As we know the human heart is an organ that pumps blood throughout the body via the circulatory system. The heart supplies oxygen and nutrients to the tissues of the body and removes carbon dioxide and other wastes. And without this finely tuned pumping machine . . . our body tissue can not be nourished.
Now . . . the heart is a muscular organ roughly the size of your closed fist and it sits in the chest, slightly to the left of center. But how does it work?
Simply said . . . oxygen enters the lungs when we inhale. This new oxygen is presented to the left side of the heart now being "oxygen-rich" blood and is pumped through our arteries and veins throughout the body. Once the blood has completed its mission of nourishing the body's tissues . . . it's pumped back into the right side of the heart where this "oxygen-poor" blood is then moved back to the lungs for cleaning and reoxygenation. This is where the waste materials from this process are exhaled as carbon dioxide.
So as you can clearly see . . . the heart and lungs work together to make sure the body has the oxygen-rich blood it needs to function properly.
This is called the "Pulmonary Loop"!
Okay . . . so the electrical system of the heart is the power source that makes this all possible. Your heartbeat is triggered by electrical impulses that travel down a special pathway through the heart. This is the body's natural pacemaker, which sets the rate and rhythm of your heartbeat.
And did you know . . . The heart actually has some ability to make new muscle and possibly repair itself if damaged or weakened? However, the rate of regeneration is so slow . . . it wouldn't be able to fix the kind of damage caused by a heart attack.
So how do we strengthen our heart?
The best way is to get "moving". The heart is a muscle and as with any muscle . . . it needs exercise to become strong. And we can accomplish that mission by walking, jogging, jumping on a mini trampoline, swimming or lifting light weights just to mention a few.
And hand in hand with exercise is losing weight. Losing excess weight will help to relieve the extra strain on the heart so it doesn't have to pump so hard.
Some other key elements to strengthening the heart are . . . stop smoking, eat healthy, don't overeat and reduce stress.
So how can we strengthen our heart through the food we eat?
Well . . . the food we choose is an important factor to a healthy heart due to their antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
Choosing a diet rich in leafy green vegetables such as spinach, kale and collard green, whole grains, berries, avocados, fatty fish and fish oils, walnuts and beans are just a few of the foods that facilitate a healthy heart.
And what about supplements? Well . . . green tea, garlic, magnesium and omega-3's are a must. Also adding fiber into your diet is important. And what about CoQ10? Well, we'll talk about that tomorrow.
So choose wisely. Remember . . . your heart not only can lower blood pressure, improve and manage levels of cholesterol and other fats in the blood. It can improve your body's ability to manage blood sugar and insulin levels and help you maintain a healthy weight.
And how is this possible? Well . . . the heart has its own "little brain" or "intrinsic cardiac nervous system". This "heart brain" through its own nervous system has the ability to regular other body functions as I mentioned above.
Therefore . . . the "heart" is truly the "center of the soul"!
As always, feel free to contact me here