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“One love, one heart, let’s get together and be all right,” sang Bob Marley. Including the heart in his powerful message of peace speaks to its significance. Each of us has one, and it is expected to support us throughout our lives. Sadly, heart disease remains the number one cause of death worldwide. In the US, one person dies from it every 34 seconds. There are many reasons why death from heart failure continues to be so high; however, over the decades, much research has been devoted to this problem, and as the results of each study are revealed, we get a clearer picture of the causes. Each new insight allows us to make changes and develop habits that help support and protect our hearts.
External factors cause internal inflammation.
Heart disease results from a combination of lifestyle influences such as smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, a diet high in sugar and salt, unhealthy fat, processed foods, and low consumption of fruits and vegetables. Combined with a lack of exercise, these factors trigger the manufacturing of plaque, a combination of fats, calcium, and cholesterol. The buildup of plaque impedes blood flow to the heart and brain. Heart disease and type 2 diabetes are symptoms of chronic internal inflammation.
A mainly plant-based diet has significant heart health benefits.
Medical studies have revealed the benefits of a vegetarian diet, the importance of reducing salt intake and exercising regularly. Additionally, maintaining a healthy weight has been identified as one of the critical factors in reducing heart disease.
Marley was a practicing Rastafarian. A religion and spiritual movement founded in Jamaica in the 1930s, Rastafarians believe in a deep connection to nature and the earth. Its members live a vegetarian lifestyle, abstaining from salt and all animal products. They believe this helps them achieve physical and spiritual health. It should be noted that Bob Marley ate fish and meat occasionally, yet many Rastas adhere to the practice of “ital is vital,” eating, primarily vegan.
Fruits and vegetables are natural sources of anti-inflammatory flavonoids, vitamin C, and dietary fiber. These nutrients can protect, reduce, and reverse internal inflammation.
Flavonoids are naturally occurring compounds in fruits, vegetables, tea, coffee, soy, dark chocolate, and wine. These compounds have many benefits, including anti-inflammatory protection and reduced chronic disease risk. Flavonoids are potent antioxidants that help prevent cell damage caused by inflammation. Studies have shown that they can reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and cancer. They also have anti-aging properties and can help improve skin health.
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that is important in protecting the walls of the heart’s arteries. It helps block atherosclerosis development, thereby protecting and strengthening the vascular system. Vitamin C helps reduce inflammation, which can damage artery walls, lead to plaque buildup, and narrow arteries, increasing your heart attack or stroke risk. In addition, vitamin C has been shown to improve circulation by helping blood vessels relax, leading to better overall cardiovascular health.
Dietary fiber such as oatmeal and black or brown rice, whole-wheat bread, and all unrefined grains are important components of a healthy diet and are essential in protecting against heart disease. Dietary fiber helps to lower cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and weight gain. It also helps to reduce inflammation in the body, which can lead to heart disease. Additionally, dietary fiber can help improve digestion and absorption of nutrients from food.
“Beginnings are usually scary, and endings are usually sad, but everything in between makes it all worth living.”
Bob Marley’s quote applies to going vegan; it can be difficult at first, but it has been gaining in popularity because of its many benefits. It is a great way to protect your heart by reducing internal inflammation, losing weight, and improving overall health. It is also an essential step towards creating a healthier planet earth. By reducing your consumption of animal products, you can contribute positively to the environment, as well as your health.
Annie and LJ are a fictional couple. Their storyline promotes healthy eating and earth-friendly practices.
The Food-as-Medicine philosophy is based on the belief that whole food is a traditional remedy with the therapeutic power to improve and maintain one’s health. The philosophy has been around for hundreds of years.Read More