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Aristotle described the heart as the most important organ and the centre of vitality in the body. In this episode, Jen shares why he was right and what you can do to look after your heart and help it to function optimally.

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SHOWNOTES

“The heart possessed is intelligent!” 

This is how Aristotle described the heart as the most important organ and the centre of vitality in the body. 

We know that your heart contracts, or “beats”, approximately 100,000 times daily. The heart contains pacemaker cells that generate electrical currents that cause the automatic contractions of the heart. 

Your heart is the size of a fist and must pump blood throughout your body using a crazy network of blood vessels. It delivers oxygen and nutrients to every cell in your body while removing metabolic waste and carbon dioxide. 

I talk a lot about how the adrenal glands are the centre of our being – in Chinese Medicine, this is where our Qi is stored. So, adrenal glands are the centre of our being, and our heart is the centre of our vitality.

What can you do to look after your heart and help it to function optimally?

1. Supporting healthy blood flow

Like all of the cells in the rest of our body, our heart cells require oxygen and nutrients. We also need efficient circulation in the arteries around the heart (the coronary arteries). 

So, what helps with that? Nitrate-rich vegetables! These include fennel, green leafy vegetables like arugula/rocket, kale, spinach, radishes, parsley, and Chinese cabbage.

You may have also heard in the media that processed meats are high in nitrates too to prevent bacteria from growing in them, but in this form, it’s considered harmful. We want to live the way mother nature intended, close to nature. 

Nitrates from vegetables have a beneficial impact on circulatory health. When nitrates are absorbed, the body converts them to nitrites, which may be converted into nitric oxide. Nitric oxide supports blood flow by causing the opening of your arteries, which is what we want.

2. Maintaining Healthy Cholesterol Levels

In episode 73, I talk about everything Cholesterol, so let’s talk about the bottom line today, and you can go back and listen if you want more information.

Cholesterol is essential for life as it is critical for maintaining cellular structures and is a precursor for producing sex hormones and Vitamin D. 

Some cholesterol is good, but too much bad Cholesterol (LDL) risks heart health. With this in mind, we want to help your body manage Cholesterol. Omega 3 and garlic keep cholesterol moving.

3. Oxidative Stress

The heart requires enormous amounts of oxygen to work continuously. The heart does this thing called aerobic metabolism. This is where oxygen is used in special components of the heart cells called mitochondria to generate energy for the heart and the body.

The “downside” of that is oxidative stress. This is what ages us the fastest and what takes us off this planet. Think of a piece of steel. Rust is oxidative stress. It is weakening and reducing the life span of that piece of steel.

In a normal body, our physiology can handle this and efficiently detoxify. But as we age, we’re less equipped to handle this oxidative stress, and it ages us faster. 

So, how do we deal with oxidative stress? Live close to nature, manage your stress and move your body daily.

Western medicine says Aristotle was wrong in defining the heart as the centre of our vitality. I agree with Aristotle. I think he got it right. So, what to take away from all this? Eat close to nature, include nitrate-rich vegetables in your diet, manage your stress and move your body.

Healthy Life Hacks

The Healthy Life Hacks I want to share with you today are:

  1. Increase your daily intake of nitrate-rich vegetables and be kind to your heart
  2. Move your body daily. Make that not negotiable
  3. Get into adaptogens

Did you enjoy the podcast today? Please let me know by leaving a review on Apple Podcasts. Every month I draw one lucky reviewer to have a free one-hour consultation with me. Also, remember to subscribe wherever you’re tuning in from so that you always catch the next episode.

Are you looking for more great resources? Get a free copy of my Feed Your Body ebook here and be sure to explore my blog while you are there.

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