What are your top natural tips for heart health?

Response from Irene McCabe Naturopathic Nutritionist:

A heart healthy eating plan could consist of the following; Vegetables, fruit and herbs. Vegetables can be consumed in unlimited amounts and try to consume a variety of colours. Add herbs such as coriander, basil and parsley.

Eating fruit has enormous benefits so why not swap it for sugary snacks when the sweet tooth kicks in. You have no idea how much your body will thank you for this choice! The best time to eat fruit is for breakfast. If eaten later in the day try to leave a gap of at least two hours after eating other food stuff as the fruit could ferment which can result in flatulence

Oils: Olive oil is the principal source of fat, and can be added to salads. However research is now suggesting that the best oil for cooking is coconut oil so after much research this is the oil of choice we use for cooking in the McCabe household

Protein: Fish poultry and eggs in moderate amounts and red meat in moderation. Please avoid possessed meat that contains sodium nitrate.

Whole Grains: Carbohydrates should be eaten only in the complex form including whole oats, brown rice, millet, buckwheat, quinoa, amaranth, spelt, etc Helpful supplements include Magnesium, B vitamins, CoQ10, Omega 3 oils hawthorn berry and chlorella Proper dental care and regular exercise is also very important to good heart health. An hour’s walk per day can be a great start and try reducing stress with the practice of meditation

Response from Nikki Biddiss, Medical Herbalist: Hearts are everywhere for Valentine’s Day and it’s the perfect time to focus on heart health!

Every part of our body requires a steady supply of fresh oxygenated blood. The heart works hard to pump five litres of blood around, returning deoxygenated blood to the lungs where it can pick up a fresh supply of oxygen and start all over again.

Top Tips for Heart Health: Eat a balanced healthy diet- eat plenty of fruit and vegetables, some wholegrain bread rice and pasta, lean meat, fish, eggs and pulses to ensure we get a wide range of micro and macro nutrients. Cut down on salt and limit intake of foods high in fats and sugar.

Stop smoking - you are twice as likely to have a heart attack if you smoke. Smoking damages your arteries and reduces blood oxygen levels. Nicotine stimulates the body to release adrenaline which raises blood pressure and heart rate and increases blood-clotting risks.

Get active - just 30 minutes of moderate exercise five times a week can make a significant improvement to your physical and mental health and reduce the risk of heart disease.

Reduce alcohol- Recommended intake is no more than 14 units per week with several alcohol-free days. Excess alcohol increases blood pressure and can damage the heart muscle. Some studies have shown moderate intake of red wine can be good for the heart but this is only 5 units a week.

Control stress- Managing stress and anxiety improves wellbeing and reduces our reliance on cigarettes and alcohol to cope with stress.

Consult your health practitioner before following any advice if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, have underlying health issues or are on any other medication.

Nikki Biddiss is a Medical Herbalist, Aromatherapy Massage Therapist and Stress and Wellbeing Coach. To book a consultation For Nikki call Napier’s, 61 Cresswell Street, Glasgow on 0141 339 5859.

Irene McCabe is a Naturopathic Nutritionist and has been an Independent Nutritional Researcher for over 30 years. Irene also practices Allergy and Intolerance Testing and Advanced Clinical Hypnotherapy and is the former owner of Napier’s in Glasgow’s West End. To book a consultation For Irene call The Harvest Clinic, 201 West George Street, Glasgow on 0141 333 0878   E-mail responsenatural@gmail.com