For years, health care providers have recommended one low dose (or baby) Aspirin a day to ward off heart disease. Since Aspirin has an anti-inflammatory effect and can reduce platelet aggregation, it’s believed that a little Aspirin everyday can benefit the cardiovascular system. The heart and blood vessels can be severely injured by chronic inflammation or by the formation of blood clots. This seemed like an easy little preventative measure that everyone, especially those with a predisposition to heart issues, could do.
Hold on a second!
In today’s world of modern natural medicine there are so many simple, easy and non-pharmaceutical options that reduce inflammation and support heart health. Aspirin is a pharmaceutical compound that has side effects. The long term use of Aspirin might reduce inflammation in the cardiovascular system and thin the blood, but remember that the liver and digestive tract have to manage the breakdown of this drug day in and day out. Over time, there is an increased risk of developing a major side effect such as: gastrointestinal bleeding, ulcers and kidney issues. Moreover, other adverse effects to long term Aspirin use include risk of breast cancer development in women, tinnitus, cataracts and iron deficiency anemia.
So… what are some simple and easy things we can all do to protect our cardiovascular system and keep inflammation down?
– Keep added sugar to a minimum: refined sugar, added to food or in prepared food or beverages, can trigger inflammation in the body.
– Keep synthetic food ingredients to a minimum: processed food, preservatives, additives, artificial sweeteners, artificial flavours, etc., also trigger inflammation in the body. This is why heart health is directly supported by a diet that consists of real fresh food with plenty of vegetables, fruit and pure water.
– Include Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs). Especially a good quality, high potency Cod Liver Oil. Fish oil is high in Omega 3 EFAs which helps to reduce inflammation and supports the integrity of blood vessels and the heart tissue.
– Exercise: Get moving and pump up circulation. Exercise helps to oxygenate the blood, which supports healthier heart tissue and blood vessels. Exercise also moves blood more actively through the vessels, which can prevent blood stagnation and plaque formation.
– Optimize Sleep: getting a solid 8 hours every night, and having a bedtime before midnight, helps to control cortisol levels, which also helps to decrease inflammation in the body.
– Keep Blood Pressure, Blood Sugar and Cholesterol Levels within healthy ranges
Licensed Naturopathic doctors believe in preventative medicine and proactive health care that supports the body as a whole. If you are looking for strategies to manage inflammation and improve cardiovascular health, visit with a Naturopathic Doctor.