Healthy Tips for Living with Heart Problems, Cancer

Heart disease is the leading killer disease in the U.S, as well as a concern to others with cancer treatments that may affect the heart. Here are the best tips I gleaned yesterday from the Women’s Heart Health conference sponsored by Beaumont Health.

  1. “Prolonged sitting” is not good. If you are computer bound get up every hour. “Prolonged sitting is the new smoking,” referring to causes of heart disease, said Dr. Pamela Marcovitz, director of Beaumont’s Ministrelli Women’s Heart Center. She recommended a minimum of 150 minutes of exercise a week.
  2. Cancer, heart attacks and other chronic health problems trigger stress and mental health issues, leading to a feeling of suffering. No surprise there. But these feelings deter recovery and may explain higher death rates among heart patients. As much as 10-25% of heart disease may be attributed to these other issues, said Dr. Kavitha Chinnaiyan, cardiologist. She advocates mindful mediation and yoga to bring “stillness and inner peace,’’ as well as deep relaxation exercises that bring openness to new experiences and undertakings.
  3. Load up your diet with anti-inflammatory foods, said dietitian Stephanie Secontine. The list of these foods includes: garlic; carotenoids (carrots); omega-3 fatty acids; turmeric; tea; ginger; flavonoids (berries and much more); magnesium (beans/chia seeds). Get these benefits from raw foods or cooked food not vitamin supplements, which you may be overdosing on. Secontine said, for example, to limit chia seeds, a valuable source of protein, fiber and magnesium, to no more than 3 tablespoons a day. And, in response to a common question, don’t use coconut oil, which is high in saturated fat.
  4. Don’t toss vegetable stalks; eat them, because they have some of the best nutritional value, said Dr. Anna Marandici, cardiologist. Make sure to have raw foods in your diet, which provide the best source of nutrition.
  5. Use aromatherapy to induce restfulness and good health, said Gail Elliott-Patricolo, Beaumont’s director of integrative medicine. Dab scents on cotton balls; fill spray bottles or fill a room with a diffuser. Use lavender for restfulness; lemon to invigorate. Spray your pillowcase; dab on wrists or neck like a perfume.
  6. Eliminate negative thoughts and dwelling on past negative events, said Linda Seltzer-Sucher, a Bloomfield Hills area psychologist. She highly recommended guided imagery exercises and the book “Life Lessons” by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross.

I’d highly recommend any of these women if you are struggling with any of these issues.

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