Cardiovascular disease, our greatest enemy
Cardiovascular disease is a major public enemy in the West, including the Netherlands. The amount of saturated fats and refined carbohydrates (cane sugar and white flour products) in our diet is increasing every year. In addition, the processing of food is increasing and the supply of vitamins and minerals is decreasing.
Air pollution, one-sided fertilisation in agriculture, pesticides applied in agriculture and pollution of soil and water are some of the developments that have greatly increased the need for vitamins and minerals.
The shortage of essential vitamins and minerals and the imbalance in fat intake are some of the factors that can derail normal body processes. The consequences of this include obesity, clogging of the blood vessels and ultimately the development of cardiovascular disease.
To prevent cardiovascular disease, it is good to have as low an LDL level as possible. The use of soluble fibres, found in fruit, vegetables, legumes and oats, reduces the total cholesterol level. The ratio between the different unsaturated fatty acids, namely the omega 3 and omega 6 acids, influences the viscosity of the blood and the chance of the development of inflammations (measured via CRP in the blood) (via prostaglandin synthesis).
Omega 6 is important and we need it in small quantities. But in the Netherlands, most people actually consume too much omega 6 fatty acid. Omega 6 is found in many products, including sunflower oil, biscuits, margarine, mayonnaise, cakes and fried foods. Omega 6, as it were, pushes the omega 3 away. That is why it is so important to take in more Omega 3 and less Omega 6.
Omega 3 fatty acids (fatty fish, linseed oil) are unfortunately not sufficiently present in our diet. These fatty acids can be found in fish, olive oil, linseed oil, avocado and chia seeds. In general, we do not get enough of this, so it is advisable to take a good omega 3 supplement in the form of a good fish or algae oil.
An excess intake of fast refined carbohydrates (cane and beet sugar, and white flour products) is harmful to our bodies. Fast sugars contain hardly or no vitamins and minerals. In order to convert refined carbohydrates into energy, the body needs vitamins and minerals. These are extracted from the body for this purpose and are therefore no longer available for other tasks. Refined carbohydrates put a strain on the glucose balance, which can ultimately lead to hyper-insulinism and possibly diabetes. Excess sugars are also converted into body fat. Hyper-insulinism and obesity are both risk factors for developing cardiovascular disease.
Micronutrients are closely involved in maintaining a healthy heart.
Deficiencies of certain vitamins and minerals are linked to cardiovascular disease
Overweight and the heart
Our energy consumption has fallen sharply in recent decades because we move less and do less heavy work. However, our fuel intake has increased as we consume more foods containing refined carbohydrates and fats. The balance between consumption and intake has disappeared for many people. The excess fuel is converted into fatty tissue, which ultimately leads to obesity. Excess weight not only increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, it also increases the risk of other chronic diseases (e.g. diabetes).
Many studies show that these micronutrients are actually involved in maintaining a healthy functioning cardiovascular system. Some essential minerals are: potassium, sodium, magnesium and calcium. The sodium/potassium (Na/K) balance is important for the circulatory system. For example, a sodium surplus leads in many cases to hypertension (high blood pressure).
Sodium is added to many foods in the form of table salt. The relative shortage of potassium and vitamin B is aggravated by the use of alcohol, tea and sugar. The use of a number of medicines, including certain diuretics (water pills) also leads to a decrease in potassium levels in the body.
A shortage of the minerals calcium and magnesium is also linked to cardiovascular disease. These minerals are both important, but the balance between calcium and magnesium is also very important. Magnesium has a specific function as a muscle relaxant and lowers blood pressure. Phosphorus, among others, works against magnesium.
The liver plays an important role in various processes, including cardiovascular disease. Proper methylation is important.
When we consume alcohol, coffee, black tea, chocolate, paracetamol, additives (E-numbers), medicines, hormones, nicotine, antibiotics, pesticides via the food chain, etc., the liver is burdened and has to work twice as hard. The demand for certain nutrients then increases. That demand is there but cannot be met, and the shortage of vitamins and minerals and the imbalance in fat intake are some of the factors that can derail normal body processes.
Do you want to know how your health is doing, so that you can take steps to improve your ‘heart’ health preventively? By doing an EMB blood test or a Vitalfeld Bodyscan, imbalances can be found, after which Nutriswitch, practice for orthomolecular therapy, can advise you on the right nutrition and supplementation and help to repair imbalances or nutritional deficiencies.
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