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Fasting: Stop Heart Attacks and Strokes in Their Tracks

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What if I told you that you can prevent a heart attack or a stroke and even reverse some of the effects?

Approximately 1.5 million Americans suffer from a heart attack or stroke each year, and more than 800,000 people die from cardiovascular disease annually.

Fasting is a simple and effective method of preventing (and healing from) this dreaded occurrence.

When we fast our body undergoes a metabolic shift: it burns ketones for fuel, not glucose and has a positive influence on lipid profiles and much more. Below we share with you 6 ways fasting boosts heart health!  

For more on your risk factors, read on.

What is a Heart Attack or Stroke?

A heart attack occurs when blood flow to part of  the heart is blocked, often by a clot. A stroke occurs when blood flow and oxygen to the brain is blocked.

The cause is the same: inflammation. Inflammation which leads to plaque that may or may not dislodge to cause a heart attack or stroke. What are your risk factors?

Risk Factors

  • Smoking
  • High Blood Pressure
  • High Cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Sedentary Lifestyle
  • Family history
  • Atrial fibrillation (abnormal heart rhythm)
  • Poor eating habits
  • Toxins
  • Molds
  • Heavy Metals
  • Sunshine deficit
  • Stress
  • Lack of quality sleep

How Fasting Can Help You:

  1. Fasting decreases body mass: there is a significant increase in the risk of heart attack as body mass index increases. In addition excess weight and obesity is associated with other risk factors that may lead to a heart attack such as hypertension and diabetes. Obesity contributes a significant risk to getting cardiovascular disease, leading to heart attack or stroke.
  1. Fasting inhibits plaque, which increases the risk of a heart attack, by reducing inflammation. Plaque builds up in the arteries when inflammation is present. High levels of inflammation are associated with an increased chance of suffering from a heart attack. Even low levels of inflammation will irritate blood vessels and cause plaque inside the arteries. Fasting decreases Hs-CRP markers. These markers detect inflammation in the body and heart and are used as risk factors with heart disease and stroke.  Fasting also decreases fibrinogen (involved in clotting) which is an inflammatory marker we test for in our office. Increased fibrinogen indicates an increase in inflammation.
  1. Fasting increases BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) which activates the parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest state)  and helps to balance the autonomic nervous system. As we move in and out of a parasympathetic state with ease and spend more time in a parasympathetic state, our heart rate variability (HRV) will rise. Decreased HRV is correlated with poor clinical outcomes with stroke risk.  BDNF also causes acetylcholine to be released by the vagus nerve which reduces heart contractions. Low acetylcholine levels lead to an accumulation of β-amyloid protein,(an amyloid plaque found in the brain of people with Alzheimer’s disease) which leads to oxygen stress and inflammation.  Fasting increases the resistance of neurons in the brain to dysfunction and degeneration and improves glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity.
  1. Fasting can help to reverse or inhibit heart failure, one cause of which can be a previous heart attack.  Heart function improves with fasting, and fasting has favorable effects on arrhythmia and total cholesterol with improved ejection fraction. Low ejection fraction has been linked to a higher risk of stroke.
  1. Fasting increases autophagy within the body and the brain. Autophagy is simply cell death. Through autophagy the body breaks down damaged cells and tissues in the body. Because the body is not working on digesting food, it focuses on the aspects that are unhealthy leaving the body cleaner, younger and healthier! These benefits are far reaching when it comes to the buildup of plaque leading to heart attacks.
  1. Fasting increases stem cell regeneration; it is the body’s own natural stem cell therapy. During longer fasts of 24 hours or more, stem cells wake up and start reproducing. These benefits are far reaching. The reproduction of stem cells lowers  inflammation and inflammation leads to damage in the arteries causing heart attacks or strokes. As cells die during fasting they are taken apart and then recycled into new cells for the body. An added benefit:  this process is incredibly anti aging!

According to studies the practice of fasting is an evidence based way to correct cardiac risk factors, improve lipids, blood pressure, and BMI. Intermittent Fasting lowers CVD risk, inhibits plaque formation, reduces inflammatory markers, and inhibits key molecules that cause plaque build up and unwanted blood clots.

How to Begin:

In order to move into a lifestyle that supports fasting, transition to a low carb Paleo diet. This allows for the body to move into a metabolically flexible state in which it can burn fat for fuel as well as glucose when necessary. It is also important to eat according to the Sunshine Schedule. Your body is much more insulin sensitive in the early hours of the day, therefore eating with the sun will optimize blood sugar. The body is preparing for rest after dark and not digestion.

For Additional Support:

For support for fasting contact a Natural Heart Doctor coach for one on one guidance and coaching.

Testing:

We also offer tests that will allow you to get to the root cause of your condition or symptoms. This Cardiovascular Comprehensive Test Package includes a micronutrient test, cardiovascular system evaluation and mold, environmental and heavy metal testing. These tests include a call with a health coach to come up with a lifestyle and supplement plan for your journey to optimal health.

Supplements:

Fasting does require supplement support, particularly minerals. For the most part when fasting we typically want to go off some of our supplements but never medications without speaking to your doctor first. Some of our support supplements for fasting are:

Magne 5 is a key mineral that supports fasting It will reduce the likelihood of negative side effects like cramps and disrupted sleep. This supplement will make fasting easier and more effective.

Potassium Boost Potassium is another essential mineral during a fasting period. It is depleted during a fast and therefore needs replacement via supplementation.

Salt- use high quality salt like Redmond’s and add to water for better hydration and boost to your mineral status.

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