What we eat, how much we exercise, how we react to stress, our family history, our blood pressure and whether or not we abuse tobacco, alcohol or other drugs has a direct impact on our heart and circulatory system. Often, the progression of heart disease can be arrested with a careful combination of medical attention and lifestyle changes.
While it remains controversial, one study has shown that some people have actually reversed partial coronary artery blockages by following a comprehensive program that addresses a person’s physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being.
The physical aspect of reversing heart disease involves diet and exercise. The reversal diet is very low in fat and it emphasizes whole grains, vegetables and fruits. Because the principle source of dietary cholesterol is animal foods, the reversal diet eliminates animal foods except egg whites and limits the amount of nonfat dairy products.
Exercise in moderation is another key to the reversal program. Moderate exercise delivers all the benefits of a more strenuous workout without as much risk as a high-intensity workout.
The mental and emotional aspect of reversing heart disease focuses on responding appropriately to stressful situations, knowing how to relax and reducing feelings of isolation by improving communication skills and getting involved with others.
The spiritual element of reversing heart disease uses meditation to quiet the mind and body and to experience feelings of inner peace and unity with the person’s concept of God or a higher force.
The program for reversing heart disease represents a radical change in lifestyle for many people. But people who make these radical changes can do more than just lower their risk for heart attack-they can dramatically improve the quality of their life.
To learn more about your personal risk factors for heart disease and how you can improve your health and your life, talk to your healthcare provider or contact a local chapter of the American Heart Association.