The average heart beats 80 times per minute, about 4,800 times per hour, squirting crimson life force throughout. That's 115,200 times daily and about 42,048,000 times a year! At 80, approximately a staggering 3,363,840,000 times! To provide oxygen, nutrients, and carry away waste, before each beat, the heart fills with blood, contracts and squirts it along: like squeezing the hand into a fist, so it supplies blood nonstop, all day, all night, all the time.
However, the heart, our second brain, can’t operate without gas or oil in the crankcase. We ask it to do a lot for us, but, like any muscle (or machine), it requires maintenance such as vitamin nutrition, daily exercise, and calming spiritual balance to do its job or it breaks down; struggles mightily, weakens, breaks, and becomes susceptible to dis-ease or a premature nap under the sod.
This grateful writer learned the hard way. At 17, I watched my 47-year-old father die from a massive coronary. Later on, at 44 weighing in at 300 pounds, I was bluntly told by a cardiologist to “get prepared, you’re going to die… soon”. My clueless in Indianapolis lifestyle of sloth, booze, butts, gravy, fast food, sugar and animal fat took its toll and my gelatinous, un-exercised heart doubled in size, congestive heart failure set in, and my electrical system went haywire causing atrial-fib. Previously, I’d made absolutely no connection between food, lifestyle, and disease. Food was merely for quelling a rumbling tummy and a pleasurable indulgence,
After waltzing out of the hospital with a miraculous, rare second chance, I took compassionate self-control of my health, joined a gym, gradually evolved into a sustainable, plant-based diet, and lost 125 pounds. After reading Hippocrates’s quote, “Let food be thy medicine”, the journey back to my original wholeness a lecturing and writing career began. (Optional) Thirty years later, I remain mentally and physically fit, spiritually grounded in the karma of a plant-based lifestyle.
Harvard Medical School wants us to know however, “The types of plant foods and their sources are important. For example, white rice and white bread are plant-based foods, so you’d think they're good to eat. But they’re highly processed, depleted of many heart-healthy nutrients, and have a high glycemic index, which means they can spike sugar levels and increase hunger, leading to overeating.”
Evade dead, processed foods, unhealthy saturated animal fats, trans fats, hydrogenated fats and oils, (margarines), pasta, white rice, processed breads and cereals, French fries and potato chips. Walk away from and never look back at sugary soft drinks and fruit drinks. Nearly half of all deaths in the US caused heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes, have been linked to substandard eating habits, according to a study published in JAMA and funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of the National Institutes of Health. And don’t smoke cigarettes that damage heart and blood vessels.
Can’t rely on pharmaceuticals delivered by a magical Unicorn to save us. WebMD warns: “Statins are effective at lowering cholesterol, protecting against heart attack and stroke, although they may lead to side effects for some people. These include muscle pain and damage, liver damage, increased blood sugar or type 2 diabetes, and neurological side effects. More alarming, The American College of Cardiology warns of statin intolerance that can cause risk of suicide, aggressive behavior, headache, asthenia, dizziness, fatigue, depressive disorder in stroke patients, risk of hemorrhagic stroke, severe irritability, insomnia, somnolence, agitation, confusion, hallucinations, and nightmares.
Keep the heart beating for a long time to come by eating the rainbow of heart-healthy plant-foods: at least 7-9 servings or more of fruits and vegetables daily. Salad bars, sans Ranch Dressing, are an easy way to achieve this. Can’t eat that much? Dairy-less fruit and vegetable smoothies and juicing are excellent ways to drink our produce. Meditate, sit in total stillness, or do yoga as often as possible. Ditch negative energies. Live an active, present, loving lifestyle and get physical at least 30 minutes to an hour every day in ways that get that beautiful body huffing, puffing, and sweating.
Our modern diet is killing us slowly with its fries, and so we must re-learn our inborn behavior of eating local, organic, non-GMO, highly-vibrational, vitamin-dense plant-foods still tingling with the energy of the sun, rain, wind, earth, because when nutritional needs aren’t met, the human body is ill equipped to fend off largely preventable diseases of the heart.
There’s another level of feel-good waiting for those choosing to control their destiny in this realm with a plant-based diet from mother earth’s lush pharmacopoeia rather than nutritionally diminished, fake food and synthetic chemicals.
Just as we were not born to hate each other, we weren’t born to hate plant foods either, we were taught. Give the heart the love it deserves.