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Heart Tuning
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I’ve always been fascinated by the blue whale, the largest mammal on earth. But not until the other day did I fully comprehend it’s enormity. I always heard that they were one-hundred feet long, but somehow that didn’t seem that big. Recently I received an email forward (yes, sometimes forwards are worth reading!) and learned that a blue whale’s heart is as big as a VW Bug, weighing 1300 pounds (Wikipedia, “Blue Whale”), and that a human could crawl through its aorta. Now that really struck home. I mean, that’s an enormous heart! Imagine its heartbeat.

Although our hearts are not nearly as big as a blue whale’s, they are still incredibly complex and wonderfully designed by our Creator. It is one of the most important organs in our body, constantly taking in oxygen depleted blood, re-oxygenating it, and pumping it back out into the body. Maybe we can’t crawl through a human aorta but our blood needs to have a clear, unclogged passageway to “crawl” through in order to to keep our hearts in optimal condition.

For our heart to be able to function efficiently, and to do its job well, we must take care of it. Since our heart is a muscle, it will lose its strength if we do not exercise it. According to the Mayo Clinic, we should get at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic activity. 

What food makes for a healthy heart functioning? Most of us know that a diet high in hydrogenated and trans fats found in meat, high fat dairy products and many baked and processed foods can raise our cholesterol levels and clog our arteries. As of November 7, 2013 the FDA announced that it is requiring the food industry to phase out all trans fats (partially hydrogenated fats) due to heart disease risk. They are no longer considered safe for human consumption.

Not All Fat is Bad

But not all fat is bad. God created nuts and seeds which contain healthy fats for our bodies. In right quantities they are very beneficial for our body. In fact, if the fat is coming from monounsaturated and polyunsaturated sources, a higher fat diet can actually be as good for the heart as the very low fat diet.1 

A study conducted in 1992 proves the importance of healthy fats. Dr. Sabate put two groups of people on the same diet with one exception. Walnuts were added to the menu of one group while their caloric intake was adjusted to match the other group. Amazingly, the people on the diet with walnuts had their LDL cholesterol (the “bad cholesterol”) drop by 18 points.2 That’s significant!

What foods contain healthy fat? Here are some examples:
  • avocados
  • olives
  • sunflower seeds
  • walnuts
  • almonds
  • flaxseeds
  • chia seeds
  • coconut

So when caring for your heart, choose activities and foods that strengthen and condition the heart for good health. When you get home from work, go for a run instead of sitting in front of the TV and enjoy a small handful of nuts. Let’s care for our bodies well, so that we can enjoy life to the fullest.

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By Brenna Rittenour. Copyright © 2013 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

Proof Positive, p. 69, by Neil Nedley, MD
2 Ibid

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