 g

  • Sunflower seeds 79 g

  • Amaranth 70.7 g

  • Caviar (fish roe) 65.5 g

  • Egg yolk 56 g

  • Chia seeds 55.2 g

  • Kippers 52.6 g

  • Pork 51.6 g

  • Halibut 46.8 g

  • Oat bran 45.2 g

  • Lean beef 44.8 g

  • Crab 44.4 g

  • Salmon 41.4 g

  • Rabbit (wild) 38.5 g

  • Chicken and turkey 37.8 g

  • Turbot 36.5 g

  • Sesame seeds 34.4 g

  • Kamut 30 g

  • Couscous 27.5 g

  • Mushrooms (Crimini) 26 g

  • Calf's liver 19.3 g

  • Rabbit 15.2 g

  • Rye (whole grain) 13.9 g

  • Venison 10.3 g

  • Spirulina 7.2 g

  • Asparagus 6.1 g

  • Spinach 5.5 g

NOTE: One g is one microgram.

Highest sources of methionine in milligrams per 100 grams

  • Sesame seeds 1331 mg

  • Chlorella (dried) 1300 mg

  • Whelks 1205 mg

  • Spirulina (dried) 1149 mg

  • Sunflower seeds 1033 mg

  • Brazil nuts 1008 mg

  • Chicken 859 mg

  • Tuna fish (tinned) 755 mg

  • Calf’s liver, Pumpkin seeds and squash seeds 740 mg

  • Quail 716 mg

  • Pheasant 710 mg

  • Beef (lean mince) 694 mg

  • Mackerel  (tinned) 686 mg

  • Cod 679 mg

  • Lamb’s liver 664 mg

  • Salmon (Atlantic farmed) 654 mg

  • Cheddar cheese 652 mg

  • Shrimp/prawns 589 mg

  • Lobster 577 mg

  • Caviar (fish roe) 553 mg

  • Rabbit 545 mg

  • Mussels 537 mg

  • Crab 515 mg

  • Venison 505 mg

  • Turkey 495 mg

  • Sunflower seeds 494 mg

  • Eggs 380 mg

  • Flaxseeds 370 mg

  • Squid 351 mg

  • Quinoa 309 mg

  • Peanuts 291 mg

  • Pine nuts 259 mg

  • Rye 248 mg

  • Walnuts 236 mg

  • Soya beans 224 mg

  • Wheat 212 mg

  • Brown rice 179 mg

  • Almonds 151 mg

Highest sources of vitamin B6 in milligrams per 100 grams

  • Whey 5.62mg

  • Yeast extract 4.60 mg

  • Rice bran 4.07 mg

  • Shiitake mushrooms 3.59 mg

  • Fish roe 3.50 mg

  • Spirulina 3.48 mg

  • Sage 2.69 mg

  • Paprika 2.51 mg

  • Wheat germ 2.26 mg

  • Sun dried tomatoes 2.09 mg

  • Goose 1.83 mg

  • Chicken livers 0.76 mg

  • Lobster 1.67 mg

  • Brewer’s yeast 1.50 mg

  • Duck 1.50 mg

  • Sunflower seeds 1.35 mg

  • Wheat germ 1.30 mg

  • Garlic 1.24 mg

  • Buckwheat 1.23 mg

  • Pistachio nuts 1.12 mg

  • Tuna fish 1.04 mg

  • Beef or calf’s liver 1.03 mg

  • Shiitake mushrooms 0.97 mg

  • Salmon 0.94 mg

  • Turkey 0.81 mg

  • Venison 0.76 mg

NOTE: Wild salmon (0.94 mg) contains far more vitamin B6 than farmed salmon (0.56 mg) and fresh salmon and tuna are far richer in vitamin B6 than tinned.

Highest sources of vitamin B9 in micrograms per 100 grams

  • Yeast extract 3786 g

  • Brewer’s yeast 2340 g

  • Chicken livers 578 g

  • Basil 310 g

  • Wheat germ 281 g

  • Sunflower seeds 238 g

  • Soya beans 205 g

  • Spinach 194 g

  • Lentils 181 g

  • Chick peas, pinto beans 172 g

  • Shiitake mushrooms 163 g

  • Parsley 152 g

  • Black beans 149 g

  • Peanuts 145 g

  • Navy beans 140 g

  • Asparagus 135 g

  • Turnip greens 118 g

  • Chestnuts 110 g

  • Beetroot 109 g

  • Spearmint 105 g

  • Chlorella and spirulina 94 g

  • Fish roe 92 g

  • Hazelnuts 88 g

  • Walnuts 88 g

  • Flaxseeds 87 g

  • Avocado 81 g

  • Mussels 76 g

  • Kidney beans 74 g

  • Peas 65 g

  • Broccoli 63 g

  • Brussel sprouts, okra 60 g

  • Quinoa 42 g

  • Papaya 38 g

NOTE: The recommended daily allowance of vitamin B9 is 400 g for adults. One g is one microgram.

Highest sources of vitamin B12 in micrograms per 100 grams

  • Clams 98.9 μg

  • Liver 83.1 μg

  • Barley grass juice 80 μg

  • Nori seaweed 63.6 μg

  • Octopus 36 μg

  • Caviar/fish eggs 20.0 μg

  • Ashitaba (dried powder) 17.0 μg

  • Herring 13.7 μg

  • Tuna fish 10.9 μg

  • Crab 10.4 μg

  • Mackerel 8.7 μg

  • Lean grass fed beef 8.2 μg

  • Duck eggs, goose eggs, rabbit 6 μg

  • Crayfish, pork heart, rainbow trout 5 μg

  • Shiitake mushrooms 4.8 μg

  • Lobster 4 μg

  • Lamb, venison 3.7 μg

  • Swiss Cheese 3.3 μg

  • Salmon 3.2 μg

  • Whey powder 2.37 μg

  • Golden chanterelle mushrooms 2 μg

  • Tuna 1.9 μg

  • Halibut 1.2 μg

  • Chicken egg 1.1 μg

  • Chicken, turkey 1.0 μg

  • Anchovies 0.9 μg

  • Ashitaba leaves 0.4 μg

NOTE: The recommended daily allowance of vitamin B12 is 2.4 μg for adults. One g is one microgram.

Hypertension

 

High blood pressure is known to aggravate endothelial dysfunction and leading researchers have identified the endothelium as an “end organ” for damage caused by high blood pressure. Optimal blood pressure of 115/75 mmHg (or lower) is recommended. See High blood pressure


Elevated C-reactive protein

 

Inflammation is central to the endothelial dysfunction that underlies vascular disease. An effective way to measure inflammation is through a high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (CRP) blood test. Studies have shown that higher levels of CRP are associated with increased risk of stroke, heart attack and peripheral vascular disease. Stroke patients with the highest CRP levels are two to three times more likely to die or experience a new vascular event within a year than are patients with the lowest levels.


Elevated Lp-PLA2

 

Like CRP, Lp-PLA2 is a marker of inflammation. However, Lp-PLA2 is a much more specific measure of vascular inflammation than CRP. Lp-PLA2 is an enzyme secreted by inflamed vascular plaque, thus the quantity of it in circulation correlates with the amount of inflamed plaque in the blood vessels. Levels of Lp-PLA2 above 200 ng/mL are indicative of heightened levels of vascular plaque build-up.


Elevated omega-6:omega-3 ratio

 

High levels of pro-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids relative to anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids create an environment that fosters inflammation and contributes to vascular disease. It has been shown that lowering the omega-6:omega-3 ratio significantly decreases atherosclerotic lesion size and reduces numerous measures of inflammation. A blood omega-6:omega-3 ratio of less than 4:1 is recommended.


Elevated glucose

 

High circulating levels of blood glucose (and insulin) cause micro vascular damage that accelerates the atherogenic process, partly by contributing to endothelial dysfunction. It has been shown that a fasting blood glucose level of greater than 85 mg/dL significantly increases risk of cardiovascular related mortality.  See Diabetes.


Excess insulin

 

As people age, they lose their ability to utilise insulin to effectively drive blood glucose into energy-producing cells. As glucose levels rise in the blood, the pancreas compensates by producing more insulin. As “insulin resistance” worsens, even more insulin is secreted in attempt to restore glucose control. Excess insulin is associated with a significantly greater risk of heart disease. Fasting insulin should be below 5 mcIU/mL. See Diabetes.


Elevated homocysteine

 

High homocysteine levels damage endothelial cells and contribute to the initial pathogenesis vascular disease. Homocysteine levels are associated with risk of heart disease. To keep homocysteine-induced endothelial damage to a minimum, levels of homocysteine should be kept below 7-8 mol/L.


Elevated fibrinogen

 

When a blood clot forms, fibrinogen is converted to fibrin, which forms the structural matrix of a blood clot. Fibrinogen also facilitates platelet adherence to endothelial cells. People with high levels of fibrinogen are more than twice as likely to die of a heart attack or stroke as people with normal fibrinogen levels. This risk goes up even more in the presence of hypertension. Fibrinogen levels should be kept between 295 to 369 mg/dl.


Low testosterone and excess oestrogen (in men)

 

Numerous studies link low testosterone (and excess estradiol) with increased heart attack and stroke risk. Testosterone is intimately involved in the reverse cholesterol transport process, which removes cholesterol from the arterial wall by HDL. Excess oestrogen is linked with higher C-reactive protein and a greater propensity for abnormal blood clots to form in arteries, causing a sudden heart attack or stroke. Men should keep their free testosterone in a range of 20 – 25 pg/mL and their estradiol levels between 20 – 30 pg/mL.

 

Nutrient deficiencies

 

Nutrient deficiencies can also be a cause of heart disease. See Nutrients that protect the heart below.

 

Symptoms of clogged arteries

 

The arteries of the lower back are among the first areas to accumulate plaque. As such, lower back pain is a common first symptom of artery blockage. Lower back pain can occur when reduced blood flow to the back weakens the disks that cushion the vertebrae leading to painful herniated disks and pinched nerves. Individuals that suffer with chronic back pain are at an increased risk of developing clogged lumbar arteries.

 

Peripheral artery disease is a build-up of cholesterol and plaque that can occur in the extremities. It often results in discomfort in the feet and legs and may limit the ability to walk. If it is allowed to advance, it may result in amputation.

 

The pulse of the feet and the amount of blood flow to the ankle can be checked by a doctor to determine if this condition is present. People that have frequent pain or tiredness in the legs should be checked. Past or current smokers have an increased risk of the disorder, as do those with a family history cardiovascular problems.

 

Arteriosclerosis is the thickening and hardening of the arterial walls which can block the arteries that deliver blood to the legs. When this happens, it is common to experience pain in one or both calves, a condition known as claudication.

 

Those that smoke are at higher risk of developing this condition. Fortunately, it is reversible. Eating more plant based foods and less animal products can reverse claudication relatively quickly. In fact, calf pain can be relieved within the matter of weeks, and not occur again throughout life if the proper changes are made.

 

Cardiac arrhythmia

 

This is a problem with the rate or rhythm of the heartbeat. During an arrhythmia, the heart can beat too fast, too slow, or with an irregular rhythm. A heartbeat that is too fast is called tachycardia and a heartbeat that is too slow is called bradycardia.

Most arrhythmias are harmless, but some can be serious or even life threatening. During an arrhythmia, the heart may not be able to pump enough blood around the body. Lack of blood flow can damage the brain, heart and other organs.

 

Erectile dysfunction

 

Hardening of the arteries to the pelvic organs may be a direct cause of sexual dysfunction and maybe also be a sign of heart disease. Therefore it is important to be tested for any blockage or hardening of the arteries even if other factors for erectile dysfunction are a possibility. The arteries supplying blood to the penis are relatively narrow compared to other arteries (1-2mm) so they become blocked by plaque far quicker and maybe be the indication that other arteries may be seriously blocked or will become so soon.. This can lead to a heart attack or stroke so the sooner this is tested for, when impotency strikes, and treated the better. See the Impotency page for more information.

 

Heart attack

 

Heart attack is the death of a segment of heart muscle caused by the loss of blood supply. The blood supply is usually lost because a coronary artery, one that supplies blood to the heart muscle, has a blood clot, a blockage (coronary thrombosis). Over time, a coronary artery can narrow from the build-up of various substances, including cholesterol (atherosclerosis). This condition, known as coronary artery disease, causes most heart attacks.

 

A less common cause of heart attack is a severe spasm (tightening) of a coronary artery. The spasm cuts off blood flow through the artery. Spasms can occur in coronary arteries that aren't affected by atherosclerosis. What causes a coronary artery to spasm isn't always clear. A spasm may be related to:

  • Emotional stress, fright, shock or pain.

  • Exposure to extreme cold.

  • Taking certain drugs, such as cocaine.

  • Tobacco smoking.

Symptoms of a heart attack

 

Some of the most common warning signs of a heart attack for both men and women are:

  • A feeling of pressure, squeezing and fullness in the chest.

  • Cold Sweat: the individual may break out in a cold sweat without any apparent reason.

  • Dizziness and light-headedness

  • Heartburn or indigestion.

  • Discomfort in Upper Body Parts: There may be pain in one or both arms, the back, shoulders, neck, jaw or upper part of the stomach.

  • Shortness of Breath: there may be difficulty breathing due to a tight or constricted feeling in the chest. This may occur before or along with chest pain, while at rest or during physical activity.

  • Sudden Chest Pain: this discomfort mostly occurs in the centre or left side of the chest and usually lasts more than a few minutes or goes away and comes back.

Other possible warning signs of a heart attack include feeling tired for no reason, nausea, vomiting, restlessness, intense anxiety or a fear of death and a general feeling of being unwell. The warning signs can vary so much from person to person that many people do not even realise they are having symptoms of a heart attack.

Chest pain may not be the most obvious symptom in women as they are more likely to experience other symptoms such as abdominal discomfort like indigestion, nausea, pressure or pain in the neck, shoulder, or upper back and unusual fatigue etc.

 

Heart attack recovery - the first 48 hours after a heart attack are critical.

 

Surviving a heart attack when alone

 

Heart attacks do not come with an announcement, and many people have to struggle with it on their own. If you suddenly feel that your heart beats “wrong” and that you are about to faint, you have only about 10 seconds before you lose your consciousness. What people do not know is that they can actually help themselves. To do so, the most important thing is not to panic and not to lose consciousness – start coughing, as much as you can.

 

Every time before you cough take a deep breath. Cough deeply and long enough, as if you were trying to cough out something from your lungs. Breathe and cough every 2 seconds, without any breaks, until medical help arrives or until your heart starts beating normally. Deep breaths allow the oxygen to enter your lungs and coughing is a sort of compression. This helps the heart and blood flow function normally and the pressure helps the heart to balance its rhythm. It is the perfect way to avoid any further damage, at least until the doctor or paramedic arrives.

Aspirin and heart attacks

If an aspirin or a baby aspirin is taken once a day, take it at night. Aspirin has a 24-hour "half-life"; therefore, if most heart attacks happen in the small hours of the morning, the Aspirin would be strongest in the system. Aspirin lasts for years in the medicine chest, when it stops working, it smells like vinegar.

There are other symptoms of a heart attack, besides the pain in the left arm. One may also experience an intense pain on the chin, as well as nausea, indigestion like pain and lots of sweating; however, these symptoms may also occur less frequently.

NOTE: There may be NO pain in the chest during an actual heart attack.

The majority of people (about 60%) who had a heart attack during their sleep did not wake up. However, if it occurs, pain may wake them from a deep sleep. If that happens, immediately dissolve two aspirins in the mouth and swallow them with some water.

Afterwards call the emergency services. (999 in the UK, 911 in the USA).

Take a seat on a chair near the front door, or if outside on a wall or bench, and wait for their arrival and ...DO NOT LIE DOWN!

Chill pepper and heart attacks

Chilli pepper is known to prevent heart attacks and one quarter of a teaspoon should be taken every day as a tea or with a meal as a spice. Besides lowering LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels, it also helps to dissolve blood clots in the circulatory system and cleanses the liver.

Consuming some grated ginger and a teaspoon of turmeric (which have the same effects as aspirin) with a snack in the evening can also help protect against strokes and heart attack. Turmeric goes well with cauliflower and can be sprinkled on vegetables, rice, potatoes, meat, fish or in any other dish as it does not have an overpowering taste. Alternatively make a tea with them and sip before bed. Add some freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice and a teaspoon of honey if desired. The extra fluid is also heart protective at night.

NOTE: It is said that chilli pepper can also works as quickly as a soluble aspirin in an emergency when someone is suffering a heart attack. However, there is no scientific proof that this is possible and it can be dangerous to administer chilli pepper to someone who is suffering from a heart attack. Experts say its use could lead to uncontrolled bleeding if the person is taking blood thinning medications. In addition, the pain of ingesting an unaccustomed dose of hot pepper could cause adrenaline to be released, increasing heart rate while reducing blood flow to heart and brain and causing increased death of tissues.

Reperfusion injuries, which is damage to tissues from the sudden return of blood and oxygen, could also occur. Some websites actually encourage the administration of liquid cayenne extracts to heart attack victims who have lost consciousness which is very dangerous advice.

Water and heart attacks

Many people say they don't drink anything before going to bed because they'll have to get up during the night. Why do people urinate so much at night? Gravity holds water in the lower part of the body when it is upright (legs swell). When a person lies down and the lower body (legs and etc) is level with the kidneys, it is then that the kidneys remove the water because it is easier.

Drinking water at a certain time maximizes its effectiveness on the body:

  • 2 glasses of water after waking up - helps activate internal organs

  • 1 glass of water 30 minutes before a meal - helps digestion

  • 1 glass of water before taking a bath - helps lower blood pressure

  • 1 glass of water before going to bed - avoids stroke  or heart attack. Water at bed time will also help prevent night time leg cramps

Most heart attacks occur in the day, generally between 6 am  and  noon. Having one during the night, when the heart should be most at rest, means that something unusual happened. Sleep apnea could be to blame.

Caffeine and heart attacks

Anyone predisposed to or recovering from a heart attack should avoid caffeine laden drinks such as coffee and fizzy sports drink. One popular canned drink which purports to "give you wings" has been linked with heart attacks and strokes because it thickens the blood and rapidly increases the heart rate. This drink, popular with those that partake in extreme sports and those that wish to stay awake longer, is now banned in Norway, Denmark and Uruguay and France stopped selling it between 1996 and 2008. When combined with alcohol, it can suppress the body's normal tolerance to alcohol and lead to alcohol poisoning and when combined with ephedra, which is also a stimulant, it can also cause acute psychosis.

Green tea has a little caffeine in it but the health benefits and the weight-loss it can help to produce outweigh any ill effects from its caffeine content therefore it is a good alternative to other caffeine drinks. Two to three cups of green tea per day will do no harm and can be very beneficial especially for those that need to lose extra fat which puts added pressure on a weakened heart.

High blood pressure and pulmonary arterial hypertension

 

High blood pressure causes the heart to work harder than normal putting both the heart and arteries at greater risk of damage. High blood pressure, or hypertension. High blood pressure often has no symptoms or warning signs. If it stays elevated above 120/80 mmHg over time and is uncontrolled, it can lead to increases the risk of heart attacks, strokes, kidney failure, damage to the eyes, congestive heart failure, atherosclerosis and many other medical problems.

Left untreated high blood pressure can cause the heart to become abnormally large and less efficient (ventricular hypertrophy) causing heart failure and increased risk of heart attack.

Although high blood pressure can cause headaches, dizziness and problems with vision, the majority of people suffer no symptoms at all. As a result many people with hypertension remain undiagnosed because they have no symptoms to motivate them to see a doctor or get their blood pressure checked. If high blood pressure is not treated and is combined with obesity, smoking, high blood cholesterol levels or diabetes, the risk of heart attack is several times higher.

 

For more information see High blood pressure.

 

Natural remedies for heart conditions

Certain prescribed drugs taken by patients with heart problems can cause dangerous deficiencies of nutrients especially diuretic and cholesterol lowering medications. It is essential to consume a healthy balanced diet to counter act this. More information can be found about nutrient deficiencies caused and natural food sources below.

The liver has one of the first stop jobs of sorting through the food and toxins that are ingested. It can regenerate itself if minor damage from excessive toxins occurs but eventually it will get clogged and overworked which is when food stops being digested properly and the rest of the system is affected. The following will clean it up so it can do it's job. The pancreas produces insulin and can easily become damaged by toxins and alcohol. This remedy will also serve to heal a damage pancreas.

Liver cleanser

These ingredients together taken in a glass of warm water first thing in the morning will detoxify the liver and improve circulation.

Try the daily morning liver cleanser for one month then have the cholesterol levels checked again. If there is even a slight reduction of LDL cholesterol and an increase in HDL cholesterol the problem is obviously the liver so a more intense flush needs to be undertaken. It is advisable to try this method first before resorting to cholesterol lowering drugs which can have debilitating affects on the body including the liver.

For more information see:

A - Z of natural food remedies for high blood pressure

There are many natural foods that can thin the blood, improve circulation and protect the arteries, brain and heart without the side effects of blood thinning medications. The damage caused by these drugs to the liver and intestines can outweigh the beneficial effect. Natural foods also contain the vital nutrients the body requires to function properly whereas drugs can cause severe nutrient deficiencies leading to further health issues which often means that more drugs will be prescribed to rectify the problems caused.

 

Alfalfa has been found to be beneficial in preventing cardiovascular problems as it helps reduce cholesterol levels and plaque build-up. It also has the potential to limit the development and progression of atherosclerosis. Drink alfalfa tea or juice extracted from its leaves a few times a day for a few months.

 

Andrographis can also help to stop the clumping of blood platelets which is the clotting process that can lead to heart attacks.

 

Apples: Pectin in the skin of apples lowers the bad cholesterol, while the minerals potassium and magnesium help to control blood pressure. Consume one apple per day.

 

Terminalia arjuna is an important Ayurvedic herb for heart conditions. It is considered a natural cardio-tonic and cardiac restorative. The herb strengthens the cardiac muscle, reduces arterial congestion and lowers blood pressure. A study by researchers in India found that this herb helped reduce angina attacks by 30 percent. Moreover, prolonged use of this herb did not have any adverse effects.
 

1. Add one-half teaspoon of arjuna tree bark powder and a little honey to a glass of warm water.

2. Drink this three times daily for a few months.
3. Alternatively, take this herb in supplement form in doses of 500 mg every eight hours daily.

4. Continue this natural treatment for three months.

 

Asparagus reduces the risk of heart disease and can lower blood pressure as it protects blood cholesterol from oxidation and is rich in vitamin K.

 

avocado

 

Avocado is rich in healthy fats and nutrients that protect the heart.

 

Aubergines are rich in chlorogenic acid which can balance the cholesterol levels in the blood.

 

Brassicas contain powerful nutrients that protect and nourish the heart.

Butcher's Broom can treat varicose veins and poor circulation in the veins as it contains anti-inflammatory and vein-constricting properties that are believed to improve the tone and integrity of veins and shrink the swollen tissue. It can be taken in tea form. The tea has a slightly bitter taste, so a honey can be used to sweeten it. The tea can be made by steeping one teaspoon of the herb in a cup of hot water for 10 to 15 minutes. Butchers broom has also been shown to be effective when applied topically as an ointment or compress.

NOTE: Butcher's broom should not be used by people taking alpha blocker or antidepressant, monoamine oxidase (mao) inhibitor drugs or by people with the following conditions:.

Cabbage is known to aid breakage of fatty deposits, especially around the abdominal region.

 

Cantaloupe can reduce the plaque that sticks to arterial walls. Consume one bowl of cantaloupe each day.

 

Carrots are a rich source of carotenoids that speed the metabolic rate of the body and hasten removal of fat deposits and waste. Consuming two average sized carrots a day can lower bad cholesterol by 10%. Must be consumed with an oily food such as avocado, coconut, fish, nut, olive, seed or other plant oils in order to absorb the ft-soluble carotenoids.

 

Chinese hibiscus: Researchers from Taiwan found that an extract of hibiscus flowers had anti-atherosclerosis activity. They believe that hibiscus contains antioxidant compounds that help prevent the oxidation of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or bad cholesterol, that contributes to atherosclerosis and heart disease. An infusion prepared from this herb is also believed to help regulate high blood pressure.

  • Boil two petals of a hibiscus flower in one cup of water.

  • Strain and add one teaspoon of raw honey.

  • Drink this once daily for a few weeks.

Chilli pepper contains a compound called capsaicin that is beneficial for treating heart and circulatory problems. It also helps reduce the risk of irregular heart rhythms and lowers cholesterol levels and blood pressure. The phytochemicals present in this spice also purify the blood and enhance immunity.

  • Add half to one teaspoon of cayenne pepper to a cup of hot water.

  • Stir well and drink it.

  • Repeat two or three times daily for a few weeks.

  • Follow it with a cup of hibiscus tea to heal the burning sensation and promote heart health.

  • Alternatively it can be added to many savoury dishes.

Cumin: Half a teaspoon in warm water or sauces or on meals everyday - lowers blood pressure and purifies and thins the blood

 

Fenugreek has antioxidant and cardio-protective benefits. It is excellent for reducing the risk of atherosclerosis, thanks to its strong modulating effect on blood lipid levels. It also reduces platelet aggregation, thus decreasing the risk of abnormal blood clotting associated with heart attacks and strokes. Plus, it helps lower cholesterol, blood sugar and excess fat.

  • Soak one teaspoon of fenugreek seeds in water overnight.

  • The next morning, eat the soaked seeds on an empty stomach.

  • Do this daily for a few months.

Figs are rich in potassium and fibre which helps to stabilize the blood pressure. Another remedy is to place three fig leaves in half a litre of bottled mineral water. Boil for 15 minutes and drink daily.

 

Flax seeds protect the heart, reduce blood pressure and angina symptoms.

 

garlic

 

Garlic can help to thin the blood as efficiently as aspirin without the danger of stomach bleeds or ulcers but should be avoided if blood thinners are taken.

 

Ginger lowers blood pressure and purifies and thins the blood. It can produce significantly higher insulin sensitivity which is beneficial to diabetics as well as lower LDL cholesterol and triglycerides.

 

bunch of grapes

 

Grapes (red) contain flavonoids, which stop bad cholesterol from oxidising and sticking to artery walls and grape seed extract has been proven to lower blood pressure.

Hawthorn: In western herbalism, hawthorn is a well-known herb for heart conditions because it is excellent for the cardiovascular system. It helps increase blood flow to the heart and improves cardiac muscle contractions, thus leading to a stronger pumping action. It also helps increase cardiac performance and output and reduces the heart’s workload. Plus, it has an anti-arrhythmic effect that helps steady the heartbeat. This herb can be taken in supplement form by way of an extract standardised to contain about 2 to 3 percent flavonoids. The general dosage is 300 to 600 mg three times daily. Follow this natural treatment for several weeks to a few months. Note: Though this herb is safe to use, consult your doctor before taking this or any other herbal remedy.

Hemp seeds are easily digested and very rich in healthy fatty acids, essential amino acids and minerals which improve circulation and protect the heart.

Horse chestnut is good for poor circulation in the veins or chronic venous insufficiency. It is used to relieve symptoms such as swelling and inflammation in haemorrhoids and strengthen blood vessel walls. Horse chestnut can be taken as a tea. It can also be applied externally as a compress.

NOTE: People with an allergy to the horse chestnut family, bleeding disorders, or people taking blood thinners should not take horse chestnut. Only products made from the seeds or bark of the young branches should be used. Other parts of the plant are poisonous. Although uncommon, side effects have included kidney damage, severe bleeding, bruising and liver damage.

Kiwi fruit can reduce the plaque that sticks to arterial walls. Consume one kiwi fruit each day.

 

Krill oil contains omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D, both of which are vital for a healthy heart and blood vessels. Take 1000 mg per day.

 

Jalapeno peppers (red) 1 or 2 per day can help to keep the arteries free of plaque build up.

 

Lettuce contains high levels of vitamin A and potassium which protects the heart.

 

Liquorice root stimulates the liver to manufacture cholesterol and excrete it in bile. This can help lower serum cholesterol levels.

 

Maqui berry is a Chilean 'super fruit' which contains the highest amount of antioxidants and anti inflammatory compounds than any other known natural food. It also contains a high amount of compounds which boost metabolism, reduce blood sugar, blood pressure and LDL cholesterol. Regular consumption can also help to reduce weight dramatically.

 

Millet has powerful properties that can reduce LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

 

Oats also have powerful cholesterol reduction properties and do not have to be just consumed as porridge. They can be used in many meals like omelettes, curries etc and to thicken soups and stews.

 

Octopus is an excellent source of taurine (a sulphurous amino acid) that helps reduce cholesterol from blood vessels therefore preventing formation of blood clots in the body.

 

tinned fish

 

Oily fish are a rich source of healthy fatty acids which prevent artery clogging plaque from forming and omega-3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory.

 

Pomegranate

 

Pomegranate juice (pure and additive free) has been proven to not only reduce build-up of plaque on the walls of the arteries but actually reduce plaque that is already there. Foods containing antioxidants that cleanse the liver, such as fruit, also readdress the balance of cholesterol in the blood.

 

Poppy seeds daily, high fibre, controls heart rate and blood pressure.

 

Red clover sprouting seeds grow in jam jar like alfalfa seeds. Cover jam jar in stocking, use elastic band to hold in place and rinse with water daily emptying water out afterwards. Ready in 4 to 5 days. Eat with salads daily, clears congestion in lungs and thins the blood.

 

Soya a diet that includes at least 25g of soya per day has been associated with reductions in LDL cholesterol and CVD. Soya isoflavones in particular have been shown to reduce CVD risk as they inhibit the growth of cells that form artery-clogging plaque. Soya protein is also an excellent substitute for meat. Another good source of soya protein is soya milk and yoghurt.

 

Spinach is rich in vitamins A and C, which help to prevent artery clogging plaque from developing. It also contains good levels of potassium and vitamin B9 (folic acid) which lowers the blood pressure.

 

Sunflower seeds protect the heart and provide vitamin B1 (thiamine) that can be lost due to medications.

 

tomatoes

 

Tomatoes consumed regularly (cooked and uncooked) this antioxidant-rich food that prevents the oxidisation of LDL cholesterol and can cut the risk of arteriosclerosis by half. Must be consumed with an oily food such as avocado, coconut, fish, nut, olive, seed or other plant oils in order to absorb the ft-soluble carotenoids.

 

Tree turmeric is a blood purifier.

 

Turmeric: Studies indicate that turmeric can help prevent atherosclerosis. Turmeric has an active ingredient called curcumin that helps maintain heart health by reducing cholesterol oxidation, plaque build-up and clot formation. Plus, it helps lower LDL and provides anti-inflammatory benefits. Being a potent antioxidant, it also neutralises free radicals that contribute to aging and several chronic diseases. Use turmeric regularly in cooking. It can be added to all kinds of dishes and vegetables. It is good with brown rice and cauliflower for added heat health benefits. One teaspoon of turmeric powder can be simmered in one cup of water or milk. Drink it once or twice daily for several weeks to a few months.

 

Valerian contains a natural tranquiliser which relaxes muscles and lowers blood pressure. Daily consumption of valerian will aid in a state of overall relaxation and elimination of stress which will, in turn, decrease blood pressure in people experiencing hypertension.

 

Wasabi reduces blood pressure and protects the heart.

Wine (red): Consuming one glass of red wine per day has been found to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Alcohol can increase HDL cholesterol and makes it less likely that clots will form. Drinking any more than one glass will have a damaging effect though and counteract the benefits. See the Dangers of Alcohol page.

 

Wheatgrass has anti-inflammatory properties and is beneficial for the reduction of high blood pressure and lowering of cholesterol. It can easily be grown as a sprout on the windowsill.

Remedy to unclog the arteries

Cumin, ginkgo biloba, garlic, ginger, ginseng, horse chestnut, turmeric and white willow are all powerful blood thinners. Use with caution if already taking blood thinning medications.

The consumption of fibre from fruit and whole grains and omega-3 fatty acids from oily fish are particularly essential to stop plaque build up. Soluble dietary fibre can help to lower LDL cholesterol. A selection of these foods should be included as part of an overall healthy balanced diet, at least once a day.

 

Natural sources of soluble fibre

  • All whole grains

  • Psyllium husks

  • Beans and legumes

  • Amaranth

  • Barley

  • Brown rice

  • Buckwheat

  • Dulse

  • Durum wheat

  • Kamut

  • Oats

  • Psyllium husks

  • Quinoa

  • Rye

  • Teff

Pomegranate juice can help to remove plaque on the walls of the arteries. Drink at least three glasses of pure unsweetened pomegranate juice per day.

This daily tonic will help to remove plaque in blocked arteries when taken regularly every day. It also cleanses the liver and the blood.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of peeled and chopped garlic (allow to stand for ten minutes after chopping)

  • 1 cup of lemon juice

  • 1 cup of grated ginger

  • 1 cup of apple cider vinegar

Method

  • Add all the above ingredients to a pan and simmer gently until it reduces by a quarter.

  • Strain the liquid then add two cups of honey and stir until dissolved.

  • Store in a glass jar with a lid.

  • Take one tablespoon of this syrup before breakfast every day. Shake well before opening the jar.

How to make a healthy blood thinning tea

Ginger, turmeric and turnips thin the blood and prevent blood clots and arterial blockages naturally without side effects..

Ingredients

  • Three cups of bottled at source mineral water

  • One knuckle of ginger

  • The juice of half a lemon

  • The zest of half a lemon

  • One teaspoon of pure honey

  • Quarter of  teaspoon of turmeric

  • Three mint or peppermint leaves (optional)

  • One cinnamon stick (optional)

  • A few cardamom pods (optional)

  • One small turnip (optional)

Method

  • Wash and thinly slice the ginger and turnip (if desired).

  • Place in a pan with the cinnamon stick, cardamom pods and mint leaves (if desired) with the mineral water and lemon zest and bring to the boil.

  • Allow to boil for ten minutes then strain the water into a jug.

  • Add the lemon juice and honey and stir.

  • A cup of this tea can be drunk hot or, if preferred, cold with added ice and lemon slices three times a day. Keep in the refrigerator.

NOTE: Because this tea will have the same effect as taking blood thinning medications, caution is advised if on these medications due to the risk of excessive bleeding.

Pulmonary oedema

Pulmonary oedema means an excess collection of watery fluid in the lungs. The fluid collects in the many air sacs of the lung, making it very difficult to breathe which can be quite frightening. Pulmonary oedema is most often caused by heart failure (then called cardiogenic pulmonary oedema). When the heart is not able to pump efficiently, blood can back up into the veins that take blood through the lungs. As the pressure in these blood vessels increases, fluid is pushed into the air spaces (alveoli) in the lungs.

If taking diuretic medications a selection of foods rich in the following nutrients must be consumed daily. Follow the links for the highest natural resources of each one.

Remedies for water retention

 

Eating the correct foods to gain a natural diuretic and water balancing affect in the body will benefit the whole system as they also contain many other essential nutrients and no side effects that prescribed diuretics can cause.

 

Natural food remedies which can aid as a diuretic and reduce water retention are:

 

Alfalfa seed sprouts - once a day - highly nutritional, assists in weight loss, purifies and thins the blood see how to grow and use alfalfa.

 

Apple cider vinegar cleanses the liver, kidneys and bladder and prevent infections of this area. Take one tablespoon per day.

 

Artichokes (globe) are a natural diuretic.

Asparagus contains asparigine - a chemical alkaloid that boosts kidney performance improving waste removal from the body

 

Banana one a day to balances sodium and potassium in the blood – tablet diuretics reduce potassium levels

 

Beetroot nourishes kidneys, lowers blood pressure, a natural diuretic, reduces floating body fats and fatty deposits.

 

Berries possess powerful antioxidants which cleanse the blood.

 

Black currants are a diuretic with a high potassium level.

 

Black pepper corns grind onto everything, transports the nutrients to different parts of body, reduces congestion in the lungs.

 

Blueberries nourish the kidneys and stop bacteria from attaching to the walls of the urinary tract.

Brussel sprouts help in stimulating the kidneys and pancreas and results in better cleansing of cells.

 

Carrots provide nourishment for the kidneys and bladder and reduce inflammation of the urethra.

 

Celery nourishes the kidneys and reduces blood pressure.

 

Chives are valuable as a blood cleanser and exercise a very strong diuretic action.

 

Cranberries nourish the kidneys and stop bacteria from attaching to the walls of the urinary tract.

 

Cucumbers are rich in sulphur and silicon that stimulate the kidneys into better removal of uric acid and excess fluids.

 

Fig is oxidant, laxative, diuretic, digestible and a blood cleanser.

 

Flaxseeds and flaxseed oil improves blood flow.

 

Garlic

 

Garlic is a natural diuretic food that aids breakage of fat

 

Ginger lowers blood pressure and purifies and thins the blood.

 

Green tea Three cups a day, natural diuretic, aids in weight loss.

 

Horseradish speeds up the metabolism and helps to protect against high blood pressure.

 

Lemon is a natural diuretic which can also regulate blood pressure and dissolve certain types of kidney stones.

 

Mango is detoxifying and diuretic

 

Melon is alkalising, mineralising, oxidant and diuretic and helps control heart rate and blood pressure offering protection against stroke and coronary heart diseases.

Oats contain silica - a natural diuretic.

 

Onions (raw) speed up the metabolism.

 

Papaya is diuretic and laxative.

 

Peaches are diuretic, depurative and detoxifying.

 

Pumpkin as diuretic properties that does not irritate the kidneys.

 

Pumpkin seeds good for bladder and urinary problems, increases good cholesterol, nourishes the eyes.

 

radish

 

Radish (raw) especially daikon speeds up the metabolism, increases removal of waste and protects against high blood pressure and heart disease.

 

Rye bread, crackers, flour and flakes aids digestion, high fibre, reduces water and highly nutritional.

 

Strawberries are a traditional diuretic, thin the blood, improve blood flow - does not cause intestinal bleeding like aspirin.

 

Tea four cups a day acts as a natural diuretic.

 

Tomatoes

 

Tomatoes are rich in vitamin C that aid the metabolism and release of water from the kidney to flush out waste.

 

Turmeric  1/2 teaspoon in  warm water or sauces or on meals everyday - lowers blood pressure and purifies and thins the blood.

 

Watercress is a natural diuretic.


Watermelon seeds help the body eliminate excess water.

 

Naturally diuretic herbs

Drink plenty of filtered or bottled mineral water (to avoid the chlorine, fluoride and other chemicals added to tap water and provide more natural minerals to the diet). It is especially imprtant to drink one glass of water just before going to sleep.

 

Nutrients that can protect the heart

Carvacrol is very effective in lowering blood pressure. It reduces the heart rate, mean arterial pressure, and both the diastolic and systolic blood pressures as well. Oregano is also a viable alternative to salt in meals, as the sodium in salt is a leading cause of high blood pressure. A high-sodium diet can lead to high blood pressure as each teaspoon of salt has more than 2300 mg of sodium. Oregano is a sodium-free food, so it does not contribute to a higher blood pressure. A low-sodium diet for individuals with high blood pressure has a limit of 1500 mg per day.

Natural sources of carvacrol

CoenzymeQ10 alters the pathology of vascular diseases and has the potential for prevention of vascular disease through the inhibition of LDL cholesterol oxidation and by the maintenance of optimal cellular and mitochondrial function throughout the ravages of time and internal and external stresses. The attainment of higher blood levels of CoQ10 appears to enhance both the magnitude and rate of clinical improvement. Ironically, many medications used to treat heart vascular disorders and high LDL cholesterol reduce levels of coenzyme Q10.

 

Natural sources of CoQ10 are: barley, buckwheat, oats, rye, quinoa, nuts, spinach, organ meats, calf's liver, halibut, herring, mackerel, salmon, trout, tuna, whole grains and yoghurt.

 

Lycopene and carotenoids protect LDL cholesterol from oxidation which prevents heart disease. Rich sources of lycopene are: apricots, asparagus, basil, bell peppers (red), chilli peppers, citrus fruits, grapefruit (pink), guava, papaya, parsley, persimmons, red cabbage, rosehips, tomatoes, watermelon.

 

Nitric oxide is an important messenger molecule required for healthy cardiovascular function. Nitric oxide enables blood vessels to expand and contract with youthful elasticity and is vital to maintaining the structural integrity of the endothelium, thus protecting against vascular disease. Even when all other risk factors are controlled for, the age-related decline in endothelial nitric oxide too often causes accelerated vascular disease unless corrective measures are taken. Commercial blood tests are not yet available at affordable prices to assess nitric oxide status. Aging individuals should assume they are developing a nitric oxide deficit in their inner arterial wall (the endothelium) and include the following foods in the diet to protect themselves.

 

For the body to produce nitric oxide the following natural foods need to be consumed: beef, beetroot, broccoli, collard greens, spinach, nuts, pine nuts, pheasant, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, shellfish

 

Flavonoids, including apigenin, prevent in vitro LDL oxidation which can help to prevent atherosclerosis. Natural foods containing flavonoids are: apples, artichoke, basil, berries, black tea, celery, cranberries, grapefruit, grapes, green tea, horny goat weed, mulberries, kiwi fruit, olives (in brine), onions, parsley, peppermint, potatoes, prickly pear, red wine and thyme.

 

Balanced levels of cobalt, nickel, vitamin B12, vitamin B15, vitamin C and vitamin E are vital for correct functioning of the heart and circulatory system as they all interact with each other.

Natural sources of cobalt in alphabetical order

  • Broccoli

  • Clams

  • Green leafy vegetables

  • Nuts

  • Oily fish

  • Organ meats

  • Oysters

  • Spinach

  • Whole grains

Natural sources of nickel in alphabetical order

  • Anchovies

  • Barley

  • Buckwheat

  • Hazelnuts

  • Hemp seeds

  • Herring

  • Legumes

  • Lentils

  • Oats

  • Oysters

  • Peas

NOTE: It is possible that the nickel in grains can bind with the phytic acid in these grains reducing the amount of nickel available for absorption.

Highest sources of vitamin B12 in micrograms per 100 grams

  • Clams 98.9 μg

  • Liver 83.1 μg

  • Barley grass juice 80 μg

  • Nori seaweed 63.6 μg

  • Octopus 36 μg

  • Caviar/fish eggs 20.0 μg

  • Ashitaba powder 17.0 μg

  • Herring 13.7 μg

  • Tuna fish 10.9 μg

  • Crab 10.4 μg

  • Mackerel 8.7 μg

  • Lean grass fed beef 8.2 μg

  • Duck eggs, goose eggs, rabbit 6 μg

  • Crayfish, pork heart, rainbow trout 5 μg

  • Shiitake mushrooms 4.8 μg

  • Lobster 4 μg

  • Lamb, venison 3.7 μg

  • Swiss Cheese 3.3 μg

  • Salmon 3.2 μg

  • Whey powder 2.37 μg

  • Golden chanterelle mushrooms 2 μg

  • Tuna 1.9 μg

  • Halibut 1.2 μg

  • Chicken egg 1.1 μg

  • Chicken, turkey 1.0 μg

  • Ashitaba 0.4 μg

NOTE: One μg is one microgram.

Vitamin B15 (pangamic acid) has been shown to lower blood cholesterol, improve circulation and general oxygenation of cells and tissues, and is helpful for arteriosclerosis and hypertension.

Natural sources of vitamin B15

  • Brewer's yeast (dependent upon source check label)

  • Brown rice

  • Buckwheat

  • Pumpkin seeds

  • Sunflower seeds

  • Whole grains

Highest sources of vitamin C in milligrams per 100 grams

  • Acerola cherries 1677.6 mg

  • Camu camu berries 532 mg

  • Rosehips 426 mg

  • Green chillies 242.5 mg

  • Guavas 228.3 mg

  • Yellow bell peppers 183.5 mg

  • Black currants 181 mg

  • Thyme 160.01 mg

  • Red chillies 143.7 mg

  • Drumstick pods 141 mg

  • Kale 120 mg

  • Jalapeno peppers 118.6 mg

  • Kiwi fruit 105.4 mg

  • Sun dried tomatoes 102 mg

  • Broccoli 89 mg

  • Brussel sprouts 85 mg

  • Cloves, saffron 81 mg

  • Chilli pepper 76 mg

  • Mustard greens 70 mg

  • Cress 69 mg

  • Persimmons fruit 66 mg

  • Swede 62 mg

  • Basil 61 mg

  • Papaya 60 mg

  • Rosemary 61 mg

  • Strawberries 58 mg

  • Chives 58 mg

  • Oranges 53.2 mg

  • Lemons 53 mg

  • Pineapple 48 mg

  • Cauliflower 48 mg

  • Kumquats 43.9 mg

  • Watercress 43 mg

  • Wasabi root 41.9 mg

  • Kidney bean sprouts 38.7 mg

  • Melon 36.7 mg

  • Elderberries 36 mg

  • Breadfruit 29 mg

  • Coriander 27 mg

 

NOTE: Vitamin C supplements might raise blood sugar. In older people with diabetes, vitamin C in amounts greater than 300 mg per day increases the risk of death from heart disease therefore it is wiser to choose the foods above that are rich in vitamin C rather than supplements.

 

NOTE: Nickel and vitamin C share a common antagonist; vitamin E. This inhibiting effect of vitamin E is not related to the antioxidative properties of vitamin C or vice versa (both are antioxidants, so in that respect they are synergistic), but they are antagonists ratio wise to one another, and to other chemical members: For instance, vitamin C increases iron uptake, which Vitamin E inhibits. Vitamin C lowers manganese and zinc, while vitamin E helps increase manganese and zinc absorption. As a result, a very high intake of vitamin C will require an equally high intake of vitamin E to maintain the same ratio.

Highest sources of vitamin E in milligrams per 100 grams

  • Wheat germ 149.4 mg

  • Hemp seeds 55 mg

  • Hazelnut oil 47 mg

  • Almond oil 39 mg

  • Sunflower seeds 38.3 mg

  • Chilli powder 38.1 mg

  • Paprika 38 mg

  • Rice bran oil 32 mg

  • Grape seed oil 29 mg

  • Almonds 26.2 mg

  • Oregano 18.3 mg

  • Hazelnuts 17 mg

  • Flaxseed oil 17 mg

  • Peanut oil 16 mg

  • Hazelnuts 15.3 mg

  • Corn oil 15 mg

  • Olive oil 14 mg

  • Soya bean oil 12 mg

  • Pine nuts 9.3 mg

  • Cloves (ground) 9 mg

  • Peanuts 8 mg

  • Celery flakes (dried) 6 mg

  • Spirulina 5 mg

  • Dried apricots 4.3 mg

  • Bell peppers (red), eel, olives and salmon 4 mg

  • Jalapeno peppers 3.6 mg

  • Anchovies 3.3 mg

  • Broccoli, chicken, chilli peppers (sun-dried), cod, crayfish, dandelion greens, egg yolk, duck, goose, pecan nuts, spinach, tomatoes (tinned or pureed) turkey and turnip greens 3 mg

  • Avocado, beef, bilberries, blue berries, butter, chicory greens, cinnamon (ground), crab, halibut, herring (pickled), mackerel, marjoram, mustard greens, pistachio nuts, poppy seeds, sardines, sesame seeds, Swiss chard, trout, tuna, turnips and walnuts 2 mg

  • Fish roe 1.9 mg

  • Asparagus, kiwi fruit and parsnips 1.5 mg

  • Black berries 1.2 mg

  • Chlorella 1.1 mg

NOTE: High doses of vitamin E supplements can greatly suppress blood coagulation and clotting thus increasing risk of excessive bleeding or haemorrhage. Also synthetic vitamin E is only 50% as absorbable as natural vitamin E and does not contain any tocotreinols, making it a very poor substitute for natural food sources of vitamin E.

 

Insufficient vitamin D. Vitamin D protects against vascular disease via several different mechanisms, including reducing chronic inflammatory reactions that contribute to the pathology of the disease. It has been shown that low vitamin D levels are associated with increased cardiovascular mortality. Maintaining a 25-hydroxy vitamin D blood level of 50 – 80 ng/mL can eliminate this risk. Vitamin D deficiency is common in the northern hemisphere due to lack of enough sunshine during the winter months (October to April). During this time it is wise to consume plenty of the foods listed below. Ultraviolet B (UVB) rays in sunlight convert cholesterol in the skin into vitamin D. It is then stored in the fatty tissues of the body for between 30-60 days. During the winter months there is often not enough to last through until the sun reaches its optimal strength again in the spring leading to a deficiency.

Highest sources of vitamin D per serving listed

  • Krill oil - 1 teaspoon: 1000 IU

  • Eel - 85 g or 3 oz: 792 IU

  • Maitake mushrooms - 70 g: 786 IU

  • Rainbow trout - 85 g or 3 oz: 540 IU

  • Cod liver oil - 1 teaspoon: 440 IU

  • Mackerel - 85 g or 3 oz: 400 IU

  • Salmon - 85 g or 3 oz: 400 IU

  • Halibut - 85 g or 3 oz: 196 IU

  • Tuna - 85 g or 3 oz: 228 IU

  • Sardines - 85 g or 3 oz: 164 IU

  • Chanterelle mushrooms - 85 g or 3 oz: 155 IU

  • Raw milk - 1 glass or 8 oz: 98 IU

  • Egg yolk - 1 large: 41 IU

  • Caviar - 28g or 1 oz: 33 IU

  • Hemp seeds - 100 g or 3.5 oz: 22 IU

  • Portabella mushrooms - 85 g or 3 oz: 6 IU

NOTE: One IU is the biological equivalent of 0.3 μg or 0.3 micrograms.

 

Copper, together with zinc improves the absorption of vitamin D which aids in the absorption of calcium.

Highest sources of copper in milligrams per 200 calorie serving

  • Clams 49 mg

  • Calf’s liver 17 mg

  • Beef 17 mg

  • Oysters (raw) 13 mg

  • Lamb 10 mg

  • Duck 9 mg

  • Himalayan salt crystals 6 mg

  • Sea salt (unrefined) 6 mg

  • Spirulina 5 mg

  • Chlorella 5 mg

  • Squid 4 mg

  • Lobster 4 mg

  • Mushrooms (Crimini) 4 mg

  • Mushrooms (Shiitake) 3 mg

  • Basil 3 mg

  • Cocoa (organic) 3 mg

  • Capers 3 mg

  • Mineral water 3 mg

  • Apple cider vinegar 3 mg

  • Chamomile tea 3 mg

  • Lemons 3 mg

  • Chicory greens 3 mg

  • Turnip greens 3 mg

  • Cashew nuts 2.2 mg

  • Crab 2 mg

  • Squid 2 mg

  • Potatoes (with skins) 2 mg

  • Coriander 2 mg

  • Asparagus 2 mg

  • Swiss chard 2 mg

  • Winged beans 2 mg

  • Beetroot greens 2mg

NOTE: Copper is found in most foods containing iron.

Zinc is required for the absorption of vitamin D. Alcohol and some medications cause the expulsion of zinc so it is advisable to consume more zinc rich foods if on medications or if alcohol is consumed regularly.

Highest sources of zinc in milligrams per 100 grams

  • Oysters 78.6 mg

  • Chlorella 71 mg

  • Wheat germ 16.7 mg

  • Beef 12.3 mg

  • Calf's liver 11.9 mg

  • Hemp seeds 11.5 mg

  • Pumpkin and squash seeds 10.3 mg

  • Sesame and watermelon seeds 10.2 mg

  • Bamboo shoots, endives and gourds 9 mg

  • Chervil (herb) 8.8 mg

  • Lamb 8.7 mg

  • Venison 8.6 mg

  • Alfalfa seeds (sprouted), amaranth leaves, Crimini mushrooms, Irish moss and tea 8 mg

  • Crab 7.6 mg

  • Lobster 7.3 mg

  • Agave, basil, broccoli, buffalo, elk, emu, oats, ostrich, spinach and turkey 7 mg

  • Cocoa powder 6.8 mg

  • Cashew nuts 5.8 mg

  • Asparagus, chicken livers, laver seaweed, mushrooms, parsley and rice bran 5.7 mg

  • Cashew nuts 5.6 mg

  • Pork 5.1 mg

  • Jute (herb), lemon grass, mung beans, Portobello mushrooms, radishes and shiitake mushrooms 5 mg

  • Agar seaweed, butterbur, cauliflower, chicory, Chinese cabbage, chives, coriander, green beans, lentils, lettuce, okra, rocket, spring onions, summer squash, Swiss chard, tomatoes and wasabi (yellow) 3.4 mg

  • Peanuts 3.3 mg

  • Cheddar cheese 3.1 mg

  • Mozzarella cheese 2.9 mg

  • Anchovies and rabbit 2.4 mg

  • Cabbage, cucumber, jalapeno peppers, , kidney beans, navy beans, spirulina and turnip greens 2 mg

  • Mussels 1.6 mg

  • Arrowroot, artichokes (globe), beetroot, bell peppers, black eyed peas, borage, broad beans, Brussel sprouts, butter beans, cabbage, carrots, celery, chilli peppers, courgettes, dandelion greens, garlic, horseradish, kale, kelp, mustard greens, peas, pinto beans, potatoes, pumpkin, turnips, Swede, sweet potato, tomatoes (red),  wakame (seaweed), watercress and winged beans 1.2 mg

Insufficient vitamin K. Vitamin K is essential for regulating proteins in the body that direct calcium to the bones and keep it out of the arterial wall. Low vitamin K status predisposes aging humans to vascular calcification, chronic inflammation and sharply higher heart attack risks. Vitamin K blood tests assess levels of vitamin K to maintain healthy coagulation, but at this time are not used to identify optimal levels to reduce heart attack risk. Vitamin K1 helps prevent excessive activation of osteoclasts, the cells that break down bone. The benefitical bacteria in the intestines convert vitamin K1 into vitamin K2, which activates osteocalcin, the major non-collagen protein in bone. Osteocalcin anchors calcium molecules inside of the bone. All of these vitamin K-related mechanisms point to the importance of vitamin K-rich foods for bone and heart health.

Highest sources of vitamin K in micrograms per 100 grams

  • Basil 1714.5 g

  • Kale 817 g

  • Watercress 252 g

  • Spring onions 207 g

  • Broccoli 148 g

  • Cloves 142 g

  • Brussel sprouts 140.3 g

  • Chilli peppers 105.7 g)

  • Pickled cucumber 76.7 g

  • Soya beans 70.6 g

  • Spirulina 70 g

  • Olive oil 60.2 g

  • Prunes 59.5 g

  • Asparagus 50.6 g

  • Sun dried tomatoes 43 μg

  • Cashew nuts 35 g

  • Alfalfa sprouts 30.5 μg

  • Celery 29 g

  • Black berries 20 g

  • Blue berries 19 g

NOTE: 1 g is one microgram.

NOTE: Avoid almonds, cabbage and kale if suffering with thyroid problems, bladder, kidney or gallstones, joint problems or osteoporosis.

NOTE: Limit foods with Vitamin K if pregnant, breast feeding or taking blood thinning medication (such as anticoagulant/antiplatelet drugs)

Tri-methylamine-N-oxide (TMAO)

Some bacteria in the intestines turn lecithin, a nutrient found in avocado, beef, egg yolks, legumes, nuts, oily fish, organ meats, pork, soya and whole grains into an artery-clogging compound called trimethylamine-N-oxide.

Some intestinal bacteria also transform carnitine, a nutrient found in beef, cheese, halibut, milk, oily fish, pork, poultry, rabbit, venison, into trimethylamine-N-oxide.

Both lecithin and carnitine are manufactured by the human body and essential for vital processes in the body.

Lecithin is produced in the liver and consists of fatty acids and choline and is essential for processes in all cells of the body.

Carnitine is made in the body from the two amino acids lysine and methionine and is essential to lipid metabolism.

However, excess trimethylamine-N-oxide caused by certain bacteria in the intestines, transforming lecithin and carnitine which is derived from animal foods into this compound, can lead to blood cholesterol build-up on artery walls, causing atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and, if the build up ruptures and blocks an artery, results in a stroke or heart attack.

It is therefore healthier to ensure the plant nutrients required for the body to manufacture its own lecithin and carnitine are present rather than consuming animal products which contain these nutrients which feeds the trimethylamine-N-oxide producing bacteria in the intestines instead.

Natural plant foods to consume to ensure the body can produce it's own lecithin are:

Natural sources of choline

  • Almonds

  • Aloe vera

  • Anchovies

  • Apples

  • Apricots

  • Artichoke

  • Aubergine

  • Beans

  • Beef

  • Broccoli

  • Buckwheat

  • Cauliflower

  • Collard greens

  • Egg yolks

  • Navy beans

  • Oily fish

  • Organ meats

  • Nuts

  • Peanuts

  • Peas

  • Poultry

  • Quinoa

  • Rabbit

  • Rampion

  • Shellfish

  • Spinach

  • Swiss chard

  • Venison

  • Wheat germ

 

Natural plant foods to consume containing lysine and methionine, to ensure the body can produce it's own carnitine are:

Highest sources of lycine in milligrams per 100 grams

  • Spirulina (dried) 3025 mg

  • Chlorella (dried) 3000 mg

  • Whelks 2930 mg

  • Chicken 2635 mg

  • Pumpkin and squash seeds 2463 mg

  • Tuna (tinned ) 2343 mg

  • Pheasant 2230 mg

  • Beef (lean mince) 2211 mg

  • Calf’s liver 2141 mg

  • Mackerel  (tinned) 2130 mg

  • Cod 2108 mg

  • Cheddar cheese 2072 mg

  • Quail 1977 mg

  • Rabbit (wild) 1908 mg

  • Shrimp/prawns 1820 mg

  • Lobster 1784 mg

  • Venison 1756 mg

  • Caviar (fish roe) 1699 mg

  • Lamb’s liver 1653 mg

  • Turkey 1609 mg

  • Crab 1592 mg

  • Black beans 1483 mg

  • Crayfish (wild)1388 mg

  • Crayfish (farmed) 1253 mg

  • Mussels 1179 mg

  • Squid 1164 mg

  • Soya beans 1108 mg

  • Peanuts 945 mg

  • Sunflower seeds 937 mg

  • Eggs 914 mg

  • Flaxseeds 862 mg

  • Quinoa 766 mg

  • Rye 605

  • Almonds 580 mg

  • Pine nuts 540 mg

  • Brazil nuts 492 mg

  • Walnuts 424 mg

  • Wheat 378 mg

  • Brown rice 303 mg

 

Highest sources of methionine in milligrams per 100 grams

  • Sesame seeds 1331 mg

  • Chlorella (dried) 1300 mg

  • Whelks 1205 mg

  • Spirulina (dried) 1149 mg

  • Sunflower seeds 1033 mg

  • Brazil nuts 1008 mg

  • Chicken 859 mg

  • Tuna fish (tinned) 755 mg

  • Calf’s liver, Pumpkin seeds and squash seeds 740 mg

  • Quail 716 mg

  • Pheasant 710 mg

  • Beef (lean mince) 694 mg

  • Mackerel  (tinned) 686 mg

  • Cod 679 mg

  • Lamb’s liver 664 mg

  • Salmon (Atlantic farmed) 654 mg

  • Cheddar cheese 652 mg

  • Shrimp/prawns 589 mg

  • Lobster 577 mg

  • Caviar (fish roe) 553 mg

  • Rabbit 545 mg

  • Mussels 537 mg

  • Crab 515 mg

  • Venison 505 mg

  • Turkey 495 mg

  • Sunflower seeds 494 mg

  • Eggs 380 mg

  • Flaxseeds 370 mg

  • Squid 351 mg

  • Quinoa 309 mg

  • Peanuts 291 mg

  • Pine nuts 259 mg

  • Rye 248 mg

  • Walnuts 236 mg

  • Soya beans 224 mg

  • Wheat 212 mg

  • Brown rice 179 mg

  • Almonds 151 mg

THE NATURE CURES DIET FOR A HEALTHY HEART

A wholesome healthy diet of the natural foods below will boost the immune system and restore the blood levels of all nutrients as well as fight off virus, fungal and bacterial infections naturally. If this diet is kept to it can fix many blood disorders and heart problems. A noticeable difference will be felt within just one week.

Drink one litre of bottled mineral water per day to avoid chemicals additives such as fluoride and chlorine and provide more of the essential minerals the body needs. One glass should be consumed just before sleeping to help the body eliminate waste and toxins from the body and the brain and reduce the risk of a heart attack.

Meat and eggs (Three times a week)
Beef (organic lean grass-fed), eggs, organ meats, game birds, rabbit and venison.

Fish (Three times a week)
Bloater fish, carp, cod, eel, halibut, herring, hilsa fish, kipper, mackerel, octopus, pilchards, salmon, sardines, sprats, squid, swordfish, trout, tuna (fresh only) and whitebait and all other
oily fish.

NOTE: Deep sea and bottom dwelling fish can be contaminated with mercury so it is advisable to consume these with some algae, coriander and other green leafy vegetables or sulphur-rich foods which can chelate (bind to) mercury and eliminate it from the body.

Dairy (Yoghurt and kefir milk daily and cheese two or three times a week)
Kefir milk, non-pasteurised blue cheese and yoghurt (plain with live cultures)

Fibre  (at least one every day)
Amaranth, barley, brown rice, buckwheat, millet, oats, quinoa and teff. Consume one tablespoon of psyllium husks per day in a large glass of water or sprinkled onto meals as it has powerful properties that can support  digestion and excretory processes and will work within two days to fix many colon and digestive issues.

Vegetables (a selection of at least four colours per day meaning all have been eaten at least once a fortnight)
Algae, alfalfa, artichoke, ashitaba, asparagus, aubergine, beetroot, bell peppers (all colours), broccoli, carrot, celery, chicory, collard greens, courgettes, cress, cucumber, daikon, garlic, kelp, marrow, mushrooms, mustard greens, okra, seaweed and spinach, Swede, sweet potatoes, Swiss chard, turnips and watercress.
Algae, such as chlorella and spirulina, contain many important nutrients and minerals often lacking in land-based crops. Take one tablespoon of one of them per day. Also consume three or four chopped garlic cloves per day. Let them and other allicin-producing plants, such as chives, leeks, onions and spring onions, stand for ten minutes to allow for the process, that produces allicin in these plants when they are damaged, to take place. Allicin has many powerful properties that benefit the health.

Legumes (Three times a week)
Black beans, black-eyed peas, broad beans, chickpeas, legumes, lentils, lima bean, mung beans, navy beans, peas, pinto bean, red kidney beans, soya beans and winged beans.

Fruit (a selection of 2 or 3 colours per day meaning all have been eaten at least once a fortnight)
NOTE: grapefruit can interact with many medications.

Dried Fruit (as snacks or added to meals daily. Best eaten with a handful of nuts and seeds)
Apricots, dates, figs, goji berries, raisins and sultanas.

Juice (pure, additive free, unsweetened - daily as often as possible)
Aloe vera, barley grass, beetroot (raw), carrot, cranberry, elderberry, grape, lemon, lime, mosambi, nasturtium (freshly pressed), orange, papaya, pineapple, pomegranate and tangerine.

See also Raw juice therapy for many raw juicing and blending recipes.

Seeds (as snacks or added to meals daily)
Flaxseeds, hemp, nasturtium, poppy, pumpkin, sesame, sunflower and watermelon. Hempseeds provide the correct balance of omega-6 (inflammatory) to omega-3 (anti-inflammatory) fatty acids and should be consumed daily. A handful of pumpkin seeds can be sprinkled on any dish or in sandwiches daily and add many important nutrients.

Nuts (as snacks or added to meals daily. Best consumed with dried fruits to obtain the correct balance of vitamin C and E)
Brazil nuts (2 per week unless excessive sweating, through exercise or fever, has taken place, then eat 2 per day, cashews, chestnuts, coconut, hazelnuts, peanuts, pecans, pine nuts, walnuts (5 per day).

Sprouts (see the Sprouting page to find out how to grow your own then add to meals and snacks daily)

Common herbs (nutritious herbs to be used as often as possible daily in meals or as teas)
Basil, cardamom, coriander, cloves, dill, lemongrass, marjoram, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, safflower, sage, tarragon and thyme.

Medicinal herbs (consume as teas as required)

Spices (nutritious spices to be used as often as possible daily. Can be added to teas also)
Cardamom, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, cloves (three ground), cumin, coriander, ginger, nutmeg, paprika, peppercorns (all colours) and turmeric. A teaspoon of turmeric should be consumed daily due to its powerful compounds that can prevent many ailments. Sprinkle on to egg, fish and vegetable dishes or on brown rice and other grains.

Oils (cold-pressed only and used to cook with or dress vegetables and salads, especially with foods that contain fat-soluble nutrients, such as carotenoids, to enable absorption)
Coconut oil, flaxseed, grape seed, coconut oil, olive, rapeseed and a blend of sesame and rice bran oils. Also take one 1000 mg capsule of cod liver or krill oil daily, especially during the winter months between October and April in the Northern hemisphere.

Essentials (to be consumed and used as desired on a daily basis)

At least one (and ideally many more) natural foods and derivatives should be consumed each day from each of the categories above. Pick one of the six colours of fruit and vegetables to consume daily. Yellow/orange, white, red, green, black/blue/purple and cream/brown. Nature has kindly colour coded natural food for us and each colour provides specific nutrients and minerals in the right balances which are required daily. At least one iron rich green leafy vegetable or herb should be consumed daily. See the Nature's Colour Codes page.

If appetite does not allow enough consumption, juice or blend them using a high powered juicer or blender or make teas by steeping them in hot water for 20 minutes, then strain and drink immediately to gain the nutrients without the bulk. Teas can be gently reheated and honey and lemon added to make them more palatable and to add additional beneficial nutrients.

NOTE Non-heme iron is found in tea and dark green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale. However, tea and green leafy vegetables also contain oxalates that block the absorption of iron. To assist the body in the absorption of non-heme iron consume some lemon juice, a couple of strawberries, a kiwi fruit or some orange, tangerine or mango at the same time.

To benefit from foods containing fat-soluble nutrients, such as the carotenoids in carrots and tomatoes and other naturally orange, red and yellow foods, always eat together with oily foods like avocado, coconut oil, fish, nut, olive, seed or other plant oils because carotenoids are fat-soluble, meaning they are only absorbed into the body along with fats and can then assist with the manufacture of the essential vitamin A nutrient.

Healthy heart advice

  • Only buy organic produce.

  • Avoid all processed food (packaged, frozen, tinned, ready meals, biscuits, salty snacks, cakes, etc.)

  • Replace meat and cheese with fish, legumes, seeds, soya and nuts. If overweight keep nuts to a small handful per day.

  • Replace sugar with pure organic honey, fruit, raisins, pure coconut milk or parsnips.

  • Replace animal fats with herb, vegetable and seed oils especially olive oil, pure coconut milk and organic live yoghurt.

  • Replace salt with shredded seaweed, chlorella, spirulina, spices and herbs. Seaweed tastes salty, is very nutritious and can be sprinkled on many meals. Its sodium content is far lower than table salt.

  • Use turmeric, cumin and black pepper which will assist your body with transporting nutrients to where they are needed & aid digestion and also help to thin and purify the blood

  • Turkey improves the blood and concentration levels

  • Wild salmon and tuna contains Coenzyme Q10 vital for the heart and brain

  • Sardines contains omega-3 oils essential for heart

  • Egg (yolks only) contains almost every essential vitamin and mineral

  • Psyllium husks should be sprinkled on meals daily to keep the digestive system working well

  • Eat whole grains and brown rice only and avoid white bread and white rice and refined foods and cereals as nutrients have been stripped out

  • Drink tea (especially green tea) instead of coffee which can stop the body from absorbing nutrients and create toxins hard for the heart to contend with. See Dangers of coffee

  • Aim to eat as many different colours of fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices that you can every day. A small amount of each mixed in a blender to create thick potage easily digested soups and fruity drinks will give you all the nutrients you need to strengthen your heart and keep your blood clean. Add live probiotic yoghurt for a creamy twist to soups and fruit smoothies. See Nature's Colour Codes

  • Try lacto acid brine pickling of the vegetables, herbs and spices to add high absorption of nutrients and essential beneficial bacteria to the diet. See Pickle page to find out how.

  • Grow  seed, legume, nut and wholegrain sprouts and make a healthy Nutty Salad Snack Pot. See Micro Diet Sprouting.

  • Roast whole garlic cloves and parsnip and keep in the fridge to eat when you are hungry instead of unhealthy processed salty snacks and biscuits.

  • Cocoa beans and carob are nutritious but the damage to the heart is done by the processing and high fat and sugar content added to chocolate bars.

  • Take gentle exercise daily and avoid stressful situations.

  • Be creative and enjoy experimenting with your new diet

What to avoid

When suffering with a heart condition it is important to avoid the herbs peppermint, ephedra, ginseng, yohimbine, liquorice, feverfew and rosemary.

It is also very important to greatly reduce or eliminate entirely the following from the diet:

  • All products with additives especially aspartame.

  • Biscuits, cakes, milk chocolate and confectionery. Choose dark chocolate with at least 74% cocoa.

  • Coffee, fizzy drinks and other caffeine containing beverages.

  • Fried food.

  • Margarine: choose butter instead.

  • Processed and refined foods and sauces.

  • Red processed or smoked meats such as bacon, ham, salami and other sausages.

  • Refined and non-cold pressed oils.

  • Savoury and salted snacks.

  • Sugar and any products containing glucose, fructose and corn syrup etc.

  • Table salt as it has had the nutritional content stripped out. Use Himalayan salt crystals or unrefined sea salt. If suffering from high blood pressure cut out extra salt as many foods contain sodium already. Try using spices and herbs instead.

  • White flour and white rice. Choose wholegrain flours and black, brown or wild rice

Enhanced External Counter Pulsation (EECP)
 

Stable coronary artery disease and angina can cause disabling symptoms including shortness of breath, pressure or discomfort in the chest, exercise intolerance and fatigue. It is a safe, effective, non-invasive therapy for the symptoms of coronary artery disease and angina is now available. Enhanced external counter pulsation alleviates cardiac symptoms by enhancing coronary collateral circulation alternate pathways by which blood can reach the heart muscle.

 

The procedure is performed in a series of outpatient treatments, in which inflatable cuffs wrapped around the legs inflate and deflate in rhythm with the patient’s heartbeat. More than 100 published studies show that EECP can effectively relieve symptoms of heart failure, increase exercise tolerance, reduce reliance on medication and improve quality of life.

 

Benefits of treatment can last up to five years. This novel therapy simulates the circulatory benefits of exercise, allowing patients to overcome symptoms and resume a healthy, active lifestyle.

Associated articles

"Nature cures not the physician..." Hippocrates 460 BC

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