American Heart Month: Live Well with Naturopathic Medicine
Nearly everyone associates February with Valentine’s Day and with all things heart shaped, from candy and flowers to cards and heart shaped jewelry. But not everyone knows that February is also American Heart Month. The tradition began in 1964 with President Lyndon Johnson signing a proclamation approved by a joint resolution of Congress, designating February of every year as American Heart Month. This designation, as well as the government’s recognition that heart disease is a serious public health threat, has helped bring the facts about heart disease and prevention to the forefront of the news each and every year.
American Heart Month Combats an Epidemic:
Although there are many types of heart ailments, including rhythm irregularities and valve problems among others, the greatest threat to health in the U.S. remains heart disease caused by coronary artery blockage. Due to educational efforts put forth over the years by the American Heart Association (AHA), most people became aware of the basics the AHA said the public needed to keep their hearts healthy and functioning normally:
- A diet low in saturated fat, sugar, and cholesterol with an emphasis on plenty of fruits and vegetables.
- Regular aerobic exercise such as brisk walking, jogging, swimming or biking.
- Maintenance of a healthy body weight and monitoring Body Mass Index (BMI).
- Eliminating smoking, limiting alcohol intake and controlling stress.
But many Americans, even though they are aware of these recommendations, still smoke, remain overweight, do not exercise regularly and consume a high calorie, high sugar diet that is a recipe for disaster. And this is not entirely their fault!
What is Contributing to Heart Disease Being the Leading Cause of Death?
One reason that heart disease claims the lives of 614,348 people each year is because most healthcare practitioners don’t really take the time to educate their patients and give them specific, practical strategies on how to implement a healthy heart lifestyle. Instead, they just say something along the lines of, “Just eat better and I want you to lose weight. Here’s a prescription for some cholesterol pills. See you in three months.”
Despite recent evidence that good quality grass-fed beef, pasture raised eggs and butter made from the milk of grass-fed cows can actually be part of a healthy diet, many physicians still recommend outdated, low-fat, low-calorie tasteless diet plans to their patients. In some cases, these generic suggestions can actually make heart conditions even worse for certain individuals.
How Can Naturopathic Medicine Help Fight This Battle?
Naturopathic medicine takes a different approach. We work with you to plan an individualized lifestyle program to prevent heart disease in the first place. And if heart disease is already present, we combine that lifestyle program with a variety of non-toxic, natural remedies such as specific herbs, vitamins, and nutraceuticals plus naturopathic treatments to counter the disease and reduce inflammation in your body. We will also gladly work with your physician or cardiologist to formulate the best plan for you and your specific condition.
So consider adding a few delicious anti-inflammatory foods to your diet. Such foods include healthy fats in wild-caught fish, coconut oil, high-quality proteins found in pastured poultry, grass-fed beef, and of course, plenty of fresh vegetables. The next step would be to contact Access to Health to make an appointment with our Naturopathic Physician who will work with you to determine the best plan to keep your heart beating stronger than ever!
If you have a family history of heart disease or you would like to know more about how naturopathic care can help you lead a healthy and fulfilling life, call us at (860) 889-1475 to make an appointment. New patients can even fill out all of the necessary forms prior to their visit!