For years, heart disease has been the number one cause of death in both men and women. Early lifestyle changes including regulation of diet and exercise will help maintain a healthy heart.
Four indicators you should always be aware of are: cholesterol levels, triglycerides, c-reactive protein (CRP) and homocysteine. Always ask you physician to check each of these levels, which can be easily obtained through blood tests.
Triglycerides are fats responsible for clotting and arterial blockage. By thickening the blood, triglycerides will slow the flow of blood through arteries, thus causing hypoxia to the organs. This lack of oxygen can cause breathing abnormalty, irregular heart rates and may eventually lead to strok.
Homocysteine levels increase when your body lacks vitamin B (most specifically Folic Acid, B-6 and B-12) Vegetarians do not get regular vitamin B intake, and therefore should use supplements.
CRP measures inflammation in the blood. Pineapple has bromelain, a natural anti-inflammatory, and studies show that it helps to decrease the level of CRP.
Cholesterol may clog the arteries, leading to condition called arteriosclerosis. High LDL levels (which are easily measured in blood tests) can lead to heart attack or stroke. It is important to understand that cholesterol is not only obtained from diet, but manufactured by the liver as well.
This Valentines Day, express your feelings from the heart…while literally giving to the heart. Dr. Backs has three recipes that are healthy, full of anti-oxidants, contain no fats, and high in vitamins. Pass these recipes on to family members and friends, and enjoy!
12 whole strawberries
1 cup of Post Grape Nuts
In a bowl, mash both bananas until pureed. Blend 12 strawberries in blender. Put half of pureed bananas on a plate, and coat with ½ cup of grape nuts. Pour half of the strawberry puree and drizzle the mixture to form a heart. Fill the center with whip cream. Makes 2 servings.
1 cup frozen strawberries
1 cup frozen blueberries
1 cup frozen peaches
1 fresh banana
1 cup orange juice
1 cup frozen rasberries
Mix all the above ingredients in a blender (except for the raspberries). Pour blended ingredients into a heart-shaped molding. (if you don’t have heart shaped moldings, you may improvise) Put in freezer for about 4 hours, or until frozen. Take out of molding carefully and place on a small plate. Puree the raspberries and drizzle over the heart. Make 2 servings.
1 cup of dark chocolate
5 large fresh whole strawberries
Melt chocolate over a stove stirring constantly or it will burn. When completely melted, dip strawberries into chocolate (up to stem) and place on wax paper. Place in refrigerator and serve in 1 hour.