Don't let your heart take you before your time

Imagine... you go in for routine heart surgery, but you never make it out alive.

You should have come out just fine. You weren't ready to go yet. But instead, complications from that surgery became deadly.

I'm not trying to scare you to death (so to speak), but this is a very real possibility -- one that we were reminded of recently with the news of a celebrity death.

You might not recognize Bill Paxton by name, but you know his face. He was all over the big screen over the last 30 years -- whether it was fighting aliens, chasing storms, slinging guns, or hunting for treasure.

He had a lot of life in him, and, at just 61 years old, he had a lot of life LEFT in him.

That is, until a heart surgery-related stroke put him down for the count.

And according to a new CDC report, he didn't have to make his grand exit so soon. And neither do you.

Because heart disease -- a top killer in this country -- is entirely preventable.

Remember that it takes YEARS for heart disease to become a problem. That gives you some time to stop heart disease before it starts.

Now, the feds and I don't 100 percent agree on how you can dodge the heart disease bullet -- especially since the CDC is still hyper-focused on what it considers "high" cholesterol and "high" blood pressure.

But they are right about one thing: Especially if you've got a family history of heart problems, make sure what you're eating isn't tipping the scales out of your favor.

You may think you're eating "healthy" food, but if it's wrapped in plastic or was shipped halfway across the country (or around the world), it's probably loaded with preservatives and other chemicals that won't do your heart a bit of good.

If you've been reading my eTips for a while now, you know I'm a staunch proponent of the Paleo Diet.

It's not just that it takes your eating habits "back to basics" by relying on foods that our ancestors would've eaten. I'm actually OK with you eating something that your ancestors would've never had any access to -- as long as it's fresh and not processed or packaged.

While you're at it, get outside and move around a little. At the very least, you'll lower your stress levels. (And that can be a life-saver.)

Finally, as I shared with you in the February issue of my Nutrition & Healing newsletter, make sure you're getting enough vitamin C. According to the research by legendary scientist Dr. Linus Pauling (who discovered C's ability to fight the common cold), a long-term deficiency of vitamin C can trigger the development of deposits in the arteries of the heart, as associated with atherosclerosis.

In fact, according to their research, low levels of C -- sometimes referred to as ascorbate deficiency -- are a COMMON DENOMINATOR of cardiovascular disease in humans.

You can get vitamin C supplements pretty much anywhere, for just pennies a day.