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Seven ways to keep your heart healthy

Heart Disease

Heart disease is the major cause for health concern in Europe and North America yet, both modern medicine and Ayurveda concur that there are things we can do every day to keep a heart healthy. Here we offer some suggestions to get you started. Pick one or two and start with those if you like, then add a couple more every few weeks until you are naturally living a heart-healthy lifestyle. Bonus: Not just your heart, your entire physiology will thank you.

Seven ways to keep your heart healthy

 

1. Soothe away stress

 

According to Maharishi AyurVeda, a holistic approach to heart health requires you to nourish the emotional heart as well as the physical heart. The heart is not just a pump - it's the fountainhead of all emotions, whether it's joy and exhilaration or sadness and frustration. Mental and emotional stress can disrupt the emotional heart. Practicing Transcendental Meditation, a technique for the development of consciousness, twice daily has been shown in research studies to help in lowering blood pressure, reversing arterial blockage and enhancing resistance to all types of stress. Maharishi AyurVeda herbal supplements Peace of Mind and Blissful Joy nourish the mind and emotions and contain herbs like Brahmi, Ashwagandha and Arjuna, all renowned for their positive influence on the mind and emotional heart.

 

2. Cultivate the positive

 

Actively seeking mental and emotional well-being can help the emotional heart flourish. Ayurveda talks about ojas, the substance that maintains life. It is the finest by-product of digestion and the master co-ordinator of all activities of mind and body. Ojas leads to bliss, contentment, vitality and longevity. Inner strength and poise and the cultivation of positive attitudes and emotions increase ojas.

  • Spend time everyday on those activities that give you this contentment and happiness,
  • Listen to soothing or uplifting music,
  • enjoy serene natural beauty,
  • uplift the emotions and mind with aromatherapy,
  • and sip relaxing herbal teas,
  • maintain a positive attitude and walk away from situations that distress or anger you.

 

3. Eat right

 

Arguably the most critical step you can take towards heart health is to eat a heart-friendly diet. For a society used to fast food and eating-on-the-go, this is also often the most difficult step to take and maintain. But there are small things you can do to make your diet more heart-healthy.

  • Eat more servings of fresh fruits and vegetables,
  • start your day with stewed apples or pears,
  • include soaked blanched almonds in your diet,
  • dress your veggies with fresh lime juice and eat heart-friendly spices such as fresh-ground black pepper and the antioxidant power-spice turmeric,
  • choose fresh foods over processed foods or leftovers, light foods over rich, deep-fried ones and warm cooked foods over cold, heavy foods,
  • a balanced antioxidant rasayana such as Amrit Kalash from Maharishi Ayurveda is excellent nutritional support and builder of ojas.

 

Eat right

 

4. Eat carefully

 

How you eat is as important for heart health (and overall health) as what you eat.

  • Eat moderately - the ideal ayurvedic "portion" is what fits in your two cupped palms,
  • don't skip meals, because eating three meals at regular times each day "trains" your digestion to anticipate and digest your food,
  • stimulate a sluggish digestion with a slice of ginger, with salt and lime 15 minutes before the meal,
  • have lassi, made by blending one part fresh yoghurt with three parts cool water, with lunch. Flavour it with roasted ground cumin and fresh cilantro,
  • don't tax your digestion by eating late at night or eating a heavy meal at dinner.

 

5. Cleanse ama from the physiology

 

Ama is the by-product of incomplete digestion and accumulates in your blood vessels and elsewhere in your body. Maharishi AyurVeda recommends Panchakarma - a program of internal cleansing with every change of season to help your body flush out ama. Alternatively the Pure Body Detox (MA1010) and Detox Pitta (MA1663) food supplements are formulated to cleanse the fat tissue (meda) of ama. Other things you can do to clear out ama:

  • Drink lots of warm water through the day,
  • go to bed by 10 p.m. to help the body cleanse itself during the natural purification time,
  • eat a lighter diet high in fibre and antioxidants from fruits, vegetables, whole grains and nuts,
  • avoid drugs, alcohol and smoking.

 

6. Exercise moderately & regularly

 

You don't have to do a strenuous workout five times a week. The key is regularity. If you follow the ayurvedic principle of balaardh - exercising to half your capacity - you can exercise every single day without straining your muscles. Walking is excellent exercise for everyone and excellent therapy as well. The early morning is ideal for taking a 30-minute walk. It will not only help your heart, it will prepare you for the day by charging up your circulation and your metabolism.

 

7. Get your zzzs

 

Research studies have linked sleep deprivation to blood pressure problems, depression and other factors that increase the risk of heart disease. Ayurveda considers sleep just as important as diet in maintaining health. Practice good bedtime habits - favour restful, calming activities as bedtime draws near to help disconnect the mind from the senses. Keep your bedroom clear of distractions, television, computers, other work-related material. Maintain a temperature thats comfortable. Stay away from stimulants in the evening. Go to bed by 10 p.m. early to bed and early to rise will keep you healthy and energetic through the day.

 

Get your sleep

 

Deeper Information

 

The Heart Health System specific recommendations

 

From the ayurvedic perspective, the heart is the seat of prana - life energy - that is maintained by a delicate balance of agni (the solar energy element) and soma (the lunar energy element). Excess mental and emotional stress wastes away soma in the heart. The heart is also the seat of ojas, the substance within us that maintains life and promotes bliss and longevity. To protect and nourish the physical heart and the emotional heart, it is essential to promote both soma and ojas. Heart health is governed also by three sub-doshas: Sadhaka Pitta (emotional balance), Avalambaka Kapha (stability, strength and sense of security) and Vyana Vata (blood flow and beat).

 

The Heart Health System nourishes the physical heart and nurtures the emotional heart for a complete, balanced approach to cardiovascular health. It's a program that takes into account all the factors key to heart health, such as diet, lifestyle and daily routine. The Cardio Support (MA1816) herbal supplement contains herbs that nourish the physical and emotional aspects of the heart; cleanse the channels and keep them clear of ama (toxins); boost your ability to withstand stress and balance cholesterol in the body.

 

The Heart Health System Guidelines

 

Cardio Support

Take Cardio Support (MA1816) food supplement to protect and nourish both the physical and emotional heart. This herbal supplement enhances natural resistance to stress and promotes better sleep. Cardio Support also balances cholesterol by purifying fat tissue.

 

Peace of Mind / Blissful Joy

Maharishi AyurVeda herbal supplements Peace of Mind (MA1401) and Blissful Joy (MA1402) food supplements nourish the mind and emotions and contain herbs like Brahmi, Ashwagandha and Arjuna, all renowned for their positive influence on the mind and emotional heart.

 

Detox Pitta

Detox Pitta (MA1663) herbal supplement is formulated to gently cleanse the fat tissue (medha) of ama (toxins).
Apply Rejuvenation Massage Oil for Men or for Women to your hands and feet before bed. This non-greasy oil absorbs quickly, and helps you to enjoy a deeper, more relaxed sleep.

 

Maharishi Amrit Kalash

Take Amrit Nectar (MA4) and Ambrosia (MA5) herbal supplements to help nourish your brain and heart and to enhance your endurance against stress on a long-term basis.

 

Dietary Recommendations

 

  • Avoid stimulants such as caffeine, alcohol and tobacco,
  • include mature pomegranate fruit or juice in your daily diet,
  • rose Petal Preserve is particularly beneficial for balancing the influence of Vata and Pitta on the heart,
  • eat lots of green leafy vegetables cooked with spices and drink lassi at lunch,
  • eat moderately - the ideal ayurvedic portion is what fits in your two cupped palms,
  • stimulate a sluggish digestion with fresh ginger and lime,
  • eat foods that create more ojas, including milk, ghee, whole grains, fresh organic vegetables and sweet juicy fruits.

 

Lifestyle recommendations

 

Lifestyle Recommendations

 

  • Avoid stressful situations until you can handle them without feeling strain,
  • the Transcendental Meditation programme is highly effective for reducing stress and balancing the emotions,
  • exercise moderately but regularly - daily is preferable,
  • remember to practice easy, smooth deep breathing,
  • avoid violent and horror type films,
  • if you have a stressful job, remember to take breaks during the day,
  • go to bed by 10 p.m. so the body is at rest during the natural purification period from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m.,
  • do a daily warm oil massage (Abhyanga). It's calming and balancing for the mind and emotions,
  • live in a healthy house built in accord with Maharishi Sthapatya Veda. (www.maharishivastu.org),
  • create an uplifting atmosphere in your house by playing Gandharva music even when you are not there,
  • practice "behavioural rasayanas" - behaviours such as respecting elders, cleanliness, and sweet, truthful speech,
  • Perfect Blood Pressure Naturally - by Dr David Lovell-Smith FRNZCGP. Every year millions of people world-wide are told to get their blood pressure down or risk the devastation of a stroke, or worse. Standard treatment is usually a prescription for the latest break-through drug and a caution about diet and exercise. But is there another way?

 

DISCLAIMER: The information in this document is presented for the sole purpose of imparting education on Maharishi AyurVeda and neither the information nor the products are intended to diagnose, treat, mitigate, cure or prevent any disease. If you have a medical condition, or are pregnant or lactating, please consult a health professional and it is recommended that you speak with your physician before making significant changes to your diet or routine.

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