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Reversing Heart Disease

Updated on April 16, 2018
Pamela99 profile image

After 22 years as an RN, I now write about medical issues and new medical advances. Diet, exercise, treatment, and lifestyle are important.

How Can You Prevent Heart Disease

If you read my hub, Women and Heart Disease, then, you know what the statistics are, so the priority at this time is to recover and prevent heart disease in your future. Heart disease in women has steadily increased over the past few years, and their symptoms when having a heart attack are not necessarily the same as the man's symptoms.

Most people survive their first heart attack and return to their normal lives to enjoy many more years of productive activity. Having any type of cardiac event in your life means you need to make some changes in your life to extend the length of your life.

Dr. Dean Ornish, a well-known cardiologist, has done numerous scientific studies and proven that coronary heart disease can be reversed. He focused on diet, exercise and meditation to reduce stress. He has written six best selling books and been on numerous TV specials.

Exercising in Cardiac Rehabilitation Program

source modernmedicalguide
source modernmedicalguide

Cardiac Rehabilitation

One of the things you can do after you've had heart surgery or a heart attack is join a cardiac rehabilitation program. You will have monitored exercise that starts slowly and builds as your endurance increases.

Also, classes are taught on good nutrition, medications related to heart and blood pressure, stress reduction, when you can resume sex, and how you will continue to exercise once you have completed the program.

In my experience, I found that most people enjoy the program. I think one reason is because they were with other people that had the same problem, so they develop some camaraderie with the group. The progress I saw patients make in six weeks was amazing. As people learned to take control of their lives, they built up new confidence in the future. They are able to resume household tasks and a busy lifestyle while feeling good.

Typical Cardiac Rehab Program

American Heart Association Statement

Current guidelines from the American Heart Association and the American Association of cardiovascular and pulmonary rehabilitation emphasized the importance of cardiac rehabilitation, which reduces morbidity and mortality, improves clinical outcomes, enhances and decreases the risk of a second cardiac event.

Bowl of Delicious Oatmeal

source flickr
source flickr

The 10 best foods for your heart

To prevent heart disease you have to make lifestyle changes and it even becomes more important if you had a cardiac event. It is important to lower your cholesterol, particularly LDL and increase the HDL, which primarily is done through exercise. Diet controls the total cholesterol and LDL.

Start your day with a steaming bowl of oatmeal because it is full of Omega three fatty acids, folate and potassium. The steel oats or a more coarsely ground oatmeal is the healthiest choice as they take longer to go through the system, which can cut down on your snacking. This fiber rich food can lower levels of your LDL, which keeps your arteries clear. Adding raisins, sliced banana or other fruit can liven up your breakfast.

Salmon Swimming in Columbia River

source flickr
source flickr

Salmon and Other Foods

Salmon may reduce your risk of dying of a heart attack by up to one third! It is very rich in Omega three fatty acids and salmon canning effectively reduces blood pressure and keeps clotting at a minimum. Salmon ideally should be eaten twice a week. Choose wild salmon over farm raised fish, which can be packed with insecticides, pesticides and heavy metals.

Cardiologist Stephen T Sinatra M.D., "Salmon contains carotenoid astaxanthin, which is the year he powerful antioxidant". If you don't care for salmon you can choose mackerel, tuna, herringb and sardines which will give your heart the same boost. He also recommends anti-inflammatory fruits and vegetables.




Add a little bit of an avocado to a sandwich or any type of salad which ups the amount of healthy fat in your diet. Avocados are packed with Mono saturated fat; they can lower LDL levels while raising the amount of HDL cholesterol in your body. There our many recipes that call for avocados, and avocado dip is great with fajitas.

Olive Oil - Healthy Choice

source cookinglight
source cookinglight

Olive Oil

Olive oil was full of Mono saturated fats and it lowers the bad LDL cholesterol reducing your risk of developing heart disease.

Results from the Seven Counties Study, which looked at cardiovascular disease and finances across the globe, show that while men in Crete had a predisposition for high cholesterol levels, relatively few died of heart disease because their diet focus on heart – healthy fats found in olive oil. Look for extra virgin or virgin varieties because the they are the lease processed. Use them instead of butter when cooking.

Berries full of Antioxidants

source littleadventures
source littleadventures

Berries Benefits

All your favorite berries like raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, etc. are full of anti-inflammatories, which reduce your your risk of heart disease and cancer. Dr. Sinatra says blackberries and blueberries are especially great, however, all berries are good for your vascular health.

Beans and Legumes



Almost any type of being is good for you because it has a lot of fiber. Some of the best choices Are lentils, chickpeas, black beans and kidney beans.  These are also packed with omega-3 fatty acid, calcium insoluble fiber. One good thing is beans are very filling and you will be less likely to snack on something that's not healthy when you eat beans.

Spinach Leafs

source flickr
source flickr


Spinach is healthy because it has a great store of lutein, folate, potassium and fiber. Actually eating more veggies is sure to give your heart a boost.

The Positions Health Study examined more than 15,000 men without heart disease for a period of 12 years. Those who ate at least 2 1/2 servings of vegetables each day cut their risk of heart disease by about 25%, compared with those who did not eat the veggies. Each additional serving of veggies reduced their risk by another 17%.

Flaxseeds have Omega 3



Flaxseed also is full of omega-3 and Omega six fatty acids. Sprinkling just a little bit on your cereal or on a sandwich is very good for your is very good for your heart. You can buy whole flaxseed or ground flaxseed. The ground flaxseed is hardly noticeable when you add it to any food. Adding it to your oatmeal is the ultimate heart healthy breakfast.

Soy Seeds

source alibaba
source alibaba

Soy Benefits

Soy may also lower your cholesterol since it is low in saturated fat, and it is still a great source of lean protein and part of a heart healthy diet. Look for natural sources of soy, like edamame, tempeh or organic silken tofu. Soy milk is a great addition to a bowl of oatmeal or whole grain cereal. Check the label to make sure it doesn't happen high salt.

How to Prevent Heart Disease

Exercise is extremely important whether you're in a cardiac rehab program, workout at the fitness center or do push-ups in front of your television, the point is you're getting the exercise you need to get your heart rate up to a level that will make you more fit.

Taking some time each day to practice meditation will definitely help to reduce stress. You can choose any type of meditation that suits you. The point is to not focus on problems and all the things you may need to accomplish in the day.

Another way to reduce stress is to do some good slow stretches. They are good for your muscles and relaxing to your body. This is particularly helpful if you are not exercising.

In Conclusion

While I only featured the top 10 heart healthy products, there are numerous others that you can eat. A cup of green tea daily is also great for your health. Most all vegetables and fruits are healthy and in good for a heart healthy diet. Fresh fruits and vegetables are the best, but frozen is your second choice. Canned vegetables don't have as many vitamins and often have too much salt.

Exercise and eat healthy and live a long, wonderful healthy life.

Heart Healthy Diet

Do you eat at least two when one half servings of vegetables and fruit per day?

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The copyright, renewed in 2018, for this article is owned by Pamela Oglesby. Permission to republish this article in print or online must be granted by the author in writing.


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