natural heart protection

  1. Omega-3s protect the heart

    Protect your heart with fats

    Want to protect your heart? Forget aspirin... stop the statins... and don't even touch those BP meds.

    Fill your plate with delicious fatty fish instead -- and, while you're at it, take a fish oil supplement -- because the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish can do more to protect your heart than those meds ever will.

    That's true for anyone. But it's especially true for people who already have heart problems -- and in the new study, the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil were shown to help the hearts of patients with metabolic syndrome in at least four different ways:

    First, it can improve your flow-mediated dilation. That's a measure of blood flow so critical to heart health that every 1 percent dip in FMD can increase your risk of heart problems by 12 percent.

    Second, those 2 grams a day can improve your pulse wave velocity, a key measure of arterial stiffness.

    Third, it can slash your levels of inflammation, causing your levels of the inflammation marker interleukin­6 to drop.

    And fourth, it can slash your triglycerides. You know I don't give a hoot about LDL and HDL cholesterol, but triglycerides are another story -- the higher they are, the higher your heart risk.

    But plain old fish oil can bring them down to where they need to be.

    Of course, you don't have to be suffering from metabolic syndrome yourself to get these and other benefits from fish oil. The omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil can help protect your heart, brain, eyes and more -- and that's true whether you're trim and fit, or already fighting off the ravages of heart disease.

    Along with fatty fish, you'll find omega-3s in grass-fed meats and raw dairy.

    But to get what you really need, day in and day out, take a quality fish oil supplement from a maker you trust. Look for one that's been purified to remove sea contaminants such as mercury.

  2. A handful of nuts could save your life

    Why you should go nuts for nuts

    OK, this is going to sound a little nutty -- but if you want to protect your heart, prevent a stroke, fight cancer and cheat death all at the same time, crack open some delicious nuts.

    Nuts are loaded with heart-healthy fats. In fact, they're among the few non-animal fats that get my full backing, and one new study shows why: the more nuts you eat, the lower your risk of heart disease and an early death.

    Eat nuts every single day, and your risk of death from heart disease plunges by 29 percent and your risk of death from cancer falls by 11 percent, according to the new study.

    Even better, your risk of a premature death from any cause could drop by a full 20 percent.

    You can't say that about any of the common drugs pushed on people today -- BP meds, statins, aspirin, and more. None of them will cut your risk of death and disease that dramatically (or at all, for that matter).

    And unlike drugs that come with big risks, nuts come with big benefits, including a lower risk of obesity, diabetes and stroke.

    The only downside is the price. These days, it seems like you need to take out a second mortgage to get a daily supply of quality nuts. And if you're working on a budget, don't worry -- you can eat nuts less often and still get a benefit.

    Eat them just a couple of times a month, and you could drop your risk of an early death by 7 percent. Up your intake to a couple of times a week, and that risk could fall by 13 percent.

    The best way to eat nuts is raw and unpasteurized. Unfortunately, pasteurized almonds are commonly sold as raw -- and this deception is not just allowed, it's encouraged and even required by the feds.

    It's a similar story for cashews, which are often extracted using heat -- but as long as they haven't been heated AFTER that extraction, they can be called "raw."

    Do your homework; you can find truly raw nuts if you look around.

  3. When to seek help for your heart

    Cardiac arrest has a 90 percent death rate outside the hospital. Learn the warning signs so you beat the odds and survive.
  4. Daily aspirin hurts more than it helps

    Aspirin's called a "wonder drug." But new research shows daily aspirin is twice as likely to hurt you as it is to help.
  5. Faster angioplasty doesn't save lives

    Rushing to put more heart patients through angioplasty faster hasn't saved lives, according to new research.
  6. Beer improves heart health

    Beer could help protect your heart by keeping arteries and elastic and improving the flow of blood.
  7. How sugar damages the heart

    Sugar can create the conditions in the heart that lead to failure, new research confirms.
  8. Anger fits boost heart risk

    People who throw temper tantrums have a much higher risk of a heart attack than people who stay calm.
  9. Magnesium proven to slash heart risk in seniors

    Magnesium, the mineral involved in hundreds of functions throughout the body, can cut your risk of death from heart disease in half.

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