Celebrate Hearth Health!

6 Things You Can Do For Your Heart Today

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.

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.”

4. 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.

5. 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.

There are a number of different forms of vitamin K2, the one that is best absorbed and most stable is K2-7 (also known as MK-7 or menaquinone-7). Typical doses range from 45 mcg to 320 mcg/day, and the most compelling research on K2 and heart health show significant benefit in a higher dose. Most of the vitamin K2 supplements use a K2 source that degrades quickly in the capsule, unfortunately resulting in much lower levels of K2 than claimed on the labels. In our research, only supplements with K2 sourced from MenaquinGold were found to have as much K2 present in the supplement as was promised on the label.

6. Get Tested

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.

In the office, we offer a complete CardioMetabolic panel from SpectraCell Labs because it is the most comprehensive assessment cardiovascular health we have ever seen. To read more about our favorite test for heart health, click here. In honor of Heart Health Month, SpectraCell Labs is offering a February-only price of $10 for the CardioMetabolic panel when combined with the Micronutrient Panel (a combined price of $190).

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.


De-stress During the Holidays!

I love the holiday season. But with all the parties, presents, and chaos comes stress.  If you are feeling less than thankful this year, I have a few quick and easy remedies in mind.

First, I'd suggest a 30-minute visit to our Far-infrared Sauna. Not only is this the best stress-busting bargain on the North Shore ($30 for 30 minutes), it also will relax and gently detoxify your body.

Just one relaxing twenty-minute session on the MindFit Neuro Trainer will reduce the effects of stress, and enhance your sense of health and wellbeing. Most people feel a difference after just one session on the MindFit Neuro Trainer, but for optimal results, try 4-5 sessions.

Acupuncture is another wonderful way to reduce your stress this season, while at the same time increasing your whole body energy.

Treat yourself to a relaxing massage. Our wonderful massage therapist, Clare, works the stress out of your tired muscles, preparing you for more holiday shopping.

We wish you and yours a very happy holiday season, and make sure to take some time for self-care during this hectic time of year!

Cheers to a healthier you!

dr. ingrid

 

 

 

 


Don't Worry, Be Healthy!

Don’t Worry, Be Healthy!

Your body is amazingly resilient. It can fight infection, digest foods it has never encountered before, and provide the adrenaline spurt needed to get away from a (hopefully imaginary) threat. But keeping your body healthy and resilient requires more than simply eating right and exercising. It also requires dealing with stress. Stress can have a major impact on our mental and physical health if we let it. And stress can build, adding to your load over a lifetime.

There are a great number of ways to deal with stress. Some of my favorites include slow, diaphragmatic breathing, yoga, and using the MindFit neuro trainer. One of the real benefits of using the Mindfit neuro trainer is the time required. In just a twenty minute session, the Mindfit neuro trainer will utilize light and sound technology to create an individualized program just for you, targeting your specific issues.

You’ll lie down on a comfortable massage table, and be fitted with high tech ear phones and next generation glasses which will help you overcome the ill effects of the fight-or-flight response. Thirty dollars a session gets you one step closer to a more relaxed, healthful you.

Click here for more information about this unique stress busting technique.

Cheers to a healthier you!

dr. ingrid

 


Protect Yourself and Your Family from the “Flu Epidemic”

The bombardment of daily news reports about the “flu epidemic” sweeping the nation has prompted us to send out this special newsletter. The best way to protect yourself and your family from the flu is to bolster your immune system.

Remember: Prevention is the key to protecting your health!

The Real Reason You Become Ill

Most people believe they can catch a cold or the flu from other people. However, the truth is only a small percentage of people exposed to a pathogen will become ill. The vast majority will not experience any symptoms at all! That’s because viruses and bacteria are not the only source of colds or the flu. The internal environment of your body is the real reason you’re susceptible to any infection. Germs will only lead to illness when the body is out of balance and the immune system is in a weakened state.

Factors that contribute to the body being out of balance and a weakened immune system include poor nutrition, dehydration, overuse of antibiotics, lack of sleep, excessive environmental toxins, and physical, mental or emotional stress. But, by making a few changes now, it’s possible to strengthen your body’s natural immunity.

At PureBalance Natural Family Health Center, we offer a simple and gentle approach to prevention – the PureBalance Botanical Remedies PureLung and PureLymph. These remedies are the perfect combination of organic or wild-crafted herbs, which work synergistically to boost your body’s immune system and bolster its ability to defend against bacteria and viruses. In addition, this combination actually destroys and eliminates any existing infections in the body. All of the PureBalance Botanicals are the most complete and potent botanical remedies available!

Health-Protecting Tips:

The best offense available for preventing colds or flu is to follow these health-protecting tips:

  •   Keep your body well-hydrated
  •   Get plenty of rest
  •   Eat a balanced diet rich in greens, fruit, lean proteins, nuts, seeds, and limited sprouted grains
  •   Be sure to eliminate processed foods, fast foods and refined sugar.
  •   Take 30 drops each of PureLung and PureLymph diluted in some water daily

Another way to ensure your immune system is up for the “epidemic” battle is to check your serum vitamin D levels. Low levels of vitamin D are associated with weather-related depression, low immunity and increased risks for infection. Vitamin D should be taken with your heaviest meal to insure the body’s optimal absorption of this essential nutrient. Don’t know your vitamin D levels? Call us we can help!

 Just in case:  The Best Response

Sometimes the levels of stress in your life can deplete the immune system, making an even well-balanced body susceptible to illness. In that case, a swift response to the onset of cold or flu symptoms can greatly shorten the duration and severity of being ill.

The first step is recognizing the changes in your body as soon as they occur:  a runny nose, glassy eyes, sore throat, headache, sinus pain, cough or fatigue are the most common, first signs of a cold or the flu.

When those signs appear, immediately increase the dosage of PureLung and PureLymph to 30 drops, three times per day. These same botanicals serve as both a barrier to entry and the ammunition to eliminate infection.

Also be sure to drink plenty of water, get extra rest, drink immune boosting green drinks, and eat our immune-boosting soup.

If an infection sets in…

If a routine cold turns into full blown sinusitis (inflammation of the sinuses) or an upper respiratory infection, consider Neurological Stress Reduction Therapy (NSRT). NSRT will help you better understand the nature of the infection, as well as check the function of all the systems of the body. The subsequent protocols we develop will work specifically against the type of infection your body is experiencing, and work to reverse the organ and gland weaknesses responsible for chronic infection.

A recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found that antibiotic therapy for sinusitis was ineffective. However, sinusitis does respond very well to acupuncture sessions, which are available at our clinic. The best results are achieved when acupuncture is combined with low level laser for specific anti-inflammatory and immune boosting effects.

Bounce Back Faster with Far-Infrared Sauna

Far-Infrared Sauna (FIR) is an excellent way to boost your immune system and mobilize your body’s defenses against infection. FIR saunas are safer than traditional saunas because there are no hot surfaces or high temperatures. Less than 20 percent of the infrared energy heats the air, leaving 80 percent available to be directly converted to heat within the body.

FIR creates two to three times more sweat volume of the body than conventional saunas. This deep heating, along with sweating, is responsible for the healing effects and the other health benefits associated with FIR, including detoxification, cardiovascular conditioning, and calorie burning.

Research also shows that using the FIR Sauna shortens the duration of colds and the flu. The immune benefits are unsurpassed, and the relaxation effects alone make it worth the time and trip to our office. We provide a rain-shower, organic soap and shampoo and towels to enhance your sauna experience.

PureBalance Natural Family Health Center Is Your Prevention Center

Your best chance for avoiding the “flu epidemic” is to think prevention and take immediate action at the first signs of symptoms. Be sure your family has on hand the supplements needed to stay healthy this winter.

PureBalance Natural Family Health Center is your ultimate resource for maintaining health year-round. Call us today for an appointment or more information: 224.521.1212.

 


The Best Way to Beat a Cold or the Flu is to PREVENT it – Get Started Today!

The fall season is here and with its arrival we’re experiencing cooler temperatures. You can take action today to prepare yourself and your family for the coming “cold and flu season.”  Prevention is the key!

The Real Reason You Become Ill

Most people believe they can catch a cold or the flu from other people. You’ll often hear someone say, “The flu is going around,” and then express concern that they may get it from an ill person who shares their workspace or living environment.

But the truth is only a small percentage of people exposed to a pathogen will become ill. The vast majority will not experience any symptoms at all! That’s because viruses and bacteria are not the only source of colds or the flu. The internal environment of your body is the real reason you’re susceptible to colds, flu or any other infections. Germs will only lead to illness when the body is out of balance and the immune system is in a weakened state.

Factors that contribute to the body being out of balance and a weakened immune system include poor nutrition, dehydration, overuse of antibiotics, lack of sleep, excessive environmental toxins, and physical, mental or emotional stress. By making a few key changes now, however, it’s possible for you and your family to avoid becoming ill this winter.

Take the offense

At Pure Balance Natural Family Health Center, we offer a simple and gentle approach to prevention: Pure Balance Botanical Remedies PureLung and PureLymph. These remedies are the perfect combination of herbs, which work synergistically to boost your body’s immune system and bolster its ability to defend against bacteria and viruses. In addition, this combination actually destroys and eliminates any existing infections in the body.*

Coupled with keeping your body well-hydrated, and eating a balanced, predominantly alkaline diet, taking 30 drops, one time per day of PureLung and PureLymph is the best offense for keeping your body in balance and able to prevent colds or flu.

All of the PureBalance Botanicals are manufactured in a unique way, based on the ancient tradition of spagyrics processing, which makes them the most complete and potent botanical remedies available anywhere!  In addition, all PureBalance botanicals use herbal ingredients that are organic or wild crafted.

Just in case:  The Best Response

Sometimes the levels of stress in your life can deplete the immune system, making an even well-balanced body susceptible to illness. In that case, a fast response to the onset of cold or flu symptoms can greatly shorten the duration of being ill.

The first step is recognizing the changes in your body as soon as occur:  a runny nose, glassy eyes, sore throat, headache, sinus pain, cough or fatigue are the most common, first signs of a cold or the flu.

When those signs appear, immediately increase the dosage of PureLung and PureLymph to 30 drops, three times per day. These same botanicals serve as both a barrier to entry and the ammunition to eliminate infection.

Also be sure to drink plenty of water and other warm liquids (like our yummy soup recipe), and get extra rest.

Check Your Vitamin D Levels before Winter Arrives

One of the best ways to ensure your immune system is up for the cold-weather battle is to check your serum vitamin D levels.  Low levels of vitamin D are associated with weather=related depression, low immunity and increased risks for infection. Call our office today to schedule a vitamin D assessment.

If Infection Sets in…

If a routine cold turns into full blown sinusitis (inflammation of the sinuses) or an upper respiratory infection, consider Neurological Stress Reduction Therapy (NSRT).  NSRT will help us better understand the nature of the infection, as well as check the function of all the systems of the body. The subsequent protocols we develop will work specifically against the type of infection your body is experiencing, and work to reverse the organ and gland weaknesses responsible for chronic infection.

A recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found that antibiotic therapy for sinusitis was ineffective.  However, sinusitis does respond very well to acupuncture sessions at our clinic. The best results are achieved when acupuncture is combined with low level laser for specific anti-inflammatory and immune boosting effects.

PureBalance Natural Family Health Center: Your Prevention Center

Your best chance for a healthy winter is to think prevention and take immediate action at the first signs of symptoms.  PureBalance Natural Family Health Center has the tools to keep you feeling vibrant and healthy year-round, especially during the “cold and flu’ season. Call us today for more information: 224.521.1212.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.