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Heart of the Matter, Issue #005 -- Inflammation and Heart Disease
August 01, 2016

Inflammation and Heart Disease

Inflammation is essential for the body to heal and repair, but also to fight infection. Inflammation is the first step in these processes marked by redness swelling and itchiness. Inflammation can be local (in the immediate area affected) or systemic (the whole body). The cells in the immediate area signal the need for increased blood flow by releasing chemicals in the bloodstream. The increased blood flow causes the swelling commonly associated with inflammation. The more blood to the area brings with it an army to fight infection or allergic reaction or some irritant to get rid of the problem quickly. The problem arises with the affected area and the swelling gets out of control and doesn't stop and depending on the area affected can be life threatening, for example, swelling in the hand is not so bad and irritating, but not life threatening, whereas, swelling in the throat can cut off the airway compromising the breathing and thereby making it life threatening.

There's a direct cause and effect of inflammation and heart disease. Studies have shown that inflammation causes endothelial dysfucnction. ED is a problem with the layer of skin in the blood vessels and when damaged by inflammation it no longer produces nitric oxide which is a potent vasodilator (makes blood vessels open). Nitric oxide is produced by the skin layer in the blood vessels and has been shown with people that have had heart attacks and strokes the production is vastly reduced. The younger you are the more nitric oxide you produce and as we age the Nitric oxide dwindles off. The inflammation also physically damages the blood vessels allowing the building blocks of plaque formation to build over time. Having a diet high in triglycerides and cholesterol is the building blocks of this plaque formation. In order for the plaque not to form in the blood vessels the blood vessels need to produce nitric oxide and have little to none triglycerides and cholesterol (building blocks for plaque formation).

Chronic inflammation is a condition only now has been getting some attention. This condition continually allows the body the produce small amounts of inflammatory processes, just enough to allow the endothelial cells not to work properly. Chronic means to go on for a long period of time. Many different things cause inflammation. Previously I talked about the liver and the liver produces inflammation enzymes. The inflammation enzymes produced by the liver are produced by the foods we eat and drink and the chemicals in the air we breath from our environment. They are also produced by the medicines we take. By continually to eat processed foods we unknownly eat many different chemicals, some are made to make the food taste better as in MSG (mono sodium gluconate). We have heard the reports of MSG and the fight to remove such a chemical from the market. What is not known is the thousands of chemicals are deemed safe by government officials that are added into processed foods. These chemicals are safe to consume in the acute phase (early or immediate). They have study after study to prove their case. I'm not arguing that point, but they have not studied the chemicals over the long term (years). To do such a study is almost impossible due a lot of factors that prohibit a non biased result. That means to do a study of such magnitude it would be easy to explain the results by blaming the other things the person is doing that is causing the disease. A poison is defined by any substance that causes disease in the body. Poisons go directly to the liver to be processed for removal out of the body. Some poisons have immediate or acute effects (arsenic, snake poison, chlorine gas) others have long term or chronic effects ( alcohol, fructose cigarettes ). The acute poisons take less amounts to have disastrous results in the body, but the chronic poisons require larger amounts over a period of time to have the same effects.

Foods that reduce inflammation:

Vitamin C Omega 3 fatty acids Flavonoids Asparagus Avocados Basmati Rice or Wild Rice (Use rice with caution because of starch content) Beets Black Olives and Olives Broccoli Cabbage Carrots Cauliflower Celery Cilantro Collard Greens Cucumbers Garlic Green Beans Hot Peppers ( peppers, such as cayenne and chili peppers - but go easy at first - Hot!- ) Horseradish Kale Lettuce (most varieties are good, but try and choose something other than, iceburg ) Onion Parsley Red-Skinned Potatoes Sea Vegetables Squash - Yellow, Zucchini,etc. Sweet Potatoes Swiss Chard Turnips and Turnip Greens Yams

Fruits:

Apricots Bananas Blueberries Blackberries Cantaloupe/Melons Coconut ( fresh ) Cherries Cranberries Figs Graviola Fruit Grapes Kiwis Mangoes Nectarines Papayas Pears Plums Raspberries Watermelon Dried Fruits

Meat:

All Fish - all Seafood Beef Chicken Cornish Hen Goat Meat Lamb Turkey Venison Wild Game

Dairy:

All Goat Milk Products Goat Cheese Goat Butter Goat Yogurt, etc. Coconut Milk - good replacement to use if you are sensitive to all dairy products - Organic - no soy - no preservatives - no artifical colors (read your labels)

OIls and Fats:

Avocado Oil ( Good - but expensive ) Goat Butter Olive Oil ( Extra Virgin) Palm Oil (Yes ! Palm Oil ) Coconut Oil Extra Virgin Flaxseed Oil (Good in Salad Dressing) Sesame Oil

Grains and Nuts:

Grains:

Amaranth Almond Meal/Flour Millet - ( great substitute for corn meal ) Quinoa

Nuts:

Almonds Hazelnuts Peanuts Pecans Pine Nuts Pistachios Walnuts Pumpkin seeds Sesame seeds Sunflower seeds Flaxseeds

Sweeteners and Misc.

Sweeteners: Stevia Zylitol (made from Birch Bark NOT corn) All Natural Organic Grade B Maple Syrup (for sweetening purpose only)

Arrowroot (better than Cornstarch)

Organic Raw Almond Butter Peanut Butter Organic Raw Tahini Organic Raw Pumpkin Seed Nut Butter Raw Unpasteurized Honey Raw Unpasteurized Vinegar Spectrum - Organic Shortening Sauerkraut Juice Beet Juice Green Tea - ( naturally decaf ) Black Pepper Cayenne Pepper be careful - hot - Cilantro Cinnamon Curcumin (Turmeric) Garlic Ginger Holy Basil Nutmeg Oregano Paprika (this is indeed a member of the nightshade family, but it is a close relative of Cayenne and has some of the same good properties - keep track - use with caution) Sage Thyme

What other foods are anti-inflammatory?

Almonds, cashews, peanuts, blueberries, Brazil nuts, strawberries, cherries, red grapes, oranges x 2, broccoli, red onion, yellow onion, green tea and firm tofu.

You'll also want to add nuts to your diet. The anti-inflammatory properties of nuts are attributed to their polyunsaturated fat, magnesium and antioxidant content. Include one ounce of nuts in your daily diet. Substitute nuts for less healthy snacks like cookies, candy, soft drinks, and refined starchy foods. One ounce of nuts isn't that large -- you'll need to count out 8 Brazil nuts, 18 cashews, 14 walnut halves, 24 almonds or 28 peanuts.

Flavonoid-rich foods also are anti-inflammatory. Flavonoids are natural compounds found in fruit and vegetables. The best sources are berries, cherries, red grapes, apples, citrus fruit, broccoli, kale and onions. Other good sources include green and black tea, dark chocolate, soybeans, edamame and tofu.

Do any supplements help?

Vitamin D supplement, 1000 IU.

Besides a fish oil supplement, vitamin D is a good choice. Among its many roles, vitamin D has anti-inflammatory effects in the body. In fact, research has shown that vitamin D deficiency is associated with higher levels of inflammation in adults.

Current vitamin D recommendations range from 600 to 2000 IU per day. In the fall and winter, when the sun isn't strong enough to produce vitamin D in the skin, Canadians are advised to supplement with 1000 to 2000 IU vitamin D per day. The safe upper daily limit is 4000 IU per day.

Recipes that prevent heart disease

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