Better Heart Health through Plant-Based Eating – Daud Scott
Although the human heart is usually no larger than the size of a clenched fist, it is very strong and it requires optimal health and care in order to keep running and flowing in top condition. While many of us are careful to exercise our limbs through strength and toning workouts, it doesn’t occur to many of us that the heart is also a muscle that needs special attention, concern, and a way to keep free and clear of diseases and blockages. This is especially important as we grow older.
But just exactly how can this be done? Is there a way to supply the heart with a system that provides strength and optimal care without putting added and unnecessary stress on its functioning? Well as it turns out there actually is: a whole-food plant-based (vegan) diet. While we may be familiar and aware of the benefits of cardiovascular exercise on the heart and the body as whole, a whole-food plant-based diet has also been shown to promote heart health and vitality.
As a result of sedentary lifestyle choices, the intake of large amounts of calories, and the lack of eating consistent foods containing large amounts of micro-nutrients from a clean, whole source, cardio vascular disease (heart disease) has become the leading cause of death in the United States. This doesn’t have to be the case and none of us needs to become another statistic. While it is true that prescription medications known as statins exist to address these issues, a natural and much cheaper solution exists. It all starts with what we put on our plates and into our mouths every day.
Plant-based eating has many health benefits to address ailments of the body, including health of the heart. When we transition from a standard diet that is overly saturated with animal proteins, dairy products, processed foods, and high amounts of sugar to a diet full of rich sources of micro-nutrients and high amounts of fiber, this opens up our pathways to our hearts and keeps the pericardial sacs smooth and nutrient dense. This nutrient density fights inflammation of the heart valves and surrounding areas, which is vital in fighting off cardio-vascular disease.
Eating large amounts of fruits and vegetables is good, but choosing foods that are best for your heart is essential. Some of the best plant based sources for a firm and healthy heart are: artichokes, asparagus, and broccoli. Good sources are: cabbage, cauliflower, eggplant, spinach, black strap molasses, sesame seeds, turmeric, oregano, buckwheat, oat bran, almonds, apples, dates, figs, red grapes, tomatoes, black cherries, elderberries, avocados, onions, kale, romaine lettuce, kiwis, carrots, legumes, bananas, and parsnips. Of course, this is not an exhaustive list, but it is a list of foods that if eaten regularly should help in your quest to have a healthier heart.
There is no question that health for the whole body is important. In your search for good health, make sure to include foods and spices that address heart health. As a nutritionist, I don’t believe that people set out to intentionally neglect the care of the heart. After all, our heart is not in our faces to remind us day in and day out of its importance. Yet even though we don’t see it; it is working hard for us around the clock to keep our circulatory system moving. For this reason, we have to be more mindful of it and supply it with the nutrition it deserves.
Daud Scott is a Certified Holistic Nutrition Practitioner and is the owner of Natures First Path, a Holistic Nutrition practice. Daud lives in Los Angeles, California with his wife and son. To learn more about Daud’s approach to health and wellness you can visit him at: www.naturesfirstpath.com