12 things in your home that Lead to Heart Disease
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12 Main Ways to Improve Heart Health

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Improve Heart Health

Each day, your heart beats around 100,000 times. Lub dub. Lub dub. Lub dub. On and on it beats, your ever-constant companion. You likely don’t even give it a second thought, taking those rhythmic, steady beats for granted. Until, of course, they’re no longer steady and rhythmic.

Until that day when your heart, underappreciated, overworked, and mistreated, has finally had enough and demands to be heard — expressing itself through high blood pressure, arrhythmias, and maybe even a heart attack.

Cardiovascular disease is the #1 killer in the world — don’t let yourself become its next victim. Start looking after your heart now and give it what it needs to keep supporting your body for years to come. Here are the top 12 ways to improve heart health today.

Live well

Stop smoking

Stop Smoking

Smoking is the single most damaging thing you can do to your heart and your entire body. It contributes to many health conditions, including cancer and cardiovascular disease (CVD). Studies show that smoking causes approximately one of every four deaths from CVD.

If you smoke, stop! Reach out to a therapist or addiction specialist if you’ve tried to stop by yourself and been unsuccessful.

Get chiropractic care

Get chiropractic care

Who knew that chiropractic care could impact your heart health? Studies suggest that chiropractic is a great way to lower blood pressure, increase heart rate variability, and reduce chest pain. Many cases of chest pain, where various tests show a well-functioning heart, are actually due to rib misalignment or thoracic vertebrae subluxation and can be solved with a chiropractic adjustment.

Make an appointment with a reputable chiropractor to protect your heart and spine.

Move everyday

Exercise the body

Walk at lunch, get a standing desk, take long walks with your dog, carve out time to do some resistance exercises — do whatever you can to stay active outdoors. Everyday. This is imperative for heart health. Sunshine on your bare skin will also help reduce blood pressure and increase vitamin D!

Physical inactivity can lead to heart disease. A sedentary lifestyle could be a death sentence even if you eat great and avoid smoking and other common risk factors. It can increase your risk of obesity, abnormal cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure.

And unfortunately, about one in two adults don’t get enough aerobic physical activity. According to research, sedentary behavior and physical inactivity are among the leading modifiable risk factors worldwide for cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality.

The opposite is also true; moving daily has protective capabilities for heart health. Exercise lowers blood pressure, strengthens the heart, reduces inflammation, and even improves blood flow — reducing your risk of cardiovascular disease. Even the smallest amount of physical activity is helpful. Get out there and get moving!

Supplement when necessary

Adding high-quality supplements to your diet

Nutrient deficiencies are common among patients with heart disease. For instance, studies show that vitamin D deficiency is associated with an increased risk of CVD, including hypertension, heart failure, and ischemic heart disease. Other research published in the Journal of the American Heart Association found that people with heart failure who lack seven or more micronutrients had nearly double the risk of dying or being hospitalized than those with no or only a few deficiencies.

Adding high-quality supplements to your diet, such as a well-rounded multivitamin, berberine, and CoQ10 can help improve your heart health outcomes and keep you feeling your best. Work with your doctor to get tested and determine which supplements are right for you.

Prioritize sleep

Prioritize sleep

When thinking about the benefits of sleep, we often stop at the brain. However, the results of a quality night of sleep go far beyond helping you feel rested and improving your attention capacity. Likewise, the risks of sleep deprivation can be severe.

Studies suggest that not sleeping long enough or getting poor sleep could contribute to hypertension, coronary heart disease, atherosclerosis, and type 2 diabetes. The American Heart Association recently added sleep to their cardiovascular health checklist, elevating the importance of quality rest in maintaining a healthy heart. It gives your body time to rest, repair, and recharge and could even reduce your risk of a heart attack. 

The average adult requires seven to nine hours of sleep daily. If you aren’t sleeping long enough or struggle with insomnia, visit our Sleep page to learn more about helpful sleep strategies to make the most of your nighttime hours.

Avoid toxins

Avoid toxins

Cut out the chemical cleaning supplies, stop using toxic, fragrance-laden beauty products, and avoid mold exposure. Though you can’t see them, toxins are everywhere and do more damage than you think.

Toxin exposure has been directly linked to cardiovascular disease. Scour your home and cupboard for toxins, including moldy and non-organic food, laundry products, and tap water. Invest in a high-quality water filtration system to reduce exposure to toxins and heavy metals. You should also practice detox strategies like sauna and dry brushing to help your body detox from toxin exposure.

Eat well

Eat lots of fiber-rich foods

Eat lots of fiber-rich foods

Studies have shown that individuals who consume high amounts of dietary fiber can significantly reduce their risk of dying from cardiovascular disease. Fiber can help lower blood pressure and regulate abnormal cholesterol and is a great tool to improve your heart health. 

The recommended daily intake of fiber is 25-30 grams. You can easily achieve this by eating a daily dose of several of the following foods:

Note: Always choose organic!

  • Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, and other brassica vegetables
  • Artichokes
  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Chia seeds
  • Almonds
  • Berries
  • Apples
  • Leafy greens

Remember, many of the “fiber-rich” foods such as beans and various grains are not heart-healthy — despite what conventional wisdom may suggest. These foods can contribute to blood sugar spikes and digestive issues. Stick to the 100 Year Heart-approved foods listed above.

Enjoy healthy fats

Eat lots of fiber-rich foods

No, low-fat is not healthy. Contrary to what many dietitians might suggest, your body needs healthy fat to function properly. According to research, there is no link between saturated fat and heart disease. In fact, saturated fat is good for you!

Studies have shown that saturated fat could help change the structure of harmful small, dense LDL particles into beneficial large, fluffy particles that protect your heart health. It could even raise HDL cholesterol, known for its cardiovascular benefits!

Remember, while not all fat is the same. Avoid trans fats and fat from unhealthy food such as fast and processed food. Stick to these sources to improve heart health today!

Seafood is one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which are critical for improving heart health.

  • Organic, pasture-raised eggs
  • Grass-finished red meat
  • Organic coconut oil
  • Wild-caught fish
  • Organic nuts and seeds
  • Organic avocados

Avoid heavy alcohol consumption

Avoid heavy alcohol consumption

Not all alcohol is bad for your heart. In fact, organic red wine may have Heartprotective properties such as antioxidants. However, drinking too much alcohol in excess could harm your heart health. It has been linked to high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke.

As with everything, moderation is key.

Avoid highly processed food and sugar

Avoid processed foods and sugar

Just as diet is one of the best ways to improve heart health, it can also be one of the worst things for your heart. Of course, it all depends on what you eat. Processed sugar, greasy junk food, non-organic food, and low-quality “pseudo-food” all contribute to heart disease.

A diet full of highly processed, sugar-laden food will lead to abnormal cholesterol, clogged arteries, and a complete breakdown of heart health. If you can’t pronounce or don’t recognize the ingredients, don’t eat it. If it has added sugar, don’t eat it.

Following these simple guidelines will help you start paying attention to what you’re actually eating and will inspire you to learn more about the detrimental effects of bad food on heart health.

Drink coffee

Drink Heart Healthy Coffee

Despite claims that caffeine is bad for heart health, there is evidence suggesting that coffee consumption could improve blood pressure and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Researchers believe that many of the cardioprotective effects of coffee arise from its anti-inflammatory properties and potent antioxidant compounds.

Remember, always choose a quality, toxin-free coffee such as Cardiology Coffee. Only drink coffee if you tolerate it well, and always check in with your body after consuming caffeine.

Think well

Meditate

Meditate

Chronic stress is one of the most dangerous things for heart health. It has been linked to an increased risk of heart attacks, obesity, and AFib.

Life happens. Stressors arise no matter how hard you try to prevent them. It is impossible to avoid every stressful situation all of the time.

To help protect yourself and improve heart health, you must prioritize creating a safe mental space to process and reframe stress. One of the best ways to do this is through mindfulness meditation. Take some time each day or whenever you feel stressed to go to a quiet space and spend a few minutes alone with your thoughts.

Choose a mantra to focus on, or simply let your thoughts flow freely. Don’t try to grasp any particular thought; just give yourself the freedom to feel, process, and experience any emotions you’ve bottled up. Meditation looks different for everyone. Just do what works best for you.

Next steps

Don’t take your heart for granted! Make these lifestyle changes today to support your cardiovascular system and keep your heart healthy. Breaking old habits can be hard, though. Enlist the help of one of the expert health coaches at NHD to get started on your path to your 100 Year Heart. They can give you tips for success and give you the tools you need to look and feel your best. Book a free coaching session today!

Medical Review: Dr. Lauren Lattanza 1/9/23

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About Dr. Keith Smigiel NP, DC

Dr. Keith Smigiel

Dr. Keith Smigiel is a regenerative medicine physician and pain management specialist. He takes an integrative approach to medicine, focusing on customized solutions tailored to individual needs. Using advanced, non-surgical treatments, Dr. Smigiel stimulates your body’s ability to naturally heal itself.

Dr. Smigiel helps people suffering from conditions such as chronic pain and erectile dysfunction, to hair loss and weight gain. Combining treatments such as PRP Therapy, Ozone, Neural Prolotherapy, and IV Infusions with functional rehabilitation, he helps you look and feel better.

He heals the body, instead of just treating the symptoms!

With his professional qualifications as a certified family nurse practitioner, a doctor of chiropractic, and a fellow of the International Academy of Medical Acupuncture, Dr. Smigiel offers patients comprehensive care from a broad perspective of conventional and alternative medicine. He also has extensive experience in functional rehabilitation and chronic pain management.

Dr. Smigiel is married to Angela and has two children, Sophia and Larz. When he’s not busy helping patients, he enjoys hiking, mountain biking, motocross, and boating.

About Dr. James Kneller, M.D., Ph.D., FHRS

Dr. James Kneller, M.D., Ph.D., FHRS

Dr. James Kneller is one of the nation’s leading heart rhythm specialists. Dr. Kneller is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) in Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology, Cardiovascular Disease, and Internal Medicine.

As a Fellow of the Heart Rhythm Society (FHRS) and Certified Cardiac Device Specialist (CCDS), Kneller provides comprehensive patient care, combining best medical practice with invasive procedures using state-of-the-art technologies to treat heart rhythm disorders.

Beyond guideline-directed therapies, Kneller is passionate about optimized personal health. With a deep interest in complimentary alternative medicine (CAM), he strives to reduce the need for pharmaceuticals, invasive procedures, and exposure to harmful radiation. With Natural Heart Doctor, he strives to help each and every client to Live Well, Eat Well, and Think Well to attain their 100-year heart!

About Dr. Lauren Lattanza NMD, FACC

Dr. Lattanza Office Visit with Patient

As a Naturopathic Physician, I am trained to treat the whole person and get to the root cause of disease.

I went to Arizona State University where I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a depth in physiology and minor in Spanish. After my undergraduate degree I was working on prerequisite classes towards medical school, which is when I came to learn that my values identified best with the principles of naturopathic medicine. I knew that I wanted to help patients identify the causes of disease and be able to offer treatments which would improve their health rather than simply treating symptoms.

I dedicated the next 4 years to the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in Tempe, Arizona where I attained my Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine. I served as Class President all 4 years, Board of Trustees – Student Trustee, spoke as the Club President for our branch of Toastmasters, and was voted by my peers and attending physicians to earn the Outstanding Leadership Award for the Class of 2020. Throughout medical school I took it upon myself to work alongside MDs, DOs, chiropractors, and functional medicine practitioners in addition to naturopathic physicians.

As a Spanish speaking student, I was able to volunteer with community clinics around Phoenix and provide free healthcare to low-income families. Due to this combined exposure, I came to find my passion in treating cardiometabolic and digestive disorders that are all too common, yet largely preventable. I took the opportunity to learn the broad spectrum of healthcare so I can ensure that I am able to provide my patients with the best options.

About Dr. Jack Wolfson DO, FACC

Dr. Wolfson Office Visit with Patient

Dr. Jack Wolfson is a board-certified cardiologist, Amazon best-selling author, husband, father, and the nation’s #1 Natural Heart Doctor.

For more than two decades, more than one million people have enjoyed the warmth, compassion, and transformational power of his natural heart health courses and events.

Dr. Wolfson is the founder of Natural Heart Doctor Scottsdale, his heart health practice in Arizona, and Natural Heart Doctor, an online resource center with natural health information. Doctors from across the globe reach out to Dr. Wolfson for training and education in holistic health practices.

He has been named one of America’s Top Functional Medicine Doctors and is a five-time winner of the Natural Choice Awards as a holistic M.D. Dr. Wolfson’s work has been covered by more than 100 media outlets, including NBC, CNN, and the Washington Post. His book “The Paleo Cardiologist: The Natural Way to Heart Health” was an Amazon #1 best-seller.

Dr. Wolfson and his wife Heather have four children and are committed to making the world a better place to live. They provide for those in need (including animals) and support natural health causes through their philanthropic efforts.

Chiropractic

Our chiropractor is an expert at adjustments and holistic chiropractic care and works closely in conjunction with the other health care experts at Natural Heart Doctor.

Call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

IV Therapy

We use specially formulated natural vitamins and minerals that are injected into a vein to prevent or treat dehydration. Ideal for people in Arizona.

Call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

Acupuncture

Stimulate your body’s natural healing abilities and promote physical and emotional well-being with acupuncture at Natural Heart Doctor.

Call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

Health Coaching

Our health coaches use evidence based skillful conversation, clinical interventions, and strategies to engage you actively and safely in health behavior changes.

Call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

Cardio Tests

We use the most advanced testing in the world to assess heart health and to identify the root cause of your health issues.

Call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

Office Visits

Schedule an office visit with one of our cardiologists, holistic physicians, chiropractor, or health coaches.

Call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

Frequently Asked Questions

I’d like to receive an online second opinion from Natural Heart Doctor. What do I do next?

You can initiate a second opinion online through our website at any time. To begin, select the team member you’d like to speak with and open an account.

Click here for cardiologist Dr. Jack Wolfson.

Naturopathic Medical Doctor Dr. Lauren Lattanza. Get details.

Naturopathic Medical Doctor Dr. Tonia Rainier. Get details.

Click here for  Natural Heart Doctor Health Coach.

Alternatively, you can email health@naturalheartdoctor.com. A member of our care team will help guide you through the process of starting a second opinion.

What is the cost of a Natural Heart Doctor Online Second Opinion?

The cost for most second opinions varies by team member. This fee includes information collection, a phone or video consultation, a second opinion from a Natural Heart Doctor specialist and guidance throughout the process from your personal Care Team at Natural Heart Doctor.

Cardiologist Dr. Jack Wolfson’s Second Opinion Fee is $1500.

Holistic Physician’s Dr. Lauren Lattanza’s Second Opinion Fee is $250.

Naturopathic Physician Dr. Tonia Rainier’s Second Opinion Fee is $250.

Note: We apply the Online Second Opinion Call fee as a credit to any future consultations with Natural Heart Doctor, should you choose them.

Will my insurance cover the cost of a Natural Heart Doctor Online Second Opinion?

Most likely, no. Most health plans do not cover online second opinions or consultations. You are responsible for the cost of our second opinion. Natural Heart Doctor cannot file a claim with your insurance carrier, nor can we provide a procedure (CPT) code for this service.

What is the timeline to receive an online second opinion?

We do our best to schedule your second opinion as quickly as possible. Typically, it takes 5 to 7 business days after your information has been collected to receive your phone or video online second opinion.

What information do you need in advance of our call?

Our office will send you a short questionnaire to complete and return. We DO NOT need your complete medical records.

How many questions can I ask the expert during our call?

You may ask a maximum of five questions. This is to ensure that the expert has sufficient time to devote to each question. All questions must be finalized before your online meeting.

What should I expect to receive once my second opinion is complete?

You will receive a summary of our discussion along with our second opinion. The second opinion will be in written form. After you have reviewed the second opinion, a Natural Heart Doctor clinician will follow up with you by phone to address general medical questions about the information provided in the second opinion.

What if I have follow-up questions for the expert after I have reviewed my second opinion?

If you have a clarifying question about an expert’s response to one of the questions in your second opinion, and the Natural Heart Doctor clinician is unable to address it, then you may request a follow up session for an additional fee. 

Is my medical and payment information secure?

Natural Heart Doctor is strongly committed to protecting the privacy and security of all our patients. Our website meets all federal requirements for protecting personal health information under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). All financial transactions are processed by Natural Heart Doctor securely using industry standard payment processing tools.

I would rather visit Natural Heart Doctor for an in-person appointment. What should I do next?

If you would prefer an in-person appointment at Natural Heart Doctor instead of an online second opinion, please call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

Can I schedule a follow up appointment with the specialist who provided my online second opinion?

Yes, we’re happy to help you on an extended basis. Our clinician can discuss options with you when presenting our second opinion summary.