Dr. Tao's Top Tips For Heart Health

Dr. Tao's Top Tips For Heart Health

Robin Foroutan and Stephanie Mandel by Robin Foroutan and Stephanie Mandel

Dr. Tao's Top Tips For Heart Health

February 13, 2019

In honor of Valentine’s Day, our favorite integrative cardiologist, Dr. Linda Tao is sharing her top tips for heart health!

Still think cardiovascular health is only about cholesterol numbers and blood pressure? Think again! An integrative approach to cardiology takes a more in-depth look at your blood work, diet, and lifestyle to identify the stressors that increase inflammation in order to effectively improve cardiac function, reduce cardiovascular disease risk and most importantly reduce inflammation.

Runaway inflammation increases cardiovascular risk and is a major contributor to heart attacks and other cardiovascular events. Chronic inflammation can come from many sources, including:

  • An unbalanced diet
  • Prolonged mental or physical stress
  • Poor or inadequate sleep
  • Exposure to environmental toxins (like mold, pesticides, and heavy metals)
  • Undetected infections like Lyme Disease and Epstein Barr virus (EBV)
  • Poor digestion

Integrative cardiology takes all these factors into account, because they all directly influence total body inflammation and therefore, cardiovascular health.


Fortunately, there are many ways to improve cardiovascular health by reducing inflammation.

- HERE ARE A FEW OF DR. TAO'S TOP TIPS FOR HEART HEALTH -

veggies

clean, filtered water

no sugar

NO. 1 FOOD IS INFORMATION

At The Morrison Center, we firmly believe that a healthy diet is the foundation for overall health. But did you know that food sends information to your DNA? It’s true! Send your DNA heart-healthy signals by including the following:

  • Lots of organic vegetables and 1-2 servings of organic fruit daily — the more colors you include the better!
  • High-quality animal products, like organic grass-fed beef, organic free-range poultry, and eggs
  • Healthy, high-quality fats, like avocado, nuts, seeds, high-quality olive oil, and MCT oil
  • Clean, filtered water
  • Dr. Tao is particularly excited about intermittent fasting and the fasting mimicking diet (Stay tuned for an upcoming blog post on that!)

Note that some foods send the wrong kind of “message,” so minimize or avoid:

  • Sugary and highly processed foods
  • Simple carbohydrates that spike blood sugar
  • Inflammatory oils like trans fats and vegetable oils
heart health

NO. 2 KNOW MORE OF YOUR NUMBERS

While it’s important to know your basic cholesterol numbers - total cholesterol, “good cholesterol,” and “bad cholesterol” -  that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Nearly half of the people who have heart attacks have normal cholesterol levels, and not all “bad cholesterol” is actually bad! Integrative cardiologists measure more advanced markers of cardiovascular health, inflammation and even genetics to assess each person’s true risk and recommend targeted strategies for improved health and longevity.

sleep

NO. 3 STRESS REDUCTION AND RESTORATIVE SLEEP

Chronic stress activates the sympathetic nervous system, increasing both cortisol and inflammation, which directly increases your risk for heart disease. Mindful practices and relaxation techniques help your body get out of the fight-or-flight stress response and promote cellular repair, proper detoxification, digestion, and restorative sleep. Managing stress and optimizing sleep is good for your brain, mood, and heart. That’s why Dr. Tao recommends meditation and relaxation breathing techniques, such as the 4-7-8 breathing method. Scroll down for how-to instructions.

exercise

NO. 4 SUPPORT CIRCULATION

Exercise is important for a whole host of body systems, but its benefits are best known for the cardiovascular system. Among other benefits, moderate exercise helps to support healthy circulation, improves blood vessel integrity, and also helps distribute essential nutrients for energy and repair, while also removing toxic waste.

supplements

NO. 5 USE ONLY THE HIGHEST QUALITY SUPPLEMENTS

“We can hedge our bets for fruitful longevity and cardiovascular health by supporting our body with a few supplements,” says Dr. Tao. Most of us live stressful lives surrounded by environmental toxins, which increases our nutrient needs. Plus today’s soil is depleted of nutrients, thereby making our food less nutrient dense. All of that makes it difficult to get the optimum amounts of nutrients from food alone.


- DR. TAO'S SUPPLEMENT RECOMMENDATIONS INCLUDE -

NO. 1 VITAMIN D3/K2

Vitamin D3/K2 is a perfect combination of Vitamin D3 and K2 that provides powerful support for the whole body. Vitamin D promotes calcium absorption from the intestinal tract, and a growing body of evidence suggests that vitamin K2 is needed for the body to properly use the calcium in bone.* Doses can range between 2,000 to 5,000 IU per day and should be based on your current blood levels.

vitamin D3/k2 from Dr.Morrison

NO. 2 COQ10

Co-Q10 acts as an antioxidant to mop up free radicals which cause oxidative stress. This product promotes heart health and periodontal health.* Doses can range from 100 to 200 mg per day for most or 400 mg per day if you take prescription medication.
Co-Q10 Power 400mg for Energy, Heart Health and Gum Health

NO. 3 OMEGA BENEFIT

Five-star certification from International Fish Oil Standards (IFOS) assures that Omega Benefit concentrated fish oil has the highest level of purity, potency, and stability. This product supports cardiovascular health, healthy mental functioning, and healthy glucose and insulin metabolism.* Doses can range from 1,000 to 2,000 mg per day.

Omega Benefit — Anti-inflammatory Fish Oil

NO. 4 ORTHO BIOTIC

Ortho Biotic Capsules provide powerful broad-spectrum probiotic support for a healthy balance of intestinal flora. This product helps maintain gastrointestinal balance, supports bowel regularity and also supports digestion and micronutrient absorption.*

Ortho Biotic Probiotic

NO. 5 PROBIO MAX DAILY DF

 ProbioMax DF helps maintain a healthy intestinal microecology, supports the natural immune response, bowel regularity and lactose digestion.* Plus, it’s dairy and gluten free!

ProbioMax DF by Xymogen

 

- RELAXATION BREATHING TECHNIQUE: THE 4-7-8 METHOD -

  1. Exhale completely through your mouth with your lips apart, making a whoosh sound.
  2. Close your mouth and inhale gently through your nose for a mental count of four.
  3. Hold your breath for a count of seven.
  4. Make another whooshing sound while you slowly exhale through your mouth, for a mental count of eight.
  5. That is one breath.
  6. Repeat for a total of four to ten breaths when you first wake up, at bedtime, and any time throughout the day when you could use a little relaxation!

- IN SUMMARY -

As you may already know, integrative medicine is always most powerful when it’s personalized just for you, and integrative cardiology is no different. Take advantage of a more personalized and cutting edge approach to optimizing your heart health - and your total body health.

Here’s to a strong heart and healthy blood vessels - Happy Valentine’s Day! 

 


To schedule an appointment with Dr. Tao for an integrative cardiological assessment, call our office at (212) 989-9828

Always check with your doctor or health professional before starting any dietary supplement


* These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to treat or cure any disease.

† This product is only available to patients of The Morrison Center, so be sure to come see us!


WE’VE GOT YOUR BACK

This guide was written by Dr. Morrison and the health and nutrition experts at The Morrison Center. Our team is dedicated to helping you achieve optimal health through the treatment and prevention of disease.

THE TEAM

JEFFREY A. MORRISON, MD

Dr. Jeffrey Morrison is an award-winning medical doctor, a leader in the field of Integrative Medicine, and champion of a nutritional approach to healthcare.

Dr. Linda Tao

LINDA TAO, MD, FACC, FACP

Dr. Linda Tao is an experienced interventional cardiologist who specializes in personalized wellness, preventative healthcare, and chronic disease management.

 

ROBIN FOROUTAN, MS, RDN, HHC

Robin is a registered dietitian nutritionist specializing in Integrative Medicine, Functional Medicine and holistic healing modalities. She helps her clients address complicated conditions and return to wellness.

 

STEPHANIE MANDEL, NC, HEALTH COACH

Stephanie is a Holistic Nutrition Consultant and Emotional Freedom Technique practitioner with a passion for helping her clients fulfill their potential through both emotional and physical optimization.

 



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