Connection between Stress and Cardiovascular Disease.

February is American Heart Month. Heart disease is the leading cause of disability (Stats: accounting for 1 in 4 deaths in the United States).

A recent study published in THE LANCET shows a connection between stress and cardiovascular disease.

“Our results provide a unique insight into how stress may lead to cardiovascular disease. This raises the possibility that reducing stress could produce benefits that extend beyond an improved sense of psychological wellbeing,” said lead author Dr Ahmed Tawakol, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, USA. “Eventually, chronic stress could be treated as an important risk factor for cardiovascular disease, which is routinely screened for and effectively managed like other major cardiovascular disease risk factors.” Reference

Protect our heart by doing those small things:

  1. Pause, unwind, and relax;
  2. Excise regularly;
  3. Omega 3 is good for heart. Sources include salmon, walnuts, almond, chia, flaxseed, avocado;
  4. Reduce sugar intake.
salmon

Good and Bad Carbs

Carbs are essential and controversial. However, there are some commonly agreed guidelines -choose “whole” instead of “Refined”. Below are some example sources.

healthy carbs: barley, squash, whole-wheat bread, oatmeal, quinoa, sweet potato, broccoli, blue berry, spinach

refined carbs: sugar-sweetened beverage, fruit juice, pastries, white bread, white pasta, white rice.

If you consume a lot refined carbs, reducing them gradually might be an easy life change event.

Healthy carbs

 

refined carbs

The diet from a neurogenesis point of view

In the book The Neurogenesis Diet and Lifestyle: Upgrade Your Brain, Upgrade Your Life, Dr. Brant Cortright presented great findings to boost our brain health at any age.  He suggested the following general principles of diet for neurohealth:

  • Plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits;
  • High quality fats: grass-fed meat, flaxseed, pasture-raised chicken, avocados, extra virgin coconut/olive oil, nuts and seeds, high quality fish, etc.
  • Cook at low temperature. Don’t eat burnt or charred meat.
  • Lower sugar and carbohydrates intake. Good carbohydrates comes with lots of fiber: summer squash, berries, kale, carrots, etc.

5-minute chia seed drink

Three reasons to make chia drinks yourself.

  • Chia seed, which is loaded with antioxidants and fiber, is naturally low-calorie. It helps to reduce weight, and has many health benefits.
  • Chia seed is low price (organic chia seed is around $4 lbs at whole food).  Compare to the price of those single serve bottles!
  • The jelly-like texture is unique. Adjust the taste with your choice of fruit.

Steps:

  • Mix up 3 teaspoons of chia seed and a cup of warm water.
  • Get 1/4 lemon and squeeze the juice in to add a taste.