Balance – Cardiovascular disease

Definition

The cardiovascular system is a vital component of our bodies. Throughout our lifetime, it ensures that our tissues and organs are constantly supplied with sufficient oxygen and nutrients to survive.

 

The numbers are impressive: In Germany, cardiovascular diseases continue to be the leading cause of death.  One in two Germans dies of cardiovascular disease associated with high blood pressure. This includes, for example, coronary heart disease, stroke, or heart attack. For this reason, it is critical to be aware of our individual health, especially with regard to our heart and blood vessels. 

Symptoms

Symptoms

Diseases of the heart fall into the large category of cardiovascular diseases, in other words, diseases which affect either the heart or any types of blood vessels in the body – such as, the veins and arteries. In particular this applies to:

 

  • High blood pressure (hypertension)

  • Vasoconstriction (atherosclerosis)

  • Angina (sudden pain in the heart region with tightness or pressure)

  • Arrhythmia

  • elevated blood lipid levels, etc. 

 

It is important to understand that many cardiovascular diseases exist silently and unnoticed for years. Often, life-threatening symptoms do not occur until the disease has already progressed.

Know the warning signs!

A strong, persistent pain (lasting longer than 20 minutes) in the chest may indicate an imminent, life-threatening heart attack - especially if it is accompanied by sweating, nausea, vomiting or dizziness. These symptoms should not be taken lightly, and, in every case, the emergency services (fire brigade: 112) should be notified. The sooner the person receives medical care, the greater their chance of survival!

Source: Universitätsklinikum Heidelberg

Causes

A variety of causes can lead to cardiovascular disease. The most common include:

  • Chronic stress

  • Smoking

  • Lack of exercise and obesity

  • Unhealthy diet / lack of vital nutrients

  • Elevated cholesterol

  • Extreme psychological stress

  • Medication (side effects)

Both a nutrient-poor diet consisting of mostly heavily processed foods, as well as an excess of unhealthy fats, can lead to impairment of the cardiovascular system.

Natural remedies and their effects

The risk of cardiovascular disease is greater, the less healthy we eat. Unhealthy eating habits significantly promote obesity, diabetes, high blood lipids levels, and hypertension. If heart-unhealthy eating habits are replaced by a balanced diet which is rich in vital nutrients and supplemented with essential omega 3 fatty acids, then the development of cardiovascular diseases can be prevented and/or their symptoms alleviated.

Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)

Alpha-linolenic acid is an essential, in other words, vital omega-3 fatty acid. Since the body cannot synthesize it itself, ALA must be supplied daily via food.

ALA and DHA, another important omega-3 fatty acid, play crucial roles in maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system:

  • ALA promotes normal blood cholesterol levels. beneficial effects have been established at a daily intake of 2 g ALA.

  • DHA is an important building block for the structure and function of cell membranes. It promotes cellular metabolism and cellular respiration. Blood vessel walls remain flexible. This improves the flow of blood. Thus, it supports healthy circulation, inhibits the formation of blood clots, and reduces inflammation in the body.

One of the risk factors for coronary heart disease is high cholesterol. A healthy lifestyle and a balanced and varied diet – which includes plenty of unsaturated fatty acids instead of saturated fatty acids – have been proven to lower blood cholesterol levels. Natural, gently pressed oils, such as flax seed oil with a natural ALA content of nearly 60%, in combination with seaweed oil, are excellent suppliers for the important and healthy omega-3 fatty acids, ALA and DHA.

Quality counts!

When selecting a source of healthy fatty acids, the main focus should be on its quality. This is the only way - as Dr. Johanna Budwig pointed out again and again – to ensure that our cells receive the full benefits of the electron richness from the oils. A great importance must be attached to the selection of the seeds, their crop rotation, the extraction, and any further processing. Therefore, Dr. Johanna Budwig clearly defined and documented quality standards. For the extraction of oil, she developed a very gentle process, the "Original Dr. Budwig pressing method" – which is still known under that name today.

Nutrition and Co.

Risk factors to heart health, such as being overweight, elevated blood lipids, or hypertension, can be positively influenced by a diverse and balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle. A heart healthy diet includes plenty of plant-based foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole grain products, legumes, and nuts. Consumption of highly processed foods such as ready-to-eat products should be reduced or avoided. It is particularly important to compensate for a persistent lack of healthy, polyunsaturated fatty acids. At the same time, unfavorable fats like trans fats, as well as an excess of omega-6 fatty acids, should be avoided. It is important supplement a varied, balanced, lacto-vegetarian wholefood diet with beneficial fatty acids such as ALA and DHA.

All around nourishment 

A daily supply of omega-3 fatty acid ALA from flax seed oil, supplemented by the polyunsaturated fatty acid DHA from algae oil, for example, can be taken in with a tasty Budwig cream. Its components, quark (cottage cheese may serve as a substitute), fresh fruit, and flax seed oil, form the basis of a heart-healthy, balanced diet according to Dr. Johanna Budwig.

Take good care of your digestive tract!

Whether our cells actually benefit from the food we consume each day, depends largely on our intestinal health. The decisive factor is our intestines’ ability to absorb the nutrients that we eat. Dr. Johanna Budwig, thus, recommended daily consumption of fresh sauerkraut juice or sour milk to maintain our intestines and their intestinal flora. Furthermore, the regular consumption of dietary fiber plays an important role in healthy bowel function. Therefore, an integral part our daily diet should include 1-2 tablespoons of shredded and fortified flax seed, blended into a Budwig cream, made of quark and flax seed oil, or in Muttersaft (pure, unfiltered, unsweetened first-press juice of a fruit or berry) such as Fermentgold.

Studies

Scientific studies have validated the protective effects of omega-3 fatty acids on cardiovascular health: An international research team examined a total of 27 original studies in an effort to identify how the herbal omega-3 fatty acid, alpha-linolenic acid, protects against cardiovascular disease * Conclusion: By increasing daily ALA intake to 1 g, the risk of dying from a cardiovascular disease drops by 10 percent!

* Pan, A./Chen, M./Chowdhury, R. et al: α-Linolenic acid and risk of cardiovascular disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis; online verfügbar unter: ajcn.nutrition.org/content/96/6/1262.full

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