the health of your heart
This article is shared from Dr Mercola.
Your heart is the center of your cardiovascular system. It is responsible for pumping blood through your body, carrying nutrients in and taking waste out. Having good cardiovascular health is an important factor of optimal wellness.
Sadly, many people do not pay enough attention to their cardiovascular system. According to a study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association (JAHA), one in 10 adult Americans has poor cardiovascular health.i This is often caused by a nutritionally-deficient processed food diet, a sedentary lifestyle, and chronic stress.
I truly believe that achieving optimal heart health is not difficult, as long as you follow a healthy diet and lifestyle.*
The Structure of the Human Heart
Your heart works as a “pump” to keep your blood moving inside of you, delivering nutrients and oxygen to all areas of your body while carrying away waste products and carbon dioxide. When your heart muscle contracts or “beats,” it pushes blood through your heart and all over your body.
There are three layers that make up your heart:
- Pericardium – the thin outer protective sack
- Myocardium – composed of specialized cells that make up the thick muscular wall
- Endocardium – the thin inner lining of the heart
Inside your heart are four chambers: two on the left side and two on the right. The two small upper chambers are called the atria, and the two larger lower chambers are called the ventricles. The left and right side of your heart are divided by the septum, a muscular wall.
The human heart has four valves. The ones on the right side of your heart are called the tricuspid valve and the pulmonary valve, while the ones on the left are the mitral valve and the aortic valve. These valves act as gates that open and close, ensuring that your blood travels in one direction through your heart.
The heart gets its blood supply from the coronary arteries, which branch off from the aorta, the main artery. The coronary arteries spread across the outside of the myocardium and provide it with blood.
Although the two sides of your heart are separated, they still work together. The right side receives dark, de-oxygenated blood that has already circulated around your body. This blood is then pumped to your lungs, where it receives a fresh supply of oxygen and turns bright red again.
Try These Natural Heart-Healthy Strategies
When your heart and/or other parts of your cardiovascular system, such as your blood vessels, are not properly cared for, they will fail to function properly, which may lead to certain health issues.*
But the good news is you can maintain normal cardiovascular function by eating a healthy diet and exercising correctly. Here are some of my top recommendations:
- Consume a well-balanced diet. Choose whole, organic foods rich in vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients, like l-arginine. Some heart-friendly foods you can eat include:
- Olive oil
- Coconuts and coconut oil
- Organic raw dairy products and eggs
- Raw nuts and seeds
- Organic grass-fed meats
It is best to eat a good portion of your foods raw. Also, be sure to severely limit or eliminate grains and sugar, which are mostly found in processed foods, from your diet.
- Get plenty of high-quality, animal-based omega 3 fats, such as krill oil.
- Drink plenty of fresh, pure water every day.
- Optimize your vitamin D levels through appropriate sun exposure. Many studies have proven the numerous benefits of vitamin D. However, you must first know what your current vitamin D level is. The optimal range is between 50-70 ng/ml, but if you have less-than-optimal heart health, I would recommend 70-100 ng/ml.
- Get enough exercise. It improves not only your blood circulation, but your overall health as well. However, I do not advise doing prolonged, strenuous cardio such as marathon running, as it puts too much strain on your heart. Instead, opt for short-burst, high-intensity exercises like Peak Fitness, which also optimize your human growth hormone (HGH) production.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Get plenty of high-quality, restorative sleep.
- Manage your stress.
- Avoid smoking or drinking alcohol excessively.
Read This Infographic to Learn More
Fascinating Human Heart Facts
To learn more about how the human heart works, I suggest you read my infographic 11 Fascinating Facts About the Human Heart. You will discover amazing trivia about the human heart…
Check out this infographic, and always be mindful of your cardiovascular health. Share this information with your loved ones so that they, too, can keep their heart health in check.
If you want to know how incredibly important – and complex – the human heart is, check out this interesting infographic: 11 Fascinating Facts About the Human Heart. Visit our infographic page for the high-res version.