6 Things You Can Do For Your Heart Today

February is American Heart Month. At PureBalance we are celebrating heart health all month long and want to share some tips on how to get a head start to a healthier heart!

Most of us take active steps to avoid cancer—we try to eat right, watch our sun exposure and have regular check-ups with our physicians. But what have you done lately for the #1 killer of both men and women in America—heart disease? Sure, you don’t smoke, don’t drink alcohol excessively, watch your diet and exercise, but are you really doing what counts? Check out these small, evidence-based tricks and tips to benefit your heart starting today.

Invest in Supportive Relationships

We all know that having loving, supportive relationships feels great, but did you know it directly affects heart health? In one recent study, people with high levels of supportive relationships were significantly less likely to increase their body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference. People with high negative relationships had a 10+ percent increase in waist circumference, as well as increased BMI. Higher BMI readings and waist circumference are significant risk factors for heart disease, so it appears that investing in good relationships with loved ones not only feels great but benefits your heart.

Eat Healthy Fats

For years, fats have gotten a bad rap, but in the last 5-10 years, there is increasing evidence that our fear of fats was unfounded, especially healthy fats. Fats are essential for whole body health, and are especially critical to your heart and brain.

Try to include sources of healthy fat in your diet, such as coconut oil, avocado, olive oil, ghee, nuts and seeds, butter sourced from grass-fed cows, and foods containing omega-3 fatty acids.

Fish, particularly fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, lake trout, sardines, or herring have higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids, a substance which benefits the heart greatly. Omega-3’s reduce the risk of abnormal heart beats, reduce triglyceride levels, slow the growth of plaque in the blood vessels, and lower blood pressure. I generally recommend 2-3 servings (approximately ¾ cup flaked fish) per week to get the optimum benefits.

Of course, some kinds of fish contain high levels of mercury, PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) and other toxic chemicals. Try to stay away from larger fish such as shark, king mackerel, or swordfish, as they have had longer to accumulate these substances.
Watch for our next newsletter which will contain an in-depth analysis of omega-3 supplements.

Boost Your Exercise Routine with Interval Training

Interval training pairs short bursts of vigorous activity with brief periods of rest, and has been shown to increase oxygenation, reduce cardiovascular risk factors, and reduce blood sugar levels. Interval training also improves endothelial function, which is closely linked to cardiovascular health (the endothelium is the inner lining of blood vessels).

If you don’t exercise already, start slowly with a 20-minute walk around the block 3-5 days/week. As your endurance improves, add 1-2 minute bursts of faster, more vigorous walking followed by 30 seconds of slower walking. Alternate between the bursts of activity (A) with rest periods of slower walking (B) so your workout has an ABAB pattern.

If you already have an exercise plan in place, add more formal interval training to your workout. I like this video designed for beginners, but if you want something more vigorous, search online for “interval training for cardiovascular fitness.”

Rethink Your Stress

I’m sure you’re heard a lot of evidence that chronic stress can damage your heart—and you’re not alone in that belief. More than 80 percent of American adults think that stress can have a strong or very strong impact on health, and 94 percent believe that stress contributes to the development of illnesses like heart disease, obesity, and depression.

And while there is plentiful evidence to support the chronic stress/disease connection, what if focusing on the negative impact of stress makes it worse?

Research published in the European Heart Journal found that those who believed stress heavily affected their health had a 50 percent greater risk of dying from heart attack! Remember, this study was not looking at the presence or absence of stress in participants lives, rather it was linked how people thought about stress to their cardiovascular outcomes.

One way to change your mindset is to watch the work of Alia Crum, in particular her Ted Talk on stress mindsets. I also recommend reading Stanford Psychologist Kelly McGonigal’s book The Upside of Stress. This book will help you see how stress can make you “stronger, smarter, and happier” if you can change your mindset and embrace it.

Consider Vitamin K2

Vitamin K2 is likely the most important nutrient you’ve never heard of. While you may be familiar with vitamin K1, the nutrient that helps our blood clot, K2 is greatly unfamiliar to most people. Research has shown K2 to be important for many diseases, including osteoporosis, diabetes, and even cancer. But I find the most promise in using K2 for heart health.

At one point, researchers thought that osteoporosis and calcification of the blood vessels to be unrelated conditions, but there is increasing evidence that a deficiency of vitamin K2 may be at the heart of both!

Without K2, your body can’t activate Matrix Gla Protein (MGP), a substance that inhibits tissue calcification. In other words, without K2, your body sends calcium to your blood vessels, rather than to your bones where it belongs.

During the month of February, get 10% off Vitamin K2 in the PureBalance Shop using promo code heart10 at checkout.

Don't Stress, Get The Cardio Test! 

The blood work most commonly prescribed at your yearly physical (CBC, CMP, and lipid panel) is far from complete where your heart health is concerned. I encourage all of my patients to have a yearly enhanced cardio metabolic panel, which includes an expanded lipid panel that measures the density and number of lipoproteins, vascular inflammation markers including CRP and homocysteine, and metabolic risk factors such as insulin, hA1c, adiponectin, and c-peptides.

We offer a complete Cardiovascular Health panel because it is the most comprehensive cardiovascular heart assessment we've found. If you are interested in having this cardiovascular panel done and learning more, go here.

It’s never too late to help your heart. Small, incremental changes can make a huge impact on your heart disease risk, as well as on your overall health.

Yours in Health,

Dr. Ingrid


Product Of The Month-MegaQuinone K2-7

MegaQuinone K2-7 is 10% off during the month of February when you use code heart10 at checkout! To purchase in our shop, GO HERE.

MegaQuinone is a high-dose, 100% soy-free formulation of natural vitamin K2 (MK-7) formulated for optimal bone, nerve, and heart health. This formula includes 320 mcg of vitamin K2 with vitamin K1 and chelated minerals for absorption.

Given the major health benefits, vitamin K2 is arguably the most important dietary supplement out there, primarily because it can’t be found in sufficient quantities in the average Western diet.

In the last 40 years, researchers have realized that vitamin K2 is responsible for activating, or carboxylating, vitamin K-dependent proteins (VKDPs), such as osteocalcin and matrix Gla-protein. When fully carboxylated, osteocalcin attracts calcium into the bones and teeth. Matrix Gla-protein (MGP) helps to prevent vascular calcification by pulling calcium out of soft tissues, including arteries and veins. Without a sufficient source of K2, both osteocalcin and MGP can remain partially uncarboxylated or completely uncarboxylated, allowing calcium to deposit in the blood vessels rather than the bone, where we need it the most.

Benefits of MegaQuinone K2-7

  • The only 320 mcg, natural vitamin MK-7 supplement on the market
  • Guaranteed stability
  • Solvent-free during production
  • Soy-Free, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free and Non-GMO
  • Vegan, Kosher and Halal
  • Formulated with chelated minerals for enhanced absorption
  • Published safety studies
  • Supported by multiple new patents

MegaQuinone K2-7 is 10% off during the month of February when you use code heart10 at checkout! To purchase in our shop, GO HERE.

 


Baked Salmon With Garlic


For a healthy meal packed with protein and Omega-3 fatty acids , try this delicious salmon recipe. The American Heart Association advises eating salmon and other omega-3 rich foods twice a week for benefits that go beyond heart health.

 

 Ingredients

  • 4 cloves garlic (small, minced)
  • 1 tablespoon parsley (heaping; chopped)
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Dash kosher salt
  • Dash black pepper
  • 4 salmon fillets (about 4 to 6 ounces each)
  • 3 lemons (divided)
  1. Heat oven to 375 F.
  2. Lightly grease a 9-by-13-by-2-inch baking pan or line the pan with foil and lightly oil the foil
  3. In a small bowl, combine the minced garlic, parsley and olive oil; blend the ingredients well.
  4. Arrange the salmon fillets in the prepared baking pan and spread the garlic and parsley mixture evenly over them. Sprinkle the fillets lightly with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  5. Bake the salmon for about 20 minutes or until the fillets register 145 F or flake easily with a fork.
  6. Meanwhile, juice one of the lemons.
  7. Drizzle the baked salmon fillets with two tablespoons of lemon juice.
  8. Slice the remaining lemon into wedges and serve them with the salmon.

Recipe source: The Spruce Eats https://www.thespruceeats.com/baked-salmon-with-garlic-3056832


Happy Holidays!

Wishing you and your loved ones peace, health and happiness in the coming New Year!

Holiday hours:

Monday, December 23rd 9:00 am-5:00 pm
Tuesday,December 24th CLOSED
Wednesday, December 25th CLOSED
Thursday, December 26th CLOSED
Friday, December 27th 9:00 am - 1:00 pm

Monday, December 30th 9:00 am - 1:00 pm
Tuesday, December 31st CLOSED
Wednesday, January 1st CLOSED
Thursday, January 2nd 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Friday, January 3rd 9:00 am - 1:00 pm


7 Day Detox Program

PureBalance 7 Day Detox Program

Feeling bloated and tired after the holidays?

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Call us for information on our 7-Day Detox program and start your 2019 feeling great !!!


No-Bake Chocolate Coconut Snowballs

No-Bake Chocolate Coconut Snowballs

Ingredients:

4 cups unsweetened organic shredded coconut
2 Tbsp unrefined coconut oil
6 Tbsp pure maple syrup
4 Tbsp unsweetened coconut milk (I used an organic variety from a can)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 cup organic dark chocolate, melted with 1 Tbsp unrefined coconut oil (the coconut oil makes the melted chocolate smooth)
Additional coconut for dusting if desired.

Instructions:

  1. Place shredded coconut and coconut oil into a food processor.
  2. Process on high speed, scraping down the sides occasionally, until it reaches an almost buttery consistency.
  3. Add the maple syrup, coconut milk, vanilla extract, and salt and process on high speed until ingredients are combined.
  4. Shape the coconut mixture into 1” balls.
  5. Place on wax paper, and refrigerate for at last an hour, or set in the freezer for 30 minutes.
  6. Once the coconut balls are very firm, melt the dark chocolate, and coconut oil in a small saucepan over medium heat for just a minute or two, stirring constantly.
  7. Once the chocolate is melted, carefully dip the coconut balls into the melted chocolate and sprinkle with a tiny bit of shredded coconut
  8. Allow the chocolate to harden by placing the coconut balls back into the refrigerator for 5-10 minutes.
  9. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator or freezer, for up to a week.

Enjoy!


Butternut Squash Soup

This Butternut Squash soup is a delicious and nutritious addition to any Thanksgiving dish!

Ingredients:

  • Avocado oil
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed
  • 2 small zucchinis, peeled and cubed
  • 1 celery root, peeled and cubed
  • 2 leek stalks, chopped
  • 5 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 6 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  • salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Coat the bottom of a large pot with avocado oil, and add the chopped vegetables and sauté until the leek is translucent, be careful not to burn the vegetables.
  2. Add 6 cups of vegetable stock and add a sprig of thyme.
  3. Simmer on low for about 40 minutes, or until all vegetables are tender.
  4. Remove the thyme before blending the soup. I like to use my Vitamix to blend it thoroughly, but a hand mixer will do the job too.
  5. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Optional garnish: sour cream, fresh parsley, avocado, seeds, cheese, etc.
Bon Appétit!

turkey for the holidays

Does Turkey really make you sleepy?

The Turkey Coma – It isn’t Tryptophan!

The common belief is that the turkey you eat is loaded with tryptophan, which makes you sleepy after your Thanksgiving meal. While it is true that turkey contains tryptophan, an amino acid precursor for serotonin and melatonin, there is no more tryptophan in turkey than in chicken or beef.

Perhaps the fatigue is related more to the size of the meal consumed, rather than the content? The concept to consider is the important connection between the brain and the gut. In fact, at PureBalance, we believe that health begins in the gut, just as the father of medicine, Hippocrates stated.

There is strong evidence to suggest that microorganisms in the gut play an important role in bidirectional communication between the gut and the central nervous system. In fact, science now considers our gut our second brain.

The Second Brain

Have you ever felt uneasy? Had butterflies in your stomach? This is your second brain, responsible for controlling digestion. Your gastrointestinal tract is composed of 2 thin layers of nerve cells called the ENS or Enteric Nervous System. These cells communicate directly with the brain.

The ENS is comprised of more than 100 million nerve cells that communicate with your brain. Researchers have evidence that suggests that emotional shifts and mood swings may be the result of ENS signals.

With millions of nerves and neurons running between your gut and brain, gut health is intricately tied to brain and overall body health. Since the neurotransmitters and other chemicals produced in your gut affect your brain, scientists believe strongly that by altering the types of bacteria in your gut, it may be possible to improve your brain health, and ultimately, your overall body health.

At PureBalance, we have first hand success with helping stressed and unhealthy bodies by focusing on gut health. Don’t feel tired and bloated this Thanksgiving. Eat a healthy portion, take an after-dinner walk, and try our featured product, MegaSporeBiotic. The bacteria in MegaSporeBiotic will improve your digestion and encourage healthy communication between your gut and your brain!

Turn down the dial on your holiday stress with this month’s featured product – MegaSporeBiotic.  Password: PBhealth


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Could This be the Missing Link?

What is MTHFR?

Are You Struggling to Find Solutions to Your Health Problems?

MTHFR is a gene that instructs the body in its production of a certain enzyme called methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase. When you eat food that contains folic acid (a form of vitamin B-9), MTHFR converts the folic acid into methyl-folate an active form of folate which optimizes an incredible number of important processes in your body.

So, you ask, why do I care about MTHFR?

There are mutations in this gene that have been identified that change the way you metabolize and convert nutrients in your diet. These mutations affect everyone differently, but research has shown an association between MTHFR and several health problems including ADHD, Autism, Autoimmune disease, Cardio Vascular disease, Chronic fatigue, IBS, and more.

Migraines, hormone and thyroid problems have also been linked to MTHFR. In addition, MTHFR is also one of the many possible culprits for the development or progression of gallbladder, pancreatic, and liver diseases.

The Bad News

Over 40% of the world’s population has some type of MTHFR gene mutation.

The Good News

There are natural treatments for MTHFR symptoms. A few healthy lifestyle changes and natural supplements can help support your body’s metabolic and methylation processes.
At PureBalance Natural Family Health Center, we are devoted to helping you find solutions to your health concerns. Our patients can get a blood test done at our office to find out if they indeed have this mutation, providing valuable information to fine tune a HealthyYou plan.

Find out more about MTHFR and the natural solutions available to you. Find your HealthyYou!

Call us today at 224-521-1212 to schedule your blood test to find out if an MTHFR mutation is the missing link that is keeping you from feeling your optimal self!