Love your heart

In the coming months I am writing a series of articles about Organ health, a topic many Naturopaths are passionate about, and I’m sure you will be too after reading my riveting blog posts!

How is the health of your heart?

At this time of the year (Spring/Summer in Australia) there is often a big focus on digestive health. People want to feel healthy and vibrant again after the long winter months. It’s also a great time to remember that the health of your heart is just as important.

According to my trusty medical dictionary, adults normally have a total blood volume of 70ml/kg of body weight for men and about 65ml/kg for women. Your heart pumps this large volume of blood around your body at a speed of about 30cm/second, with a complete circulation time of 20 seconds! And this all happens without us even thinking about it! Incredible really.

Keeping your heart healthy doesn’t have to be a mammoth and difficult task. You can start incorporating these practical and easy tips into your daily routine….starting today!

Berries
Red, blue and purple fruits have once again arrived in our markets. They are a sure sign that Summer is almost here! From a nutritional perspective they are excellent sources of fibre, flavonoids, Vitamin C and anti-oxidants. The bright colour pigment we see in fruits such as blueberries, blackberries and raspberries comes from anthocyanin, one of the flavonoids.

Salad tip: Add fresh raspberries to salads for a flavonoid and flavour fix! Be creative and play around with food flavours.
I recently combined spinach leaves, lightly toasted walnuts, avocado and raspberries. I then added a light drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Delicious!

Magnesium
Every organ in the body especially the heart and kidneys need magnesium. Our muscles and nerves depend on it too. Magnesium plays a role in energy production, and also helps to regulate levels of calcium, zinc, copper, potassium and Vitamin D. When we are under pressure our requirement for magnesium increases. Be aware that alcohol, coffee, tea, cola and diuretic drugs increase the body’s need for magnesium.

Magnesium rich foods:
Spinach, broccoli, avocado, green peas, sesame seeds, almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, cocoa powder.

Healthy heart activities
Regular exercise, Meditation and Deep breathing exercises are excellent for heart health. Other ideas include laughing, enjoying time in nature, and spending time with people who make you feel happy and relaxed.

Heart friendly herbal infusion
Hawthorn berry (Crataegus monogyna) and Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis)
Traditionally known as “the nurse of the old heart”, Hawthorn is a wonderful cardiac tonic, and is rich in procyanidins, flavonoids including rutin and quercitin.
Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) has gorgeous heart shaped leaves and is a delicious tasting nervous system relaxant which also calms and relaxes the cardiovascular system.

In the lead up to this Festive Season, be aware of making food and lifestyle choices which you enjoy, but which also support your health and the health of those you care about.

Have an enjoyable November,

Gabriella

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