I recently attended a brief presentation given by a top women’s cardiologist. Not having a prior background in heart health, I received a wealth of new information.I learned that obesity can be a major precursor of heart disease and that early preventative screening, stress management, diet, exercise and sufficient sound sleep are the main factors for prevention.The speaker emphasized that a healthy change in diet can make a big difference in every woman’s heart health and highlighted the importance of choosing heart healthy natural foods, fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and omega-3 fatty acids as a priority over fast foods, carbohydrates, and excessive sugars. Add to this a vigorous daily exercise plan to supplement any other type of occasional exercise. In her observation, regular exercisers are more likely to stay healthy as compared to individuals who are stuck in a sedentary lifestyle—a wakeup call to those of us who spend long hours on the computer, at a desk, or watching TV.
As a remedy to today's overdose of stress, she cited a research article about Transcendental Meditation (T. M.) and heart disease. She bubbled over with enthusiasm while describing research findings which indicated that something outside of the traditional health care paradigm could be so effective. With numerous research studies showing that heart attacks and strokes were cut by nearly 50% in at-risk patients and a 2013 endorsement by the American Heart Association stating that T. M. is the only meditation to effectively reduce high blood pressure, she now recommends the T. M. program to her patients, the rationale being that if T. M. can reduce blood pressure by even 40% then it seems to be more effective than other commonly used modalities. She enjoys providing her patients with a unique all natural, stress busting and relaxing approach to maintaining their overall health.
Her book Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum's Heart Book: Every Woman's Guide to a Heart-Healthy Life presents her innovative perspective, outlining the necessary steps women can take to integrate emotional and physical well-being. Citing that women's heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S., she offers a holistic approach to augment and transcend traditional medical intervention. The author has dedicated her career to keeping women healthy and offers caring solutions for women seeking preventative health measures in today’s stressed, fast paced and health challenging world. Her book is available through www.amazon.com.
Simi Summer, Ph.D. is an independent researcher, educator, and freelance writer. She is a strong proponent of organic consumer education and informed consumer choices.
Anderson, J. W., Lie, C., and Kryscio, R. J. (2008) Blood pressure response to Transcendental Meditation: A meta-analysis. American Journal of Hypertension, 21(3), 310-316.
Rainforth, M. V., Schneider, R. H., Nidich, S. I., Gaylord-King, C., Salerno, J.W. and Anderson, J.W. (2007). Stress reduction programs in patients with elevated blood pressure: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Current Hypertension Reports, 9(6), 520-528.
Schneider, R. H., Grim, C. E., Rainforth, M. V., Kotchen, T., Nidich, S. I., Gaylord-King, C., Salerno, J. W., Kotchen, J. M., and Alexander, C. N. (2012). Stress reduction in the secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease. Randomized controlled trial of Transcendental Meditation and health education in blacks. Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, 5(6), 750-758.
NOTE: The statements presented in this column should not be considered medical advice or a way to diagnose or treat any disease or illness. Dietary supplements do not treat, cure or prevent any disease. Always seek the advice of a medical professional before altering your daily dietary regimen. The opinions presented here are those of the writer. WholeFoods Magazine does not endorse any specific company, brand or product.