Most conventional doctors will tell you that you can’t reverse heart disease. Sure, you can stop its progression, but once the train has left the station, it can’t turn back. Thankfully, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
The cardiovascular system is incredibly forgiving, especially for those willing to make the changes necessary to support the heart. You don’t need pharmaceutical drugs or risky medical procedures. You don’t need them, but there are many ways to fix your heart problems.
Heart disease: preventable and reversible
Science shows that up to 90 percent of heart disease is entirely preventable through diet and lifestyle. Avoiding smoking, exercising regularly, eating a whole-foods-based diet, and maintaining a healthy body fat percentage would eliminate most cases of cardiovascular disease.
Old habits die hard, however, and many have carried some of these bad habits into adulthood, leaving them wondering: Is there still hope once diagnosed with heart disease? The answer is yes!
Studies show that heart disease is reversible despite what your doctor may have told you. For example, using imagery scans, a randomized control study published in the Lancet concluded that coronary artery disease (CAD) could be reversed through diet, stress reduction, exercise, and social support alone.
How to fix your heart problems naturally
The root of most cardiovascular diseases is inflammation. Therefore, healing the heart requires addressing the underlying factors that contribute to inflammation in the first place.
Various factors trigger inflammation, such as a poor diet, toxic exposure, stress, and a sedentary lifestyle. Left unchecked, inflammation damages the body by creating free radicals and other substances that destroy heart health.
Inflammation is stealth and sneaky, quietly brewing in the body for years. Unfortunately, most people don’t know it’s a problem in the body until disease is advanced.
The first step to fixing your heart problems involves an in-depth examination of how severe of a problem inflammation is in your body. Following the test, don’t guess philosophy, the best diagnostic tests for inflammation include:
- C-reactive protein (CRP)
- CBC with differentials
- GI labs that evaluate gut health
- Labs for mold mycotoxins
- Labs for environmental toxins
- Labs for heavy metals
Individuals with suspected heart disease would benefit from Level 2 laboratory testing, which includes all of the tests mentioned above and more. These tests’ results will help guide strategies to fix your heart problems.
Quick ways to reverse heart disease
Given that it takes years, if not decades, to develop heart disease, one can’t expect it to go away overnight.
The most immediate actions to take to reverse heart disease quickly include:
- Stop smoking or using tobacco products
- Eliminate all processed grains and refined sugar
- Remove all inflammatory fats, including hydrogenated oils, trans fats, and industrial seed oils such as canola, vegetable, and corn oil
One of the best ways to jump-start heart disease reversal is fasting. This ancient practice involves refraining from food for specific periods. The benefits of fasting for heart health are numerous and include the following:
- Improved health of the lining of blood vessels (endothelium)
- Decreased arterial stiffness
- Lowered chronic inflammation
- Decreased blood pressure
- Lowered blood sugar
- Weight loss
- Improved lipid levels, including increased LDL particle size
- Reduced risk of heart failure
- Improved life span
Intermittent fasting is an excellent way to jumpstart heart disease reversal. Under the guidance of a healthcare provider, refrain from eating for 12, 24, or 36 hours. While fasting, be sure to stay hydrated and get adequate rest.
Foods to reverse heart disease
Forget prescription drugs; food is the best medicine. Fueling the heart with the right kinds of food is the number one strategy for reversing heart disease. Consuming an entirely organic, whole food-based diet is the best way to combat heart disease. Be sure to include the following inflammation-fighting foods in your diet:
- Wild-caught fish and seafood
- Grass-fed and grass-finished beef, including organs
- Pasture-raised poultry and eggs
- Green leafy vegetables (and lots of them!)
- Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower
- Allium vegetables such as onions, garlic, and scallions
- Healthy fats such as avocado, olives, and coconut
- Raw nuts and seeds
- Spices and herbs such as turmeric, cloves, ginger, and thyme
Lifestyle practices to reverse heart disease
Eating the best diet in the world won’t reverse heart disease if inflammation is still high. Many people are surprised to learn that excess stress, poor sleeping habits, and loneliness can trigger an inflammatory response. The following seven strategies will help to keep inflammation at bay:
- Get moving
A sedentary lifestyle is one of the leading modifiable risk factors for heart disease. Physical inactivity leads to fatty build-up in the arteries that causes heart disease.
While intense exercise can trigger inflammation in the short term, it lowers inflammatory markers over time. So anything that gets your heart rate going is great – from walking to biking, swimming to hiking. And if you can get that movement done outside, even better!
- Get your full 8 hours
We all know how important sleep is for health, yet most of us still skimp on it. However, studies show that a lack of sleep increases the risk of heart attack and death for those with underlying cardiovascular disease.
Remove all distractions from your bedroom and aim for 7-9 hours of high-quality sleep each night.
- Find ways to get zen
Stress relief looks different for everybody. Meditation, yoga, spending time in nature, and prayer are all effective strategies for reversing heart disease.
- Cultivate loving relationships
Loneliness and social isolation increase inflammation in the body. Studies show that poor social health is associated with increased heart disease and death rates. On the other hand, physical touch releases the “love hormone” oxytocin, thus lowering inflammation.
Spend as much time as possible with those you love. Build strong relationships, and reduce interactions with others who cause pain or stress.
- Embrace the sunshine
Heart disease is caused, in part, by a sunshine deficiency. Regular exposure to the sun helps the body produce vitamin D and nitric oxide, two components of a healthy heart.
Spend as much time as safely possible in the sunshine, exposing bare skin to the healing light. Imagine the sun penetrating your skin and healing any areas of inflammation in your vessels.
- Evaluate your environment
Reversing heart disease depends on finding the root cause. Consider the products in your home and workplace. Do they contain toxic chemicals that contribute to inflammation? Have you been exposed to mold mycotoxins or heavy metals?
- Get chiropractic care
Restrictions in the spine can cause nerve signals to become weakened or blocked. Chiropractic care can remove these restrictions and restore proper nerve function to the heart.
If you’ve been diagnosed with heart disease, consider scheduling a free 20-minute health strategy call with a Natural Heart Doctor health coach.
Receiving a heart disease diagnosis is a scary thing. However, it’s not a death sentence. With the right tools in your toolbox, you can not only halt progression, but you can reverse heart disease altogether.
Medical Review: Dr. Jack Wolfson, 2023