Living Longer is as easy as 1,2,3,4
Last week whilst putting the kids to bed I received a phone call, it was my niece with devastating news that would rock the whole family for the next few days. My father in law had a full blown stroke and was in hospital. At that stage we had no idea what was going on or if he would be ok.
By some miracle he is still with us, in fact he came out of hospital after just a few days and is now resting.
There are about 154 stroke victims each year in the UK, of which 43,000 are fatal, and Men have a 25% higher chance of getting one than women.
Heart disease can happen to you too, in fact it’s really trending right now, it’s responsible for one in three deaths. Also about one in three adults have high blood pressure which is being untreated
If you want to know more about Blood pressure then please click here to read an article I wrote about it a few months back.
It goes without saying that Heart disease is pretty serious stuff, but if you follow these simple steps, you can massively reduce your chances of it effecting you.
First Step -Listen to the warnings
A year ago my father in law was told by his doctor that he had high blood pressure and high cholesterol and was prescribed statins. This was a warning, he chose to ignore it.
Tony is a man I deeply respect, he works as a nurse in a psychiatric ward on late shifts a few nights each week, but then he also runs a carpet cleaning business during the day. When I stared out as a personal trainer, with few clients, some spare time and in need of money, I worked with him.
It was a tad embarrassing for me as an ex Marine and personal trainer to be outworked by a man nearly twice my age! He carried these heavy machines several flights of stairs, he cleaned room after room to very high standard moving furniture around and pushing the machine about.
When he got the warning he should have slowed down, took it easy. Now he has to take two months of work before he can do anything.
Of course we all need to earn a living, but then we need to be alive to do that.
Although Tony needed to take it easy when he got his warning, some people need to start being more active, if you are deskbound, overweight, getting tired going up the stairs, feeling out of breath with just a little walking then this is your warning.
Do something about it, eat healthier, enjoy life more, quite smoking, drink less, exercise and smile more often.
Life is giving you a chance to do something about it before it’s too late. If you do nothing at this point, then you are like Homer Simpson sat asleep in his chair whilst the alarms at the Nuclear power plant are flashing in front of him.
Of course, just in case you should ever find yourself with somebody having a stroke ( and there’s a good chance at some point you will) then familiarize yourself with these signs. Time is of the essence, so act quick.
Step two- Relax.
If your body is constantly surviving, then it can’t take the time to repair properly. Doing nothing is not doing nothing.
Just find one afternoon a week to go for a quite walk in the countryside with no phone. Or have a relaxing bath and listen to the radio.
Tony should also have changed his diet, and indeed he did try to, for a bit. But being so busy he still relied on take away foods during the week, and he still had bargain basement sugary snacks in the house. This brings me onto my next step.
Step Three- Eat well
These nutrition principles can go a long way to warding of heart disease
Including the following foods would also go a long way
Aside from being a good source of protein, Wild Salmon is also great for your heart and your brain.
Avoid farmed salmon, as its higher in pro inflammatory omega 6, go with the higher omega 3 wild salmon which contains natural anti inflammatory omega 3.
According to this 25 year study,, across seven countries and involving 16000 men, people who ate the most beans had an 82% lower risk of heart disease. I like to add black beans to a stir fry, an organic can cost just 90p, I sometimes make burgers with them by using veggies stock and garlic. You can also add kidney and Pinto Beans to Chilli, butterbeans to salad; you could make your own Hummus with chickpeas or just eat a mixed bean salad.
I know many people are still avoiding nuts because of their higher calorie content, yes it’s true that you can get fat on just about anything, there are very few people who are overweight because they have eaten too many nuts. If weight loss is something that you need to do ( this will also lower your risk of heart disease) then by all means make a concerted effort to keep nuts to just a handful, otherwise dig out squirrel face.
Nuts have been shown in numerous reams of research to be massively beneficial for the heart, this is most likely due to their Monounsaturated fat content, which helps repair blood vessels, improves their elasticity and acts as an anti oxidant to prevent free radical damage.
I use Extra Virgin Olive oil as a dressing on salad or on a very low heat when cooking (high temperatures destroy Olive oils health benefits) Spray Olive oil is a waste of time, so don’t bother with it.
These oils are very high in Monounsaturated fats, and it’s thought that the low incidence of heart disease in the Mediterranean is in part due to their Olive Oil intake.
Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables ( cauliflower, bok choi, cabbage, turnip, watercress, radish)
Research by Dr. Paul Thornalley showed how broccoli can reverse symptoms of diabetes because of it sulforaphane content which reduced the free radical damage to the blood vessels. It would be no great leap to presume that this improved blood vessel would greatly benefit those with heart disease. Sulforaphane also lowers the risk for certain cancers, especially in females.
I like to steam broccoli, then add butter, pepper and lemon juice. I also really like to slice the stems and grill them for a sweet tasty snack.
I personally love this advice from the FDA!
Step 4- Cut out
It’s not just what you eat, it’s also what you avoid you eating. Such as
Found in take aways and many processed foods including crisp, pastries, biscuits and ready meals. These fats are a disaster for health. According to the American Heart Foundation, Trans Fats can increase bad cholesterol and decrease good cholesterol; they also increase the chances of you developing diabetes, certain cancers and heart disease.
Some experts think that the increased rise in heart disease is at least in some part due to the switch from butter to margarine which was originally loaded with trans fats.
Butter contains some very health fats such as Conjugated Linoic Acid ( CLA) which helps lower Body fat, it also contains more vitamins and minerals than margarine.
These days many margarines no longer contain Trans fats, they are instead a mixture of butter and vegetable oil. Despite coming from vegetables, this oil is of little health value, the high heat production process destroys.
Ironic that Flora and the British Heart Foundation now sponsor the London Marathon, which is a sport when done in Isolation to extremes without a balanced program or good diet can increase the risk of heart disease.
I am not going to rant on and on any further in this article, but I will add that cutting out the following will also go a very long way to dramatically reducing your risk of heart disease, and extending your life.
I hope you found this article useful, please pass it onto anybody who you think may benefit.
I should also mention that my buddy Phil Richards has an excellent heart health product which contains amongst other things co-q 10, this nutrient essential for energy is dramatically reduced when people take statins.
You can order it here.
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