Let’s face it: no one likes to be lied to. And yet, we’ve been fed an enormous lie for the past several decades. We’ve been led to believe that fat is the enemy, a one-way ticket to coronary artery disease (CAD) and a life cut short.
We were also told that heart disease is genetic. If it runs in our family, little can be done to change our life trajectory, rendering us powerless against this silent killer. Unfortunately, we were led astray.
The tide is turning, however, and science is exposing the truth: the vilification of fat was unfounded. Instead, we should have focused on inflammation’s role in coronary artery disease. Moreover, the true instigator of this silent killer is not genetics but our less-than-ideal lifestyle choices.
The human heart is like a constant motor, circulating vital blood to each and every corner of our bodies. This blood carries precious oxygen and nutrients, keeping us ticking along. But the heart also needs to nourish itself, and it accomplishes this through its very own network of blood vessels called the coronary arteries.
Now, imagine years of mistreating our bodies; it takes a toll on the endothelium—the smooth, delicate lining inside those coronary arteries. But our bodies are incredible, always trying to mend and heal, so they send in a cavalry of immune cells, cholesterol, low-density lipoproteins, and other helpers to fix the damage. We call this motley crew “plaque.”
The buildup of plaque on the inner walls of arteries can lead to a condition called atherosclerosis, which results in the arteries becoming narrow and stiff. This reduced blood flow can deprive the heart of the vital oxygen and nutrients it requires for optimal function. A particularly concerning complication arises when plaque dislodges from the arterial walls, as this can be a primary cause of a heart attack.
Unfortunately, most people don’t even know they’re living with coronary artery disease until something disastrous happens. Believe it or not, about half of the men who succumbed to CAD showed no symptoms before their sudden death. That’s why CAD has earned itself the nickname “the silent killer”—it’s lurking around, and we don’t even know it’s there.
On the other hand, sometimes CAD does present with symptoms. Some people experience subtle signs from the body that things are not flowing as well as they should. Symptoms of coronary artery disease may include:
- Chest pain, tightness or pressure (angina)
- Shortness of breath, especially during exercise
- Heart palpitations
- Pain in the neck, jaw, throat, upper abdomen, or back
For years, the prevailing thought behind heart disease centered on genetics and fat consumption. However, the real culprit is inflammation, triggered by poor lifestyle choices and environmental factors.
Chronic inflammation is where it all begins. When the body faces a threat, inflammation signals the body to start healing. Atherosclerosis is more than just sludge on the vessel wall. Years of irritation and injury to blood vessels trigger an inflammatory response, and cholesterol rushes to the scene to repair the damage. Cholesterol has been labeled as dangerous, but it’s actually the responsible one that shows up to fix the problem.
Conventional medicine is all about symptom management. Wouldn’t it be better to investigate the main cause of blood vessel damage rather than just focusing on the body’s response? Addressing the root cause is the best path to healing.
It’s no secret that smoking, excessive alcohol use, and obesity substantially increase the risk of coronary artery disease. But there’s more. Here are six additional causes of damaged blood vessels include:
➢ Poor diet
The typical American diet stands as the primary culprit behind chronic inflammation. Most “food” consumed nowadays is heavily processed, loaded with carbohydrates, unhealthy omega-6 vegetable oils, and synthetic chemicals. Most of what lines our grocery store shelves isn’t real food but food-like imposters.
Picture your body as a fortress under siege when these “foods” enter it. Excess sugar molecules latch onto proteins, weakening and damaging blood vessel walls. Every time blood sugar spikes, blood vessels suffer damage, igniting an inflammatory response. A similar effect occurs with excessive omega-6s and other chemicals.
Our bodies were never designed to handle this type of “food.” Inflammation is a natural protective response intended for occasional use. But regular consumption of these foods causes chronic inflammation, which then leads to atherosclerosis.
Moreover, contemporary dietary practices frequently fail to supply the essential nutrients our bodies require to repair existing damage. Nature has gifted us with incredible substances known as phytonutrients, hidden within colorful organic fruits and veggies. They’re like tiny warriors, battling oxidative stress that can wreak havoc on our bodies. But here’s the catch – we need to eat a whole rainbow of them to feel their true power.
And let’s not forget our friends from the deep blue sea – the omega-3-rich wild-caught fish – and our lovely land-roaming companions, who provide us with wholesome proteins when they’re raised on lush grass pastures. These delectable delights are just waiting to join forces with phytonutrients and help us repair the damage within – if we’d only eat more of them.
Numerous studies have revealed that individuals grappling with stress—whether from losing a dear one or working in high-pressure jobs—are more prone to develop atherosclerosis.
Our bodies are equipped with various means to handle short-term stress. Yet, enduring chronic stress takes a serious toll on our systems. Studies have found that stress ignites inflammation within the body.
Furthermore, stress hormones like cortisol and epinephrine are released in response to prolonged stress. These hormones influence blood pressure, causing damage to the blood vessel’s inner lining, and can even trigger vulnerable plaque ruptures.
➢ Toxin exposure
In today’s world, we are surrounded by harmful toxins that are hard to escape. We encounter environmental pollutants in the air we breathe, heavy metals in our water, and pesticides affecting our food sources.
When faced with these toxic intruders, our body’s natural response triggers inflammation. White blood cells are dispatched to combat and eliminate these unwelcome guests. For instance, when we inhale polluted air, our body’s immune system works like a personal SWAT team to fend off the dangerous particles.
Additionally, toxins act like little troublemakers, stirring up oxidative stress – a state where free radicals and antioxidants are thrown off balance. Toxin exposure can also lead to high blood pressure, as no-good chemicals in contaminated water create extra work for our cardiovascular system.
Mold toxicity, an often underestimated health concern, is another key player in coronary artery disease. Like an unwelcome house guest, mold can trigger inflammation and wreak havoc on our body, increasing the risk of arterial hardening and heart-related issues. Studies have found that individuals exposed to black mold may experience higher levels of cholesterol in the body.
➢ Sedentary lifestyle
Leading a sedentary lifestyle is a recipe for poor health. While it’s no secret that exercise is vital for heart health, did you know it can actually help reverse atherosclerosis? Studies reveal that regular moderate exercise can shrink plaque lesions.
Committing to just 20 minutes of exercise per day can lower inflammatory markers. You don’t need intense workouts to reap the anti-inflammatory benefits – overly strenuous exercise can increase inflammation. Instead, strive for 30 minutes of moderate exercise daily to keep those arteries clean and your heart healthy. For example, going for a brisk walk or a light aerobic workout can work wonders for your cardiovascular system.
➢ Poor sleep habits
Although sleep might not be the foremost concern when considering blocked arteries, it does indeed have a considerable impact. Insufficient sleep, characterized by shorter durations and disrupted patterns, has been linked to atherosclerosis.
The relationship between inadequate sleep and heart disease was not always evident, but emerging research implies that inflammation may be the connecting factor.
Improving your sleep routine, such as eliminating distractions from your sleeping space and rising with the sun, will decrease inflammation and lessen your risk of atherosclerosis.
➢ Sun deficiency
Many of us have been taught to fear the sun, protecting ourselves from its “dangerous rays” with toxic sunscreens that seep chemicals into our skin.
Nonetheless, sunlight is crucial in diminishing the risk of coronary artery disease. As our skin soaks up the sun’s rays, our bodies generate vitamin D and nitric oxide. Research has shown that vitamin D could alleviate arterial rigidity, while nitric oxide aids in relaxing and expanding blood vessels. Combined, these sun-driven advantages lead to reduced inflammation, enhanced blood vessel performance, and, in the end, a lower risk of CAD.
If you have coronary artery disease, odds are you were prescribed a statin to lower your cholesterol. By now, we hope you realize cholesterol is not the problem. While well-intentioned, statins cause more harm than good. Instead, you need to address the root cause of your disease by lowering inflammation in your body.
In addition to following the suggestions outlined above, consider healing yourself from the inside out with our CAD Complete Support Protocol. NHD’s protocol optimizes blood flow, endothelial function, detoxification, nitric oxide formation, and blood vessel integrity. Rest assured, reversing coronary artery disease naturally is 100 percent possible!