Healing Your Heart Starts With What You Eat

"Do your part, care for your heart."

How's your health? How's your heart?

More importantly, what are you eating? How is your nutrition?

For whatever reasons, most Americans tend to eat a fairly poor diet, which is also ironic given our status of one of the wealthiest and most advanced countries. Don't believe it? Read about the sad Standard American Diet. Most of us need to heal our hearts, our bodies.

Let's look at a nutrition plan (not a DIET) that includes nourishing foods and good fats to keep you healthier, happier, and get you on your healing journey.

Food truly can be your medicine (or at least a BIG part of it).

Heal Yourself: You Are What You Eat

1. Shop and Eat Locally. Not only will you be supporting your neighbors and local communities, you will be purchasing food that is fresher and often much healthier than store-bought foods. Ask at local farmers markets or in social media groups about local producers of high-quality meats, eggs, veggies, and fruits. (If you're lucky enough to eat local seafood, go for it!) You want to support vendors who are doing things the right way -- pastured, grassfed beef and poultry and no (or extremely limited) use of pesticides, chemical fertilizers, growth hormones, and antibiotics.

Not sure where to start? Find your local farmer's market. You can also use EatWild and LocalHarvest to find farmers and ranchers in your area. Live in an urban area? Try one of our favorite quality providers of meat, poultry, and seafood; I personally love Crowd Cow, but Butcher Box and others are also good alternatives.

And what could be more local than your own backyard or balcony? For the most fun and total control of some of your food, consider growing your own. You do not need a big backyard; even some window boxes are enough to grow fresh tomatoes, herbs, and the like.

2. Use Quality Ingredients. If you're not aware, please review this piece on the Dirty Dozen, produce that you should ONLY buy if organic -- because of the high pesticide use of non-organic farmers; these pesticides and chemicals have been linked to cancer. Glyphosate (brand name Roundup) has now been found in many cereals, crackers, cookies, juices, and even infant formula -- all horrible for young, developing children. Of course, traces of glyphosate are in almost ALL crops grown on traditional farms. Organically-raised produce is without pesticides and chemicals and always non-GMO.

Pay attention to ingredients on labels. Stop buying already-prepared, chemically-enhanced processed foods. When you buy the salad dressing or condiment, you are getting all sorts of added preservatives, chemicals, and sugars. And processed sugar (versus natural sugars from fruits) is perhaps the most addictive and destructive item in the food chain. Sugar is a worldwide health threat, with Americans consuming more than 100 pounds of processed sugar annually.

3. Switch to Good Oils & Fats. I remember my mom switching to margarine after my dad had a mild heart attack. The advice back then was to rid the house of all butter and replace with the much-worse (we know now) fake butter. In fact, butter from grassfed cows grown where glyphosate has been banned, such as Kerry Gold -- produced from cows in Ireland -- is one of your best fat choices; tallow and ghee from the same sources also good choices.

Still have canola or vegetable oil in your pantry? Dump them. Same with corn, sunflower, safflower, soy -- all these oils are part of the Hateful Eight that can lead to inflammation, which is the underlying cause of many health issues, including your heart health. Because these oils are so inexpensive, they are used by most restaurants and fast-food chains, most cracker and cookie brands, and so on. Besides butter, experts recommend these healthy oils for baking and cooking: pure olive oil, coconut oil, or avocado oil.

4. Eat Healthier Foods. Personally, I am too much of a carnivore to ever stop eating meat or poultry, but I don't have a problem with vegetarianism or even veganism -- as long as you are buying the healthiest foods given your eating preference.

Buy the raw ingredients and make the meals yourself. If you don't have the time or energy, there may be some healthy subscription services. Buy lean cuts of meats and poultry. Lots of sustainably harvested fish, especially trout and salmon. Solid servings of organic fruits and vegetables, fresh or frozen fresh. Plenty of nuts and seeds. Work in some high-quality fiber grains, cereals, or beans. Eggs are a superfood; we have eggs as our main meal a couple of times a week -- with eggs laid on a farm right down the street.

Avoid fake foods, produced from chemicals -- and, really, avoid any "food" that has more chemicals than foods in its ingredients list. Or as a friend states, "If the ingredients include a substance I can't pronounce or understand, I don't buy it." Great advice.

5. Hydrate -- But Only the Right Way. How often do you drink a sugar-fueled drink? Examine your daily beverage intake. What do you drink? The bulk should be water or sugar-free liquids (only sweetened with stevia, raw honey, monk fruit, erythritol, allulose; not with the pink, blue, or yellow packets of chemical sweeteners).

Too much. We drink gallons of sugary drinks daily -- sodas, juices, and energy drinks. I had a co-worker who used to walk around with a 2-liter bottle of Coke, consuming the whole bottle by the end of the day.

Are you ahead of me? If so, then you know I am also going to have you avoid the vast majority of the "diet" sodas, sweetened with some of those toxic sugar substitutes. There are exceptions, such as the Zevia brand, which is sweetened with a stevia mix, or Bai juices (which use a mix of erythritol and stevia leaf extract, which have no health concerns nor linked to cancer).

The best hydration liquid is water -- and plenty of it. But don't consume it in single-serving plastic bottles -- that's not bad for you, but horrible for the environment. I suggest buying a strong whole house water filter or a countertop system (such as a Berkey) that will filter out chemicals and impurities found in city water and well water. Drink your water from a glass or reusable bottle.

With that water, you can add an electrolyte mix -- but, again, not the horrible brands (think Gatorade, Powerade, etc.) sweetened with toxins, but a quality brand sweetened with stevia. Personally, I would only use Ultima Replenisher Hydration Electrolyte Powder or LMNT Keto Electrolyte Powder Packets, but there are also other high-quality, non-sugar products.

Final Thoughts on Healing Your Heart

So much of your heart health depends on you -- and what you eat (as well as how much you exercise and your overall lifestyle).

Take care of your heart by eating real and healthy foods, ideally organic and non-GMO.

Dr. Randall Hansen is an advocate, educator, mentor, ethicist, and thought-leader... helping the world heal from past trauma. He is founder and CEO of EmpoweringSites.com, a network of empowering and transformative Websites, including EmpoweringAdvice.com.

He is the author of the groundbreaking Triumph Over Trauma: Psychedelic Medicines are Helping People Heal Their Trauma, Change Their Lives, and Grow Their Spirituality and the well-received HEAL! Wholeistic Practices to Help Clear Your Trauma, Heal Yourself, and Live Your Best Life.

Dr. Hansen's focus and advocacy center around true healing ... healing that results in being able to live an authentic life filled with peace, joy, love. Learn more by visiting his personal Website, RandallSHansen.com. You can also check out Dr. Randall Hansen on LinkedIn.