Most of us are battling with hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases. Have conducted a well research protocol on this to support your heart health this year. With natural remedy, using them as standalone per my research and clinical practice do not work well. You need an amalgamation of ingredients based on science to support your heart health. The cardiac diet — also sometimes called the heart-healthy diet, DASH diet or MIND diet — is recommended by many cardiologists for adults who are at high risk of developing heart disease.
This may be because they’re dealing with risk factors such as high blood pressure , high cholesterol or obesity, or even because they’re battling an illnesses like diabetes or even cancer, which can interfere with normal heart function.
According to Dr. Geo Espinoza, the cardiac diet is very similar to the well-known Mediterranean diet , which has been shown to promote not only cardiovascular health, but cognitive health and longevity in general. Because it emphasizes healthy foods like veggies, whole grains, fish, nuts and seeds, it’s a great choice for just about everyone, whether they’re susceptible to heart-related issues or not.
What Is the 3-Day Cardiac Diet?
The cardiac diet (CD) is a heart-healthy diet plan that can help minimize the risk of developing heart disease. Two principles that this diet emphasizes most are reducing sodium/salt intake and fat intake, especially saturated fat.
Other components include reducing processed foods and added sugars and increasing intake of fruit, vegetables, whole grains, fiber, legumes, fish and nuts — all of which studies show protect heart health.
The “3 day cardiac diet” got its name because some say that a very restrictive version of the cardiac diet, which is followed for three days of the week, can help you lose up to 10 pounds in three days. However, these results are not common and haven’t been proven.
The traditional cardiac diet is not actually meant to be a fad diet , but more like a healthy lifestyle change that can be followed long term.
Foods to Eat and Avoid
What meats can you eat on a cardiac diet? Can you eat cheese on a cardiac diet?
As mentioned above, the CD is a low-sodium and relatively low-fat diet. While leaner meats, egg whites and fish are allowed, fattier cuts of meat and most cheeses are off-limits, since they are higher in total fat and cholesterol.
What do you eat on a cardiac diet? Here are the heart-healthy foods and beverages you’ll find on the cardiac diet menu:
What should you not eat on a heart healthy diet? These are the foods you should avoid if following the cardiac diet:
Here are the basic guidelines for following the CD:
What does this look like in practice? Here are some ways to create your own healthy and tasty cardiac diet plan:
Wondering how you can enhance the flavor of your meals without the use of salt? Try using healthy salt substitutes and flavor enhancers, such as:
3-Day Cardiac Diet Meal Plan:
If you choose to follow the more restrictive 3-day cardiac diet, you’ll consume a set meal plan for three consecutive days during the week, and then you can basically eat whatever you want for the rest of the week (four days). This cycle should be repeated each week.
While following this diet, meals include a source of protein and usually some carbs, such as bread or fruit, sometimes along with veggies. The goal is to lower your calorie intake to about 800–1,000 calories per day.
Foods that are allowed during the three restrictive days of the week are:
Here’s what your day may look like when following the diet:
1. Can Help Reduce Inflammation and Risk for Heart Disease
The CD emphasizes eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables each day, which provide a variety of antioxidants as well as fiber, vitamins and minerals that research shows support heart health . These nutrients can also help fight oxidative stress and inflammation, which can contribute to a number of age-related health conditions.
In addition to fruits and veggies, other anti-inflammatory foods are included in the diet, such as oily fish like salmon (rich in omega-3s), nuts like almonds and walnuts, olive oil, avocado, herbs and spices.
2. Helps Decrease High Blood Pressure
Because it decreases sodium intake and increases potassium intake, the CD can help decrease high blood pressure (or hypertension). Hypertension is considered a major risk factor for heart attacks and other cardiovascular problems, and it can be worsened by high-sodium intake and high levels of inflammation.
3. Can Help Prevent High Cholesterol
In addition to providing low levels of sodium, the CD reduces overall fat intake, especially saturated fat and cholesterol. This is intended to help prevent the buildup of plaque on the artery walls, which can pose a risk for heart disease .
4. May Lead to Weight loss
This type of diet is emphasizes many heart healthy foods that are high in fiber , such as veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds, beans and whole grains. These tend to be filling and are generally low in calories but high in volume.
This can help take up room in your stomach and control your appetite, potentially leading to lower calorie intake and weight loss.
Risks and Side Effects
According to Geo Espinoza, compared to the 3-day cardiac diet, the standard cardiac diet is a healthier choice with more variety. It’s more sustainable and backed by research compared to the 3-day version, which is not.
“If you take any medications on a daily basis, such as a blood thinner or cholesterol medication, speak with your doctor before starting to follow the cardiac diet meal plan. Because it’s low in fat and sodium, the diet may change how your medication works to keep your cholesterol and blood pressure levels in the normal range, so get your doctor’s guidance to be safe.
Another potential condition that may be impacted by the CD is a kidney problem, particularly if you use salt substitutes frequently that contain potassium. If you have a kidney-related issue or take potassium-sparing diuretics, make sure you understand whether salt substitutes are safe for you.
You also want to ask your doctor about whether or not you should take any supplements to help cover your needs if following this diet, such as a B12 or vitamin K supplement. In addition to changing your diet and supplement routine, discuss what types of exercise are appropriate for you to do, since this can help boost how well the diet works to improve your heart health”.
Reducing sodium intake to levels below 6 g per day reduces blood pressure and the need for antihypertensives by as much as 30%. The reduction in cardiovascular events during the next 10 to 20 years may be in the region of 2% to 3%. The ideal level of intake is 1 g or less a day, although 3 to 4 g per day is more realistic for patient compliance. Patient compliance can be challenging because many commercial foods have high levels of sodium added. In cases of severe hypertension, the sacrifices involved may be well worth it. However, not all patients are sodium retainers, and not all patients will benefit from salt restriction. Some people are initially normotensive, but salt sensitive, and more likely over time to have risen in blood pressure.
Defects in the kallikrein-kinin system have been proposed as an explanation for sodium sensitivity. In a meta-analysis of controlled trials of reducing salt intake to reduce blood pressure in children, the researchers examined 10 trials with 966 participants, median age 13 years, and salt intake was reduced by an average of 54%. Significant reductions in blood pressure were observed. Perhaps low dietary potassium is to blame. Potassium accelerates renal kallikrein secretion and suppresses blood pressure rises in animal hypertension models. Patients with high levels of parathyroid hypertensive factor will also benefit from sodium chloride reduction. Recent studies have shown that it may be more important to consume adequate and perhaps therapeutic levels of potassium, magnesium, and calcium than it is to restrict sodium.
Dosage: Fresh garlic can be consumed in at least one to three doses per day. However, in many cases, the desired effect will not be achieved this way. Supplementation in extract form is necessary. Studies use 900 mg per day, standardized to contain allicin, which is the active compound or three cloves of raw garlic in your diet can provides such a strength needed
Potassium acts as the natural antagonist to sodium. The greater the potassium intake, the greater the sodium excretion. Modern diets have a much greater amount of sodium than potassium; the ratio of sodium to potassium is high. By eating a diet rich in vegetables and fruits, but low in canned or processed foods, the ratio of sodium to potassium will be reduced. Meat is also high in potassium because it is an intracellular ion.
Dosage: The recommended daily intake (RDI) for potassium depends on sodium intake. Average daily consumption of potassium in North America is 2000 -4000 mg four times daily. The RDI for potassium for adults is 4700 mg, but again, many adults have high sodium intake and relatively low potassium intake
Magnesium is another beneficial mineral in hypertension. It is a natural dilator of blood vessels. However, diuretics used to treat blood pressure can actually deplete magnesium.
Dosage: The RDI for magnesium is approximately 250 mg four times daily for adult males and 200 mg for females. Patients with hypertension should consume somewhat more than the RDI, as much as possible from foods.
Calcium should also be present in the diet in adequate amounts because it works with magnesium and potassium to reduce the risk of sodium chloride induced hypertension.
Dosage: The RDI for calcium is approximately 800 mg four times daily for adults, with higher levels for teenagers and during pregnancy.
Nyarkotey Naturopathic Protocol for Hypertension
i. Water- This is the remedy that’s too good to be true. Drink 15 glasses daily. This is due to the fact that, almost all of the blood pressure medications mimic the effects of increased water according to Dr. Whitaker. Water relaxes your entire system, including your arteries and tight, constricted arteries are the main causes of high blood pressure.
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ii. Allium sativa (garlic) 900 mg four times daily
The best botanical to consider in mild hypertensic is Allium sativa (garlic). It appears to have both dire and indirect effects on hypertension. In several studies, garlic has demonstrated the ability to reduce blood pressure after several weeks of us. In the long-term, garlic may help hypertension by preventing atherosclerosis. Garlic can favorably affect lipid profiles, lowering serum cholesterol and raising HDL. It also has an antifibrinogenic effect. This can lead to less platelet "stickiness" and slows the development of atherosclerotic plaques.
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iii. Coenzyme Q10 - Coenzyme Q10 is another nutrient of value in heart disease. It functions in the mitochondria as an essential component of the electron transport chain, the pathway where energy is harnessed from energy rich NADPH. CoQ10 serves as a kind of shuttle, bringing electrons from one part of the respiratory chain to another. Dosage: between 120 mg -320 mg four times daily
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iv. Magnesium 200 mg three times daily as citrate
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v. Potassium –eat at least two bananas daily as they are loaded with potassium. Alternatively, green plantain should always be part of your daily diet. Also, watermelon, avocados, papayas, oranges etc. for supplement, get over 4700mg four times daily
What Does Potassium Do for Your Body?
vi. Calcium works with magnesium and potassium to reduce the risk of sodium chloride induced hypertension. For supplement, approximately 800 mg four times daily for adults.
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vii. L-carnitine 1 g three times daily – to improve Cardiac performance.
Supplementation with L-carnitine should be undertaken. This amino acid is part of the delivery of fatty acids to the mitochondria for beta-oxidation. A form of carnitine, propionyl L-carnitine, has been studied in experimental models. It improved energy metabolism and myocardial contractility. It seems to be able to correct some of the metabolic steps that lead to heart failure. Administration of carnitine in patients with Heart Failure increased the maximum exercise time, reduced lactate production, and improved left ventricular ejection fraction (the amount of blood forced out of the left ventricle during contraction). Major hemodynamic changes are not seen with carnitine, but it also improves skeletal muscle metabolism.
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viii. Taurine 1-3 g four times daily.- Taurine protects against ischemia and heart failure. It may regulate the levels of ionized calcium in cardiac cells by modulating the activity of voltage-dependent calcium channels, regulating sodium channels, and exchanging sodium for calcium.
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ix. Crataegus oxycantha Standardized extract (procyanidins): 120 mg three times daily.
x. Flaxseed oil: 1 Tablespoon two times daily or Fish oil: 1000 mg- Reduce if patient concurrently taking anticoagulants
xi. Vitamin E 400-800IU- reduce to 400 IU or less if patient is on blood thinning agents)
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xii. Vitamin C 1 g two times daily
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xiii. Hibiscus Tea(use the brand Nyarkotey Tea) three times daily.
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xiv. Add exercise
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xv. Homeopathic medication can be added concurrently
Pharmaceutical drugs still play an important role in cardiovascular health and should not be overlooked in severe hypertension. Natural medicines take time but they are effective; hence, look at your situation and balance it. You can take conventional drugs anytime the blood pressure goes very high along with my naturopathic protocol and once it stabilizes; revert to the natural protocol. You should be monitoring your blood pressure regularly!
For many years, there were not any reliable pharmaceuticals for hypertension. Some early drugs were not specific enough in their action and would cause severe hypotension, even when used carefully. That is no longer the case. Diuretics were the first effective and reasonably well tolerated medicine for hypertension and are still often used today. For example, thiazide diuretics control hypertension without causing too many side effects. Beta blockers work by slowing the heart rate and reducing the force of contraction. Calcium channel blockers work by relaxing the myocardium. ACE inhibitors interfere with angiotensin converting enzyme; however, these drugs are not suitable for patients with renal artery stenosis because lack of renin-angiotensin activity can lead to renal failure. At one time, drugs were used in a step-wise approach - that is, dietary therapy, then diuretic, then beta blocker, and so on. Now, the practice is to try to match the drug to the patient. For example, white males who have risk factors for heart disease might receive a beta blocker, perhaps with a diuretic, as well as dietary therapy
Happy New Year!
DISCLAIMER This post is for enlightenment purposes only and should not be used as a replacement for professional diagnosis and treatments. Remember to always consult your healthcare provider before making any health-related decisions or for counselling, guidance and treatment about a specific medical condition.
NB: The writer is on a mission to provide you and your family with the highest quality nutrition tips, scientific herbs and healthy recipes in the world.
The writer is an honorary Professor of Holistic Medicine-Vinnytsia State Pedagogical University, Ukraine, president, Nyarkotey College of Holistic Medicine and currently, LLB law student. He is the formulator of FDA approved Nyarkotey Hibiscus Tea for Cardiovascular Support and wellness, Men’s Formula for Prostate Health and Women’s Formula for wellness. Contact: 0241083423/0541234556