February: Heart Health

Photo: Sun River, Oregon.

Photo: Sun River, Oregon.

With Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, we’d like to share our favorite heart-healthy tips.


Supplements for Cardiovascular and Circulatory Support:

Hawthorn (Cratageus spp.), a member of the Rose family, this plant has a wide range of properties including improving blood vessel integrity, increasing blood flow in the coronary arteries, and regulating blood pressure. On an emotional and energetic level, it promotes compassion and openness. 

Garlic is an antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory herb that reduces blood clots by inhibiting platelet aggregation. It also inhibits platelet aggregation reducing blood clots. 

Fish oil contains omega-3 fatty acids, which are anti-inflammatory and immune-supportive. It reduces plaque build-up in arteries and decreases triglyceride levels.


This month, we’d also like to emphasize the importance of taking care of the emotional heart. 

Flower essences are a type of energy medicine that have therapeutic effects for emotional well-being, stress management, and mind-body health. If you feel like you are needing additional support, please talk with your provider about having a custom blend formulated for your needs.

Be sure to take some time for self-care this month: take a bath, get a massage, read, journal, meditate, spend time with loved ones. 

Try incorporating this Loving Kindness meditation into your self-care routine to promote relaxation and compassion.

  • Find a comfortable position: Upright in a chair, sitting cross-legged, lying on your back - whatever allows you to feel both relaxed and alert. Close your eyes, if you feel comfortable doing so. Repeat the following mantra at least 5 times

    • “May I be happy, May I be well, May I be safe, May I be peaceful and at ease.”


Heart Symptoms to Monitor: 

If you experience palpitations, please speak to your provider. Palpitations, an awareness of a rapid, strong, or irregular heartbeat, are reported in up to 16% of primary care visits. Palpitations can be caused by stress, electrolyte imbalances, stimulants, hormone changes, thyroid issues, medications, and viral illness. Coxsackie virus can infect the heart causing viral myocarditis, an inflammatory heart disease that can lead to heart failure. Other symptoms of this condition include fever, fatigue, malaise, chest pain. Speak with your provider if you have these symptoms and would like to be screened for Coxsackie. 


Chocolate Bark Recipe: 

Skip the processed sugar and make this low glycemic, health-promoting treat this Valentine’s day. Coconut oil and stevia have antimicrobial properties. Cacao is a potent antioxidant, promoting cardiovascular health by reducing the damage formed by free radicals. We’ve included our favorite toppings for added deliciousness. 

Ingredients: 

  • 1/4 cup nut butter (almond, cashew, hazelnut … not peanut)

  • 1/4 cup coconut oil 

  • 1 Tbsp cacao powder 

  • 1 dropperful Stevia 

  • Optional: toasted coconut flakes, walnuts, bee pollen, goji berries 

Instructions:

  • Line cookie sheet with parchment paper 

  • Combine nut butter, coconut oil, cacao powder, and Stevia in sauce pan and melt over low/med heat, stirring occasionally

  • Pour mixture onto parchment paper

  • Sprinkle optional toppings, if desired

  • Freeze 20-30 minutes 

  • Enjoy! 


 This month, take some time to focus on your physical, emotional, and energetic heart. 

Kat Boddencardiovascular, recipe