Matters of the heart are generally a big issue for people in recovery. Not only from the emotional aspect, as we learn to come to terms with our past, but also from a physical sense, having spent years abusing our bodies recklessly.
So what mends a broken heart? Self-care is always the first port of call regardless of whether we are healing physically or emotionally.
The steps to healing an emotionally broken or a physically broken heart are pretty much the same. For both we need support from others, a change in our thinking, perception and behaviour and the willingness to do what it takes to heal ourselves.
The following are steps and suggestions to heal your heart through self-care and nurturing which will ensure you will feel better, mentally, emotionally and physically.
Cardio exercise practices that are fun and suitable to you are evidenced to be necessary to live a heart healthy life. Fitness is essential to support the heart muscle and keep it strong. As well as the physical benefits, the happy hormones released into the body during exercise lifts our mood and outlook on life. Even the smallest act of self-care boots our self-esteem. A simple 20 minute walk daily or even 3 times a week at minimum can make a huge difference. Wherever you are in your life, I encourage you to find a way to keep it moving. Prevention is key and a great motivator.
It is helpful to pre plan and prepare your own meals. It helps you to be more creative and in control of the healthiest soulful foods on the planet. The more involved you become with your choices the more focused you will be.
Soluble fiber is the key to flushing out the bad fats from the body to protect your heart. There is a difference between the function of soluble and insoluble fiber in the diet. Soluble fiber absorbs water and insoluble does not. The soluble fibers are helpful in cleaning out the digestion system of trans fats and preventing them from ever entering the bloodstream. Insoluble is mostly found the the skins and seeds of plant based food. This is useful for getting rid of waste products through the bowel. The FDA recommends all fiber combined 25g for women under 50, 21g over 50 per day and Men over 50 30g, under 50 38g per day. Do your research on all fibers for more ideas and balance.
Fiber in the diet will also keep blood sugar levels at a healthy and balanced level. Anyone with fluctuating blood sugars will tell you about how it affects their moods and energy levels. A healthy diet also means you’re at an advantage when it comes to dealing with emotional issues also.
Some examples of soluble fibers are:
½ c avocado = 2.1
¾ c oat bran,cooked = 2.2 g
¾ c black beans = 5.4 g
¼ c figs = 1.9 g
¾ c oatmeal, cooked = 1.4 g
¾ c lima beans = 5.3 g
1 medium orange =1.8 g
½ c pearled cooked barley = 0.8
¼ c hazelnuts = 1.1 g
3 dried prunes =1.1 g
½ c brown rice =0.5 g
1 t psyllium 3.5 =3.5 g
Trans Fats Will Break Your Heart!
A diet high in trans fats over time clog the arteries. The good fats are necessary to keep us generally healthy and prevent heart attack and stroke. Choosing low fat or non fat dairy and lean meats is strongly advised. Keep in mind that sugar turns to fat as well. Lower the intake of simple sugars like sugary fruit drinks and eat the fruit instead. Adding your own water, splash of sparkling soda, with a fresh slice of fruit is a nice way to keep the heart and palate happy. Pure drinking water is needed to meet the demands of the heart. Taking the steps above will help to lower triglycerides and cholesterol levels.
Adding the essential fatty acids, (the good fats) Omega 3s daily are imperative to our heart health. Most of us don’t get enough of these rich and essential fatty acids. You must add them to protect your heart health and overall health. They also help to lower the bad fats that increase our cholesterol to unhealthy levels. It is also important for our brain health to have enough essential fatty acids in our diet.
These healthy oils come from fish like Wild Salmon, Halibut and Sardines. We can also get these good fats from navy
(haricot) and kidney beans, flax and chia seeds, (best if milled for absorption). Nuts and their oils like, olive, hazelnut and walnut are also great sources. A handful of nuts are a great protein snack, and you can add a small amount to yogurts, salads and smoothies.
It is always important to take a MultiVitamin and Mineral Supplement daily. Vitamin E and Selenium are especially important for heart health. For best absorption take all fat soluble vitamins with a good fat food choice. When it comes to managing our stress levels keep in mind that foods high in B vitamins are important. See the article on Stress management for more information.
It is advised to stay away from sodium to prevent an increase of blood pressure. However, this could leave you depleted of the essential mineral Iodine. Especially if you stop using table salt. Your Multivitamin should have the required levels of this essential mineral. It is also important to note when choosing beverages with caffeine, that they can raise your blood pressure.
Our environments are also a concern for healthy hearts. It is important to have very good air quality and circulation in our environments. Some people like to fill their spaces with plants to detoxify the air, as well as HEPA air filtration. This allows for cleaner fresh air and in turn increases oxygen. Additional concerns for internal air quality in our homes, schools and offices is using nontoxic cleaners, and personal care products. People with compromised breathing conditions should be aware that chemicals steal the oxygen they breathe. There are many alternatives available today.
Our stores are loaded with supplements and it can be difficult to know what you are getting or what you should be taking. If you are looking for some options see my product site for details on products you can trust.
Remember to be Mindful and Pay Attention. Any lifestyle changes start with becoming aware we need to make them. Healthier habits we create will develop into a better relationship with food and your body and spirit will benefit from a new path of persistence.
Please take advantage of the complementary consultation that I am offering at my website TODAY!
Here’s to your health!
Kathleen Russell, CNC
Disclaimer: The information above is meant to be suggestive only. It is recommended to consult with your primary care doctor before making any changes to your diet.