My Functional Approach to Heart HealthFeb 21, 2023
Hiya Wellness Warrior!
It’s February, the month we celebrate L-O-V-E….which makes sense that it’s also American Heart Month. You’ve probably read posts on your social media feed and heard the messaging from the traditional medical community about ways to prevent cardiovascular disease. It’s certainly cause for concern, as heart disease accounts for about one of every three deaths in America and is expected to kill 23.6 million people by 2030. It’s safe to say that the old low fat, no red meat, low cholesterol narrative isn’t working. So, what gives?
I want to challenge you to think of cardiovascular disease from a functional lens. What I mean is that all body systems are interconnected and do not operate apart from each other.
- An inflamed gut will affect the proper functioning of the heart.
- A toxic liver will affect the proper functioning of the heart.
- Erratic blood sugar will affect the proper functioning of the heart.
- Emotional trauma, environmental toxins, and a weak digestive system will all affect the proper functioning of the heart.
In order to prevent cardiovascular disease, the steps to follow are the same steps that you would follow to prevent any other disease....those that lead to the health of every single body system, organ, tissue, and cell. This is good news, because it means that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel when considering how to care for your brain, your kidneys, your liver, your heart, or any other organ! While each organ or body system might crave more specific nutrients or support, your entire body benefits from shoring up the foundational aspects of health and wellness…and if you’ve been in this community long, you know them:
- Clear out as many dietary and lifestyle inflammatory factors as possible
- Flood the body with micro and macro nutrients like: broccoli, bok choy, brazil nuts, spinach, wild caught salmon, berries, beets, leafy greens, turmeric, ginger, garlic, and cayenne
- Heal the digestive system so that food can be turned in to microscopic nutrition
- Stabilize blood sugar
- Heal the gut wall and diversify the gut microbiota
- Learn how to better manage chronic stress
- Commit to improving sleep quality and quantity
- Use supplements when nutrient deficiencies persist
- Commit to daily exercise and movement
Funny how we keep circling back to these core basics. As our daily lives move farther and farther from these practices; as our world becomes more toxic; as our lives become more stressful; as our soil becomes more depleted of nutrients and microbial diversity, we suffer. Every known disease is on the rise, despite massive campaigns to eradicate each one.
My message remains the same, whether it’s American Heart Month, National Diabetes Month, or Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The functionality of all body systems is where healing happens. Addressing the roots of wellness is how we prevent all disease. Stick to the basics, wellness warrior. Abide in these fundamentals.