We all know someone, if not ourselves, suffering from some level of heart disease.
Personally, I found out the hard way about the importance of nutrition for heart health when my 17 year old son, who was training for Nationals in Crew, started experiencing heart palpitations and eventually periods where his heart stopped for up to 10 seconds at a time. He was a healthy boy, never sick, and strong athlete, so why was he having heart issues?
His “electrical system” in the heart was out of balance.
What Can Be Causing Heart Disease?
Arrhythmia and Heart Palpitations
Your body and your heart are “electric!”
A heartbeat is the result of your heart’s cardiac pacemaker sending electrical impulses prompting contractions in the heart muscle to make the muscle “pump.”
These contractions push blood to the lungs creating oxygen to carry to the cells throughout the body and return it to the heart; then it starts again.
At the cellular level, you are getting an exchange of electrolytes, specifically potassium, calcium, sodium, and magnesium, which regulate the rhythm of the heart. The balance of the electrolytes, specific minerals, and the difference in pH levels cause this electrical charge and balance to help the heart function in that rhythmic manner.
Without sufficient electrolytes, you can experience missing heart beats, extra beats or even the halting of the heart beat. This is what was happening with my son; he was low on electrolytes due to his strenuous exercise and training.
The following are what could cause heart palpitations:
- Digestion. When you eat, you can experience palpitations due to a sluggish gallbladder putting pressure on the bile ducts and consequential bloating. Because this area is so close to the cardiac system, it can lead to palpitations.
- Low Potassium. This is the main electrolyte that controls the pacemaker. This can be caused by a diuretic, diarrhea, antacids, low vitamin D and a diet absent in potassium. High insulin levels and blood sugar can deplete the body of potassium as well. Electrolytes including potassium are found in green vegetables, avocados, and animal proteins. Moreover, grains and high carb foods deplete the body of these nutrients as well. As carbohydrates cause higher insulin and eventually insulin resistance, your body’s ability to absorb nutrients is compromised.
- Ph is too alkaline or too high. We have been told alkalinity is good for the body. The reality is your body has different pH levels in the blood, the urine, the stomach, and saliva. It if were all the same, you would die. It is true that an alkaline diet can help balance the acidity from stress and other factors. However, If your blood is above 7.45, and your body is excessively alkaline, then the minerals don’t move that well through the heart and the body. Alkalinity can be caused by low potassium, high cortisol from stress, and low HCL, which is the stomach acid that breaks down food.
- Caffeine, alcohol and hyperthyroid. All of these can cause palpitations.
A serious problem that could occur is the clogging of the coronary artery. The artery becomes inflamed in the wall of the artery. It will start collecting cholesterol, protein and calcium to use as a band aid to protect the inflamed artery.
Dietary cholesterol is NOT the problem; the inflammation from sugar, grains and cereals cause the “wound” and the cholesterol is just trying to put a band aid on it. This will start limiting the blood flow and could then create a clot. Eventually the clot could be dislodged. What causes oxidation and inflammation are high insulin levels, not fats, and a lack of nutrients. The nutrients necessary are the antioxidants to combat the oxidation or inflammation.
To reduce your risk of a Coronary Artery:
- You need the B complex vitamins, Vitamin E, Potassium, Magnesium, and Sodium. These nutrients are found in vegetables and animal protein.
- Eliminate foods that spike blood sugar and insulin. Those include breads, cereal, rice, sugar, and processed foods. Not only do these foods spike insulin, but they also are referred to as “anti-nutrients” as they strip the body from those vitamins and minerals.
Vitamin E increases oxygen in the heart itself. If you are deficient in vitamin E and the B vitamins, your heart has to work harder and cramp up. As a result, you may experience angina or a heart attack. Furthermore, vitamin E protects the lining of the artery. Once again, eating refined grains can strip you of those necessary nutrients.
What Are the Symptoms of Heart Disease Risk?
- Chest Pain
- Left Arm Pain
- Left Jaw and shoulder pain
- Cold Sweats
- Chronic coughing when you lay down
- Swelling in the lower legs, especially on the left
- Pitting Edema
- Lack of Energy Upon Exertion
- Heavy Legs when you are climbing stairs
- Ascites or protruding belly
- Visceral Fat- fat around the organs in the belly
- High Triglycerides
What are the heart health tests available?
If you believe you are at risk of heart disease, you need the following blood work:
- Coronary Artery Calcium Test. It measures the amount of calcium in the coronary artery around the heart. You want it to be zero.
- A1C. A1C is a blood test for type 2 diabetes and prediabetes. It measures your average blood glucose, or blood sugar, level over the past 3 months. The refined sugar and carbs, even “healthy” grains and gluten free breads, increase blood sugar and cause inflammation throughout the body including the heart. The damage it causes is what cholesterol is used to “patch” up. Cholesterol isn’t the issue. Cholesterol is the “fireman” at the scene of a “fire”; it is the sugar and processed carbs that started the “fire.”
VLDL and Triglycerides. These are much more important to look at than LDL and HDL for cholesterol. Your body needs cholesterol to make its hormones; that is why your body will produce the essential cholesterol that isn’t taken in through dietary sources. Triglycerides are an indicator that you have too many inflammatory fats and sugars in your blood.
How Can You Support a Healthy Heart?
- Accelerated Keto and a Low Carb Diet. Accelerated Keto will stop the cravings for carbs and support a low carb regimen. It flips you into ketosis and your body learns to turn your own body fat stores into a clean burning ketone-based fuel system. The carbs are clogging the arteries, and clogging the liver which puts pressure on the heart. Accelerated Keto also De-Fats the liver, improving liver function and reducing fatty liver. Accelerated Keto increases ATP production, which is true cellular energy, 36 times more than a carb-dependent diet. Additionally, you want to avoid vegetable oils as they are inflammatory and can cause liver and gallbladder issues, putting more pressure on the heart. Incorporating healthy organic proteins and healthy fats like olive oil, avocado oil and coconut oil are anti-inflammatory and promote heart health. Lastly, a keto or a low carb diet will stabilize low blood sugar and subsequently increase potassium.
- Accelerated Scalar Copper. Copper provides a role in the development and maintenance of the cardiovascular system, including the heart, arteries, and other blood vessels, the skeletal system, and the structure and function of the nervous system, including the brain.
- Ascent Diet Cleanse. This comprehensive cleanse not only aids in easy intermittent fasting by suppressing your appetite and curbing your craving for sugar and refined carbs, but helps you focus on the foods rich in electrolytes and minerals needed for heart health. Furthermore, the cleanse flushes out gallstones and gallbladder sludge which takes pressure off the cardiac system. Lastly, it will help lower your bad cholesterol and triglycerides.
- Carnosine Patch. Carnosine helps reduce stress and relax the heart muscle in addition to improving the bioelectrical properties of all organs including the heart. It is known to increase strength, endurance and muscle recovery as well.
- X39 Patch. The X39 increases your body’s own stem cell production and works on over 4,000 genes returning to a younger state, including those involved in heart health. They reduce inflammation, increase energy and vitality, and help reduce elevated blood pressure.
- Acceleradine. The thyroid regulates the heart, and hypothyroidism leads to heart disease. Because thyroid health is directly dependent on iodine, the treatment of using high iodine supplementation has been shown to prevent heart disease. Additionally, iodine protects us from EMFs that can be damaging to all of our organs, including the heart.
- Ola Loa. This award winning energy multivitamin, electrolyte drink contains the necessary nutrients for heart health including potassium, magnesium, B-complex, A,D,E, and K. It supports physical exercise that in turn strengthens heart health even more. Alkalinity can be caused by low potassium, h
- Energy Enhancer. These patches increase ATP production in the mitochondria, increase Heart Rate Variability, improve the bioelectrical measurement or integrity of the cell walls known as “phase angle”, reduce inflammation, and increase endurance. Just after 20 minutes, the capacity of each cell increases. With age, the cell walls become rigid and hard to penetrate with nutrients coming in and toxins going out. The Energy Enhancer Patches soften that cell wall and improve that phase angle within five minutes of applying the patch. Additionally it improves digestion and circulation which are essential for nutrient absorption that leads to improved heart health. Lastly, it increases beta-oxidation which is the fastest way to increase cellular energy. All of these factors improve heart health. As a plus, it increases fat burning and muscle growth. They work synergistically with the Accelerated Keto in your fat burning and tapping into an endless supply of fuel source on your body.
- Vitamin K2and D3. This keeps the calcium out of the arteries and in the bones.
- Vitamin E. This is found in leafy greens and nuts.
- Fasting. This reduces inflammation and supports ketosis, which is healing to the heart. This will take the pressure off the digestive system, especially the gallbladder, and let it reset.
- Berberine HCL. This helps lower your blood sugar in addition to giving you the proper HCL to help break down your food. Berberine has been shown to work just as well as the prescription drug Metformin in managing insulin resistance.
- Vitamin D. Low vitamin D can cause hypertension; most Americans are low in Vitamin D regardless of the climate they live in.
- Hydrogen Water. The benefits of hydrogen water include: cognitive function improvement, disease risk reduction, alleviation of depression, reduction of insulin resistance, improved immune system, improved endurance, and increased ATP and energy.
- Walking. You want to keep your stress low and increase oxygen flow into the heart, which walking can help you achieve. Furthermore, walking is great for your lymphatic system and puts you into a relaxed parasympathetic state
Sara Banta is a Stanford University Graduate with a Degree in Economics and Psychology, and a certified Natural Supplement Expert & Graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Sara is the Founder of Accelerated Health Products and host of the health & wellness podcast, Accelerated Health Radio.