What is our Heart?
The heart is a muscle located a little to the left of the middle of the chest, and is about the size of a fist.
The function of the heart is to send blood around the body and provide the body with oxygen and nutrients it needs, then to carry the waste away. The heart acts as an efficient, never ceasing pump. The right side of the heart receives blood from the body and pumps it to the lungs, while the left side of the heart receives blood from the lungs and pumps it out to the body.
In the average lifetime, a heart beats 2.5 billion times without rest. The average adult has about 5 litres of blood inside their body delivering essential elements and removing harmful waste. Blood is the fluid of life, transporting oxygen from the lungs to the body tissue via arteries, and transporting carbon dioxide from the body tissue to the lungs via veins.
Blood delivers nourishment from digestion and hormones from glands throughout the body, and disease fighting substances to the tissue and waste to the kidney, and the hearts function if to transport the blood around the body.
A Healthy Heart:
Unless there is something physically wrong with the heart, throughout life the heart needs only to be maintained and kept healthy in order to function. If you take care of your heart, your heart should take care of you for all of your life. The prescription for a health heart also benefits the rest of the body and can be followed in 3 easy steps:
1. Take plenty of regular exercise
2. Follow a good diet
3. Keep the body “clean” and drug-free.
Exercise should be regular – recommended at least 5 times per week – last for at least 30 minutes (although 60 minutes is better for the heart) and include some cardio work that gets you puffing. Jumping rope, dancing, hill walking are all examples of good cardio workouts. Take the stairs not the lift, leave the car in the garage and walk to the shops, fire the lawn mowing guy and mow the lawns yourself, wash you car instead of taking it through the car wash ………………. all this helps the body, and in particular the heart, as well as the pocket!
Diet plays an important part in heart health. Eat a variety of health foods and avoid fatty foods, especially saturated fats and trans fats. Try to eat at least 5 servings of fruit and vegetables per day and avoid sugary drinks. Beware of processed foods – they often contain hidden fats, salt, sugar etc. Make these an occasional treat rather than every day food. “From scratch” meals made with fresh produce are best.
If you smoke, take drugs, or drink alcohol excessively, you are giving your heart extra work. The heart cannot handle too much extra work over a long period of time. Eventually the health of your heart will suffer. Scientists have proven that smoking doubles your risk of having a heart attack.
Because they are foreign substances, any drug can affect your heart – even prescribed medications. However for essential medication, doctors are able to control the effect a drug will have on your heart by controlling the dosage. There are no such controls with illegal drugs. Even small quantities of illegal drugs can be potentially fatal, and certainly continued use of illegal drugs will adversely affect not only the heart, but the entire body.
While drinking alcohol in moderation may not pose a risk, drinking excessively does create a serious hazard to your heart. When alcohol flows in your blood stream, the nutrient-rich blood is less able to nourish the heart. If the alcohol content is excessive and prolonged, your heart will suffer.
Noni Juice and the Heart:
Phytochemicals are the chemicals found in plants, many of which are so vital for our well being. People usually take supplements such as Noni not just for the extra vitamins and minerals their body requires, but to provide the chemistry to help ward off or heal infections and diseases.
Noni is a good source of antioxidants and Vitamin C, and is relatively high in potassium (K). Potassium is associated with many health benefits such as a healthy heart rhythm, muscular contraction, nerve function and energy production, although people with kidney disease have difficulty excreting potassium and are warned to restrict their potassium intake.
Noni also contains niacin. Niacin, vitamin B3, is the most studied vitamin for cholesterol, and has demonstrated better overall results than most prescription medications. Niacin effects blood levels by reducing LDL, and elevates HDL levels. One of niacin’s unique properties is its ability to help you naturally relax and get to sleep more rapidly at night. And it is well established that niacin helps reduce harmful cholesterol levels in the bloodstream. Another niacin feature is its ability to greatly reduce anxiety and depression.
Scopoletin is found in Noni juice and has potentially wide medical applications. Both Noni and Scopoletin are known to reduce blood pressure, have anti-inflammatory activity, exhibit antibiotic activity, antifungal activity and possess anti-tumour effects. When researchers at the University of Hawaii tried to isolate Scopoletin from the rest of the Noni extract, much of its activity was lost.
In fact, both the biological effects and the serotonin receptor binding effects of the crude Noni extract were lost upon purification of this presumed active ingredient. This leaves us the conclusion that other substances in Noni must be present in order to produce its biological effects.
The lifestyle and dietary changes required to have a healthy heart bring so many other health benefits that an overall improvement in mind and body follow. Many ailments can be attributed to the way we live our lives, and any changes we make for the better pay off in our overall wellbeing.