If at any moment your heart decides to stop working, it's game over.
You probably already know a few ways to protect your heart - reduce your stress, watch your cholesterol, and exercise regularly. Yet, heart disease still remains the second highest killer in our country, next to cancer. Why is that?
It's clear that STRESS is one factor that's difficult to control. Yes, you can eat leafy greens, and go to the gym 5 times a week, but encountering a difficult client, or conflict at work where someone’s comments got under your skin - this can be difficult to let go of in the moment. The problem is that in that moment and for awhile afterwards, your heart beats a little faster, and your blood vessels narrow while a surge of hormones revs your body up. This is stress. When you experience stress for prolonged periods it places a lot of pressure on your poor heart. Hence the term high blood pressure (hypertension)!
If you haven't gotten it checked yet, find out if your blood pressure reading is normal.
Learning to accept difficult situations as they are can free yourself of anger, fear, and worry. But I understand if you haven't quite mastered your Zen moment yet. It's okay. The great news is that there are 5 foods that will help you through stressful situations. These foods will support your body, calm it down, and reign back on your body’s stress reaction.
You may well be aware that whole grains are high in fibre which help to reduce cholesterol and therefore help prevent heart disease. But did you know that grains have a calming effect on the mind according to Chinese Medicine? In western science, oats are known to increase a hormone called serotonin, which helps to calm the mind and alleviate anxiety. If you’ve ever craved sweets or carbs when you felt stressed, you can probably relate. Starting your day with whole grains like oatmeal may help to calm the mind and prevent long term illnesses like heart disease.
2. Matcha Tea
Looking to start or end the day on a calm note? Matcha tea is a great option. Traditionally it was used during Japanese ceremonies to help individuals discuss matters in a calm state of mind. It might be a great idea to keep some Matcha in your office and offer it to someone before a meeting! Talk about bringing you back into your Zen moment. Matcha tea is best brewed with water between 65-80 degrees celsius. Too hot, and it will start to taste like grass.
3. Peppermint Tea
After a heated conversation or bout of frustration, peppermint is a cooling tea that can quickly chill you out, leaving you feeling relaxed and at ease. I usually enjoy it with a slice of lemon.
4. Bitter Melon
Are your anxious thoughts keeping you up at night? Bitter melon has a history of treating insomnia. You can find it at your local grocery store, or sometimes in the form of tea at health food stores. This exotic fruit looks like a bright green cucumber with some wrinkles. A traditional way of preparing it is with broccoli, beef slices, black bean sauce, and spiced with thinly sliced ginger.
Red foods also have an impact on the heart in Chinese Medicine. Beets are good for nourishing the heart, cleansing the blood, and reducing high blood pressure, all of which may help to put your heart at ease.
If your blood pressure is high and you’re looking to get to the root cause of the problem I offer personalized 1-on-1 sessions where we can discuss your health concerns and how acupuncture & food therapy can help. Feel free to book your consultation here.