Coronary heart disease is the #1 killer in the United States. Accounting for 1 in every 4 deaths, it takes the lives of 600,000 people every year!(1) According the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report(2), heart disease has been the leading cause of death since 1921. That tells me that we are doing something very wrong in the way we approach the treatment of heart disease and our health in general. There has to be a better way. Is there something more effective than the standard medical treatments?
Image courtesy of dream designs at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
This week, Wellness Achiever subscriber, Brian asked:
What is the best way to remove plaque from the artery walls that accumulate through eating bad foods?”
This is a great question! Fortunately, there is a much better solution than the modern medical treatment for heart disease. For the answer, we have to go back to the early days of medicine.
It really comes down to what Hippocrates, The Father of Medicine, said over 2,400 years ago:
Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” ~Hippocrates
We have all seen the drug commercials, that state “When diet and exercise alone are not enough… add this drug that will lower your cholesterol (and make you impotent, cause nerve damage, muscle weakness, heart attacks, strokes and death!)”
Indeed, statin drugs are effective at lowering your cholesterol. BUT, the have little to no clinical benefit in reducing death due to heart attack or stroke. I covered this issue fully here: Heart Disease And The Cholesterol Myth and Healing Heart Disease Naturally. Read these articles to gain clarity on the real cause of heart disease (hint: it is not cholesterol) and why statin drugs have been an utter failure.
When diet and exercise aren’t enough – change your diet and exercise! You body is designed to heal itself. You can heal but it requires the right kind and amount of diet and exercise.
What is Coronary Heart Disease?
The National Library of Medicine defines it as: “…a narrowing of the small blood vessels that supply blood and oxygen to the heart. CHD is also called coronary artery disease.”(3) This narrowing is caused by buildup of fatty plaques in the arteries. Early on, cholesterol was identified as a major component of these plaques and it was tagged as the enemy.
Cholesterol is not the enemy of your heart, it is the hero of your healing! ← Tweet this!
Medical science went about developing hundreds of drugs to treat cholesterol and artificially lower blood pressure. It is as if no one ever stopped to ask “What is causing, or allowing, the cholesterol to build up in the arteries and cause plaquing?”
The first step in coronary heart disease is damage to the lining of your arteries. That is why cholesterol is there. Its job is to heal the injury. If cholesterol is not available to do this – because you are lowering it artificially with a statin drug, for example – you are more likely to die of a heart attack due to that damaged artery!
The next question should be “What causes damage to the arteries?” The answer is inflammation. Systemic inflammation is at the root cause of many, if not all, diseases. Inflammation damages the cells that line your arteries, causing a separation between the cells.
It is cholesterol’s job to repair the damaged cells. Every cell in your body has a outer layer, or membrane of fat. The cell membrane is made up of about fifty percent cholesterol. Without cholesterol, you will have unhealthy, weak cells. When cells are damaged, cholesterol is necessary to repair them.
As we trace back to the primary cause of coronary heart disease, what do you think the next question is? Yes. “What causes inflammation?” This is the million dollar question. In fact, it is the $109 Billion question – the cost to treat heart disease every single year!(1)
Out-of-control systemic inflammation is produced by your LIFESTYLE. It is also brought back into balance by your lifestyle and no other way. In Healing Heart Disease Naturally, I discussed the four components of an anti-inflammatory lifestyle that help you balance inflammation naturally.
When inflammation continues out of control in your body, it continues to damage the arteries. As a result, more and more cholesterol is produced by your body to heal the damaged cells.
Your body is designed to heal itself but inflammation interferes with that normal healing process. Until the interference – inflammation – is removed, the damage to the arteries continues. This is what causes the cholesterol to build up over time, producing a plaque.
Now, let’s look at a couple common medical treatments for coronary heart disease . Then we will review the best natural treatments to remove plaque from your arteries.
Medical Treatment for Coronary Heart Disease
One option that is used by modern medicine to remove plaque from arteries is literally pulling it out of the arteries during open heart surgery. This 3 minute video tells the story of an average American man who developed heart disease and demonstrates how fatty plaques are removed from the arteries. It is somewhat graphic but please watch it. It will change the way you view the foods you eat – a necessary step for your healing. (disclaimer: I am not associated with the website mentioned before and after this video and cannot recommend it)
Artherosclerotic Plaque Surgery
As you noticed, this video is a bit aged but the medical procedure is the same. However, there are newer methods that are now used to accomplish the same thing. This 1.5 minute video demonstrates a common, newer procedure.
Removing Arterial Plaque
Now, knowing what you know about the cause of heart disease, what do either of these highly invasive procedures do to correct the CAUSE of heart disease? Absolutely nothing!
Natural Solutions for Removing Plaque from Arteries
First, lets start with this short video from CNN News with Sanjay Gupta. You need to understand that diet CAN and DOES reverse heart disease and inflammation.
Dr. Esselstyn Diet Reverses Heart Disease
Six Steps to Heal Coronary Heart Disease Naturally
Transition to a Plant-based, Anti-inflammatory Diet – Most sources of inflammation stem from an acidic and inflammatory diet. Reversing this is key to healing inflammation. The first consideration in an anti-inflammatory diet is eliminating the inflammatory foods mentioned here. The second step is incorporating as many alkaline foods as possible into your daily diet. This includes all vegetables (the less cooked, the better), low sugar fruits (berries and green apples), most nuts and seeds (almonds, walnuts, flax seeds and Chia seeds), and healthy fats.
Consume Foods Rich in Antioxidant and Polyphenols – Green tea, berries, melons, kiwis, brightly colored vegetables and dark green leafy vegetables are rich sources. Antioxidants and polyphenols fight free radicals that cause inflammation and damage your cells.
Consume Foods High in Soluble Fiber – Soluble fiber is digestible. As a result, it cleans out your arteries and removes the plaque similar to the that way non-soluble fiber cleans out your colon. The richest source of soluble fiber is avocados. An avocado has a whopping 3 grams of soluble fiber (as opposed to 1 gram in a bowl of Cheerios). Eat one avocado every day. You can slice it over your salad, make guacamole, or add it to your green smoothie. Other good sources of soluble fiber include: Black beans, kidney beans and navy beans (2 grams/serving), unprocessed oatmeal (1.4 grams/serving), oat bran (2.2 grams/serving), Brussels sprouts (2 grams/serving), turnips, sweet potatoes and asparagus (1.7+ grams/serving), and flax seeds (1.1 grams/serving).
Consume Healthy Fats – Unhealthy fats easily oxidize and cause inflammation. Unhealthy fats include trans fats, canola oil, vegetable oil, soybean oil, sunflower oil and safflower oil. If you have any of these in your home – throw them away now! Conversely, consuming healthy fats every day heals the damaged cell membranes and balances inflammation. Healthy fats include coconut oil, olive oil, whole avocados, flax seeds, chia seeds, and fish oil or krill oil. Nuts (walnuts and almonds especially) contain healthy fat, as well as, fiber and vitamin E – all necessary for healing.
Supplement with Fish oil or Krill oil. Fish oil and krill oil are concentrated sources of healthy, healing fat. They are very helpful when you are actively dealing with inflammation, arterial plaque and heart disease.
Metabolic Conditioning Exercise. This type of exercise has many wonderful benefits. It is characterized by high intensity, short duration exercises. It results in increases in growth hormone and testosterone and decreases in the stress hormone cortisol. This supercharges your body’s fat burning and muscle building/toning, stops inflammation and reverses metabolic syndromes (diabetes, obesity, syndrome X, heart disease). Best of all, it can be accomplished in as little as 12-15 minutes per day! Read Busting the Top 4 Exercise Myths for more details on metabolic conditioning exercise.
I hope that you now feel more empowered. You now know that your body can heal itself. You can heal heart disease naturally and now you know how!
Question: Do you feel encouraged and empowered with this information? Which of these six methods for healing heart disease naturally will you start today?
References for this article:
(4) 1. Alberts, et al., Molecular Biology of the Cell: Fourth Edition, New York: Garland Science, 2002, p. 588