Keep Your Heart and Cardiovascular System in Top Shape With Healthy Foods, Nutrients, and Lifestyle Choices

Raw fruits and vegetables, cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, kale, collard greens, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, cabbage, bok choy etc…raw garlic and onion, raw vegetable and fruit juices, raw nuts and seeds, sprouts, ginger, chilies, avocado, ground flax seeds, legumes, spirulina, chlorella, alfalfa, non-active nutritional yeast. Consume 7-10 servings of fresh organic produce daily. These are natural sources of vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants and fiber.

Here is a great article from Be Healthy Today on the benefits of chlorella: https://behealthy.today/chlorella-benefits-side-effects/

Here is a video from Be Healthy Today about the benefits of chlorella: https://youtu.be/N1JIrfHpmmo

Increase foods with high levels of dietary fiber. Even peoples with a diet high in saturated fat, rarely suffer from heart disease if they consume high amounts of fiber. Some good sources of insoluble fiber include bran, psyllium husks and whole flax seed. Some good sources of soluble fiber include fruits and vegetables, ground flax, coconut and coconut milk powder, slippery elm bark powder, pectin etc..

Include more plant sterols in your diet. Ground flax seed, nuts and seeds are good sources.

Bioflavinoids found in colored plants and fruits.  They are antiviral, antihistamine & anti-inflammatory. Examples of flavinoids  include lycopene from tomatoes and watermelon, Quercetin (a potent anti-viral), pycnogenols (pine bark extract) which is reported to be 50 x more effective than vitamin E and 20 x more effective than vitamin C. Basically any vegetables and fruits with bright colors.

Sea-weeds in many forms such as kelp, dulse, wakame, nori, kombu etc…. are high in trace minerals, used for many of our body’s metabolic processes. Take them individually or in a formula that is nutrient dense such as Enerfood.

Add raw apple cider vinegar to your diet as a good source of trace minerals and enzymes. ACV also helps alkalinize our bodies, which counteracts the acidic waste products produced by our cells.

Supplement with essential fatty acids, which are anti-inflammatory and strengthen the cardiovascular systems. Good sources are borage seed, flaxseed, chia seed. black currant and fish oil. Best taken with vitamin E. These EFA’s regulate cellular activity. These essential fats are precursors to prostaglandins, which relax blood vessels. They decrease platelet aggregation and improve HDL/LDL ratios. Reduce and eliminate hydrogenated and trans fats from the diet. Use oils with a high smoke point for cooking. I particularly recommend extra virgin cold pressed coconut oil. Use other oils for salad dressings.

Eat fresh pineapple, which contains high amounts of bromelain, a powerful anti- inflammatory and its protein digesting enzymes allow it to remove damaged cell tissues and plaque and to break down excessive fibrinogen. It is thus good for removing and preventing blood clots.

Another potent anti-inflammatory is turmeric (curcumin). It is considered to be as effective as cortisone. It helps prevent platelet aggregation and lowers blood cholesterol.

Include antioxidants in your daily regime. These substances protect against free radicals. Some of these include vitamins C, E, A, selenium, proanthocyanidins etc. Among the most potent antioxidants is IP6, found in non-GMO fresh corn.

Take vitamin A in doses of at least 10000-20000 IU daily or better take Beta Carotene.  Beta carotene is converted into Vit A by the body and is never toxic. Good sources are carrots, leafy vegetables, some greens formulas and good oils. This is also a potent anti-oxidant.

Vitamin E at 400 IU daily, taken with vitamin C. As an antioxidant it prevents cell damage. It strengthens the capillaries and helps rebuild damaged vessels. It helps carry blood and oxygen to the heart.

Selenium is a very important one, since the immune system cannot mobilize T cells and killer cells without it. Take from 50-200mcg daily or eat 1-2 raw brazil nuts. Selenium is an important anti-oxidant recommended for cardio-myopathy since it improves structure and function of the heart muscle. It can also reduce the incidence of ventricular tachycardia. It helps normalize blood sugar levels and many believe that it reduces the incidence of heart attacks.

Take sufficient vitamin C. Minimum of 1000-3000 mg daily. The preferred form of Vitamin C is ester C. Take in increments of 500 mg till you reach bowel tolerance and then step back by one dose. It also enhances the body’s ability to repair tissue.  This nutrient helps lower cholesterol. Eat citrus fruit, berries, cruciferous vegetables, pineapple, greens, peppers, kiwis etc…

B vitamins (these are depleted with stress) 50-100mg daily. Taking extra B6 is important, since a deficiency in this vitamin can essentially weaken both  the immune and nervous systems and lead to an inability to cope with stress. Over stressed individuals are more prone to cardiovascular conditions. The advised form of this vitamin is pyridoxal-5-phosphate in a dose of 50mg daily accompanied by the other B vitamins.  These important vitamins also assist in fat metabolism. Good food based formulas can provide you with ample amounts of vitamin B.

COQ10 which provides metabolic energy to the heart.  COQ10 helps lower blood pressure and protects the heart from further damage. Cholesterol reducing statin drugs inhibit an enzyme the liver uses to make cholesterol. However it also inhibits the liver’s ability to make COQ10. 50-75% of heart tissue biopsies showed a deficiency of COQ10. It improves the ability of the heart to pump blood. It is good for mitral valve prolapse. With children 2mg daily for 8 weeks repaired mitral valve prolapse. Must be continued for 19 months. It can also help decrease the frequency of angina attacks. It increases oxygen delivery to the tissues and decreases platelet aggregation. Take 30-100 mg daily. Take in an oil form. Should be taken from about 40 years of age and dosage should then be increased with age.

Lecithin is an essential food for regulating cholesterol. It aids in the prevention and treatment of heart disease, lowering LDL and raising HDL levels. High amounts of choline in lecithin also help lower blood levels of homo-cysteine. 1 tbsp (2 g) daily is a good maintenance dose. Therapeutic doses are from 5-20 tbsps daily.

Take L-Carnitine which helps transport and burning of long chain fatty acids which are a fuel for the heart muscle. It lessens damage from heart attacks if taken immediately. Beneficial for cardiac arrythmias, angina and congestive heart failure.

L-Arginine helps the body make nitric oxide, a blood vessel relaxer, which works by improving elasticity of epithelial lining. This allows blood vessels to dilate. The blood vessels of people with congestive heart failure often dilate poorly. Nitric oxide levels are reduced by smoking, hypertension and diabetes.

Carnosine, a combination of L-histidine and L-Alanine, helps prevent and improve recovery from strokes. It is a strong anti-oxidant, preventing glycation of tissues, which then cause aging. Helps repair damaged proteins. Glycation is a reaction that occurs when proteins interact with glucose.

If you are prone to blood clots and high blood pressure, consider consuming natto, a fermented food from Japan. It is reputed to dissolve clots and will keep the blood clear for 4-8 hours.

Assure a good daily intake of calcium and magnesium. All muscles require a good supply of these minerals and the heart is a muscle in constant action. Consume calcium rich foods such as leafy greens, whole grains, tahini etc..  If you supplement, use a chelated form and take 1500-2000 mg of calcium and 750-1000mg of magnesium. Calcium orotate and citrate and magnesium orotate are desireable supplemental forms. Low magnesium levels increase blood pressure.

Reduce the excessive consumption of salt. Excess salt causes water retention. Replace with braggs. If you use salt make it celtic sea salt or Himalayan salt in smaller amounts.

Avoid mucus forming foods such as dairy products, unless raw, preserved meats and processed foods, including refined carbohydrates.

Avoid alcohol, sugar and tobacco. Too much sugar can damage blood vessels. This is partially due to the fact that high sugar consumption increases insulin secretion. In fact 60% of hypertension cases exhibit high insulin levels. Since insulin is released into the body upon carbohydrate consumption, eating a reduced carb diet is a good practice to adopt.

Drink adequate filtered water. Drink enough water to equal ½ your pound bodyweight in ounces. i.e. a 160 lb person should drink 80 oz water. This keeps the blood thinner and helps prevent clots. Preventing sludgy blood is key to good cardiovascular health. In addition to water, flax oil, garlic, bromelain and kale help to break down fibrin levels and keep the blood thinner.

Take broad-spectrum enzymes, which improve the digestion of foods to be used to nourish the body and further balance your digestive system by using a good multi-spectrum probiotic.

Exercise daily to improve flexibility & cardiovascular health.

Healthy stress management techniques such as massage, yoga, meditation, Tai Chi, quiet time, spending time in nature and other relaxing activities. Drink relaxing herbal teas such as chamomile, lemon balm. Also practice conscious breathing.

Emote healthily. The way we feel has a dramatic effect on our immune and cardiovascular systems. While this is common sense, it has also been demonstrated in extensive double blind studies by researchers in the field of psycho-neuro-immunology. Evaluate how you deal with situations emotionally. Know your issues and work on them. Manage your stress. Make a concerted effort to improve how you function in different situations.

Laughter is a magic medicine. Lighten up. Life should never get too serious.

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