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Eating With Your Heart in Mind and Have a Healthy Heart

Acupuncturists understand the body as a complex system of energy systems, meridians, and organs. However, when an acupuncturist talks about an organ, like the spleen, heart, or kidneys, they are not referring to the physical organ that sits inside your body, but rather the energetics of these organs. The energetic system is much bigger than just the physical organ and governs certain functions in the body on many levels.

Caring For Your Healthy Heart

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) it is massively important to care for your heart. Why? Well for starters, the heart governs the ability to think clearly, sleep soundly, and maintain a good memory. Our emotional state is strongly influenced by how healthy or unhealthy our heart may be. A weak and deficient heart may create feelings of anxiety and mania, while also contributing to insomnia, forgetfulness, and lack of concentration. The heart is known as the “king of all organs”. Meaning, other organs will sacrifice all to keep the heart in motion; this involves giving away their energy and nutrient supply (commonly referred to as Qi). 

When it comes to your heart, what you eat matters. Follow these  healthy heart eating tips:

1. Eat less saturated fats

healthy heart

Look for lean meats, like seafood, poultry, lean cuts of pork, and cut back on fatty red meats and high-fat dairy products. Limit foods like pizza, burgers, and creamy sauces or gravy. Look for products with no trans fats and choose foods with unsaturated fats like salmon, nuts, seeds, avocados, and oils.

2. Cut down on sodium (salt)

Read the Nutrition Facts label and choose foods that are lower in sodium. Look for the low-sodium or “no salt added” types of canned soups, vegetables, packaged meals, snack foods, and lunch meats.

3. Get more fiber

Eat vegetables, fruits, and whole grains to add fiber to your diet. Fiber is a carbohydrate that your body cannot break down, so it passes through the body undigested. Fiber can help prevent heart disease from its ability to lower both blood pressure and cholesterol.

4. Cut back on sweeteners

Consuming too much added sugar can raise blood pressure and increase chronic inflammation, both of which are pathological pathways to heart disease. When choosing a sweetener, look for natural options like honey, dates, maple syrup, molasses, or agave nectar. We may be biased, living in Vermont, but we love Morse Farm and Bragg Farm for delicious maple syrup from our home in Montpelier, Vermont.

5. Eat Red Foods

Chinese medicine recommends eating red foods, like beets, hawthorn berries, strawberries, cherries, raspberries, tomatoes, watermelon, peppers and goji berries. They keep your heart happy with lycopene, antioxidants and beneficial vitamins.

Without a healthy heart, the body cannot function properly and the mind may be clouded and disconnected. Contact us to see how acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine can assist you with all of your heart health needs.