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Sherry's healthful wellness tips

Beat Bad Cholesterol and Heart Disease

Do you know your heart's greatest enemy?  It is saturated fat found in meats, full-fat dairy products like butter, cheese and whole milk.  They are the most dangerous fats because they increase blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels which increase the chances of your blood clotting.  Saturated fat harms your arteries in a number of ways.  Eating too much fat over time will build up plaque damaging your blood vessels. 
Saturated fat wastes no time making your arteries stiff and inflexible.  In fact, eating a high fat meal will make your arteries up to 27% less elastic within 6 short hours.  If your arteries can not stretch when your blood pumps through them, it places a huge burden on your heart.  So what should you do?


1.  Choose fats that are liquid at room temperature - like extra virgin olive oil, canola or peanut oils which will help reduce your total cholesterol.


2.  Be leery of trans fats - found in hydrogenated vegetables shortenings and margarine.  They undergo a process that makes them even worse for your arteries than any saturated fats.  They actually raise the LDL (bad) cholesterol and lower the HDL (good) cholesterol which is doubly bad for your heart.


3.  Eat nuts - they will help lower your bad cholesterol and elevate the food plus add fiber and flavor to any meal.


4.  Eat the Mediterranean style diet that focuses fruits, vegetables, oils, nuts, fish, whole grains, legumes and fish.  When meat is eaten, it is in small portions.


5.  Do you like spinach and carrots?   They contain LUTEIN, a pigment found in green and yellow vegetables and has been touted as being good for your eyes.  It turns out this important nutrient is good for the heart too.  Other choices include kale, collard greens, turnips, romaine lettuce, broccoli, zucchini, corn, brussel sprouts and peas.

 
6.  Get enough FIBER - when it comes to lowering cholesterol and protecting your heart, you can not beat fiber especially when it comes to losing weight and lowering your risk of heart disease.  Eat whole grains, oats, ground flaxseeds, fresh fruits and vegetables.


7.  Are you getting enough magnesium?  Studies have linked magnesium deficiency to increased cancer risk, however, this mineral will help lower your cholesterol and can cut the death rate in half when given immediately after a severe heart attack.  Good sources include avocados, sunflower seeds, pinto beans, spinach, oysters and broccoli.


8.  Vitamin C - a powerful antioxidant vitamin that helps prevent the BAD cholesterol LDL from becoming oxidized and can help raise the GOOD cholesterol.  Good sources include red and green peppers, oranges, cantaloupe, brussel sprouts, grapefruit and tomato juice.


9.  Vitamin E - also prevents the BAD cholesterol from oxidizing and sticking to your artery walls.  Good sources include wheat germ oil, sunflower seeds, peanuts, mangoes, sweet potatoes and olive oil.

 
10. Niacin - this is a B-vitamin that works very well to lower cholesterol, however, high doses can cause flushing, rash and stomach pain.  To get your niacin naturally, eat tuna, chicken, salmon, potatoes and beans. 

Good nutrition plays a huge role when it comes to lowering cholesterol and being good to your heart.  Take it one step at a time by making healthier substitutions by choosing vanilla soy milk or almond milk instead of whole milk.  Add some fiber to your meals, eat less meat or choose buffalo instead of ground beef or steak.  Exercise and make a point of filling half your plate with vegetables.  Your heart will thank you.

Eat To Defeat Heart Disease

Eating foods that will help you defeat heart disease is not as hard as you might think. If your blood has trouble moving through your arteries, you are at risk for atherosclerosis, heart disease, heart attack, stroke, varicose veins and all sorts of other diseases.

Here is a list of foods and herbs that will help improve your circulation naturally.

1. Horse chestnut Root - is a seed extract that reduces or eliminates pain in varicose veins or if you have a condition where the valves of your veins do not work properly, then this seed extract will help you tremendously. Blood has trouble making its way back to the heart so it builds up in your lower legs. Horse chestnut root will reduce swelling in your calves and ankles plus relieve symptoms of leg pain and swelling, itching and fatigue. Make sure the supplement you take has at least 100 mg of the active ingredient, escin.

2. Garlic and Onions - contain sulfur compounds that keep your platelets from clumping together and making your blood sticky. One clove of garlic a day can help unclog your arteries, but always check with your doctor first if you are on any blood thinning medication. Yellow and red onions have the most health benefits and can help fight high blood pressure which is a huge risk factor for stroke.

3. Gingko Biloba - is a supplement made from a tree that existed in China before the Ice Age and can prevent blood clots from forming, making it a great stroke fighter. It works much like aspirin which can make your blood less sticky and a blood stroke and clot less likely, however, it can cause an upset stomach and sometimes internal bleeding. Make sure the ginkgo biloba supplement you buy is NOT made from ginkgo seeds which can be toxic and cause seizures.

4. Purple Grape Juice - made from whole grapes is a smart choice for your heart because it can reduce platelet clumping by 91%. It can help rejuvenate your veins and arteries and make you feel great.

5. Black Tea - helps open up your blood vessels, which can become too narrow if heart disease runs in your family. Flavonoids are strong antioxidants found in tea which are the key ingredient that expand blood vessels.

6. Nuts and Seeds - like walnuts, almonds and sesame seeds are rich in unsaturated fats and Vitamin E which help prevent clots and lower cholesterol which can clog your arteries and make it harder for your blood to flow through your veins. Vitamin E stops the bad (LDL) cholesterol from sticking to your artery walls, decreasing your risk for heart attack or stroke.

7. Ground Flaxseeds - contain alpha linolenic acid which is a type of omega 3 fatty acid that lowers blood pressure and your risk for stroke. They also fight heart disease, arthritis, diabetes, stomach problems, and are even good for your brain function. Make sure they are ground as the whole ones will just pass right through your system without any benefits.

8. Fruits and Vegetables - are full of vitamins, minerals and fiber which can lower your risk for stroke, strengthen your small blood vessels, thin your blood and rejuvenate your tissues and cell lining. Asparagus, cantaloupe, pinto beans, beets and leafy greens provide folic acid, a B vitamin that protects the heart.

9. Beans - make a healthy alternative to meat and since they provide a lot of protein without clogging your arteries, they are a great choice. They are full of fiber which can protect your heart and reduce your risk of stroke plus help lower cholesterol.

10. Eggs - eating one egg a day will not put you at risk for a heart attack or stroke like many once thought, unless you have diabetes. Eggs do have cholesterol, but they also have B-vitamins, protein and Vitamin A, D, and E. Add one egg to your egg white omelet with some vegetables for healthy meal any time of day.

Consider adding one or all of the foods and supplements listed above to keep your heart in great shape. Exercise, drink water and find ways to de-stress your body will go a long way to protect you and your heart

 

Foods Your Heart Will Love

Are you tired of hearing the list of foods that you know are good for your heart? You already know to eat lots of fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy products, whole grains, and lean protein choices like chicken and fish. Of course, stay away from fried foods and foods with trans fats which have been shown to clog arteries.

Here is a new list of foods for your next grocery shopping trip that your heart will love:

1. Cauliflower - even though it is not green, cauliflower contains Omega 3 essential fatty acids and being a cruciferous vegetable, it is great for reducing your risk of cardiovascular disease. Cauliflower is just as nutritious as it's green counter-part broccoli.

2. Buffalo - is readily available in most grocery stores today and is high in protein, iron, B-vitamins and potassium making it a heart healthy meat. Plus it is lower in fat and calories than chicken, beef and pork. When it is time for grilling, try a buffalo burger and add caramelized onions to the mix for great flavor.

3. 100% Whole Grain Bread - make sure there is no more than 2 grams of sugar per slice and it says 100% whole grains on the label. Many breads are high in sugar which increase triglycerides, a type of fat in your blood, which increase your risk for heart disease.

4. Whole-grain Cereal - you want to stay away from eating too many refined grains because they cause insulin to be released and stimulate the liver to produce triglycerides. An increase in triglycerides in the blood puts you at a greater risk for heart disease. Read the label and make sure there is 6 grams of sugar or LESS per 1/2 cup serving.

5. Walnut Oil - are you tired of always buying olive oil? Consider walnut oil or flaxseed oil for a healthy change because both are low in saturated fat and contain heart healthy Omega 3 fatty acids. This will help lower triglycerides and increase your HDL (good) cholesterol reducing your risk for heart disease.

6. FROZEN fruits and vegetables - preferably organic but these are flash frozen at peak ripeness, so they maintain most of their nutrients. They are great to have on hand for a quick meal, omelet or smoothie.

7. Vanilla Soy Milk - makes a great base for a smoothie and is delicious on whole-grain cereal and is easy to use in any recipe. Consuming 25 grams of soy per day can reduce cholesterol levels by 5% and is great for preventing heart disease.

8. Low-Sodium Canned Goods - salt can lead to high blood pressure which puts you at risk for heart disease. Canned goods have become notorious to having way too much salt so look for low-sodium soups, beans, and vegetables. You can rinse them to get even more salt off the vegetables or beans.

Many products are now claiming to be "trans-fat free", however, keep in mind that products could still have 1/2 gram per serving. Trans fats increase the build-up of plaque in the arteries, increase the LDL (Bad) cholesterol, and decrease the HDL (good) cholesterol. Read the ingredient list and look for the words "partially hydrogenated vegetable oil" and vegetable shortening. This means the product does contain some trans fat even though it may be less than 1/2 of a gram. Your heart will thank you.
Here's to a happy heart!
Description

Are you tired of hearing the list of foods that you know are good for your heart? You already know to eat lots of fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy products, whole grains, and lean protein choices. Of course, stay away from fried foods and foods with trans fats which have been shown to clog arteries. Here is a NEW list of foods for your next grocery shopping trip that your heart will love.
 

Fuel For You and Your Heart

The fuel in your body is a substance called ATP, an enzyme inside each and every cell that makes your body go and gives you energy.  If you want to boost your energy at the cellular level, then you have to get your ATP levels up.  The problem is that it is not that easy to do.  It is a complex, multi-step process that simply fails many of us.  ATP levels can fall as we get older or if we suffer from heart disease, fibromyalgia or any other health condition. 
One of the body's critical building blocks for ATP is a certain type of rare sugar.  This is not the sugar from your sugar bowl or corn syrup found in junk food or soft drinks.  The sugar your body needs is called ribose.  Your body can make ribose naturally, however, it can take several enzymes which could be lacking in your heart and muscle cells. 
No food contains ribose in any substantial amounts but when your heart or muscle is exhausted, they need ribose to make ATP.  Fortunately, there is a new supplement that is chemically identical to the ribose your own body makes and people are seeing miraculous changes in their energy levels.  Another plus of ribose is that it can take away the pain from fibromyalgia. 
People with heart problems are seeing huge changes in their energy levels especially those dealing with congestive heart failure, artery disease and other related heart conditions.  In fact, ribose may actually help reverse heart disease because low ATP and ribose can starve the heart of oxygen.  You will be happy to know you can take ribose safely with any medication. 
Think about it.  Your body makes ribose naturally and it works with your own body's chemistry.  The only warning you should be aware of is that it may give you too much energy making it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep so you should take it early in the day. 
You will be happy to know that even if you do not have any health conditions, it is completely safe to take ribose.  Everyone from athletes to couch potatoes can benefit from this supplement and supercharge their workouts.   Many people dealing with fibromyalgia found they felt better within one week and relieved of any symptoms within 6 weeks.  The real proof is what happens when you stop taking ribose.  The pain can return just like I noticed when I stopped taking Glucosamine and Chondroitin, the pain returned within a short time. 

Ribose is the 'missing link' in getting your energy levels back.  In fact, the only drawback is you might have too much energy.   If you want a rocket to take off, you have to use rocket fuel.  You can't just pull the rocket in to a gas station and fill it with diesel fuel.  It just makes sense to fuel your body with what it needs to boost your energy levels at the cellular level by increasing your ATP levels.  I wish you glowing good health and energy - always!
 

Keep Your Arteries Smooth and Clear

Artherosclerosis doesn't just happen overnight. It starts in childhood and progresses from there every year as we grow older. It is like sludge in the arteries and it is the leading cause of death in the United States.
The process begins with an injury to the lining of the artery wall brought about by high blood pressure or cholesterol, smoking and an amino acid called homocystein which is generated by the breakdown of protein in the body.

Cholesterol and other fats become trapped at the damaged site and when this happens, they become oxidized which is like metal that turns rusty. All of this turns to PLAQUE which is what makes blood flow difficult. If they break free, they can turn up in inconvenient places such as arteries that deliver blood to the brain or heart. When this happens, you can end up with a heart attack or stroke.

Cholesterol by itself is not the enemy - our liver generates cholesterol whether we eat it or not because our bodies need it to maintain healthy cells and to make hormones. Most of us get enough cholesterol by eating meat, chicken, fish, eggs and dairy products.


LDL (BAD) Cholesterol is shuttled by lipoproteins (carriers of fat and protein) and transports them into our tissues throughout the body.
HDL (GOOD) Cholesterol transports cholesterol to the liver where it is metabolized and excreted in the intestinal tract. This is why it is important to have more HDL (GOOD) cholesterol than LDL (BAD) cholesterol.

Here are some suggestions for elevating the good and lowering the bad cholesterol:

1. EAT WELL - you already knew that but I mean eat your fruits and vegetables. Sixty-percent of your meals should be carbohydrates that include whole grains, colorful fruits and vegetables. They are full of antioxidants which prevent LDL (BAD) cholesterol from oxidizing. The fiber in these WHOLE FOODS bind the cholesterol in the intestines and enhance elimination. Other good sources are apples, psyllium seeds, oats and beans.

2. EAT GOOD FATS - like avocados, extra virgin olive oil, nuts and seeds.

3. EXERCISE - lowers your cholesterol by keeping your weight in check, strengthening your heart, releiving stress, improving circulation and lowering blood pressure. Find something you enjoy doing!


4. ENJOY THE RED GRAPE - Red wine is rich in bioflavonoids that decrease platelet stickiness, discourage abnormal blood clots and act as strong antioxidants. If you do not drink, then look for a supplement called RESVERATROL which comes from red wine or GRAPESEED EXTRACT. They contain powerful antioxidants that mop up damage caused by free radicals (toxins, chemicals and pollutants) we are all exposed to these days. They can help prevent damage to our healthy cells and tissues including the arterial walls.

5. TAKE TIME TO RELAX - anything you can do to reduce your stress levels during the day will mend your cardiovascular system. Learn to meditate, do Yoga, deep breathing or all 3 to reduce stress, lower your blood pressure and cholesterol and prevent artherosclerosis.

6. CONSIDER NATURAL REMEDIES to lower cholesterol - garlic, oat bran and apples with the skin on, so choose organic whenever possible, have been shown to lower cholesterol naturally. If you are on a cholesterol-lowering medication prescribed by your doctor, please consider taking CoEnzyme Q10 which your body can not make when you are taking these medications. CoEnzyme Q10 is necessary for energy production in our cells and helps protect the heart.

If you have a cholesterol problem, consult your physician and incorporate some lifestyle changes to see if you can make a difference in your numbers before having to go on prescription medication. The side effects from these medications can include nausea, fatigue, constipation, diarrhea, intestinal gas, stomach pain, heartburn, headache, skin rashes and dizziness. All the more reason to try natural approaches and lifestyle changes first. I wish you glowing good health - always!

 

Heart Attack Signs In Women

Study after study show that heart attacks and heart disease are grossly under-diagnosed in women and the explanation always seems to be that they didn't have any symptoms. Women, who have had heart attacks, realize now, looking back, that they did have symptoms and just didn't realize it. Why? Women's heart attack symptoms are much different to men's and they are slow to realize what's happening before calling a doctor.

Many of us think that a heart attack comes out of the blue and it happens in a certain way: the victim clutches the chest area, appears to be in pain and collapses to the floor. But for women, it doesn't happen that way at all.

To prevent a heart attack from sneaking up on you, watch for these signs of a heart attack:

1. Overwhelming fatigue - this usually occurs months prior to a heart attack and the tiredness is so great that it interferes with normal schedules for a few days at a time.

2. Insomnia - an inability to fall asleep and stay asleep during the month before a heart attack is typical, despite overwhelming fatigue.

3. Stress - many women reported feeling anxious, stressed and keyed up more than usual and describe a feeling of "impending doom." They know something is wrong, have difficulty coping, and are not sure what is happening.


4. Indigestion - nausea, stomach pain, intestinal cramps, and other digestive disruptions are common in women before a heart attack. Learn to notice any change in your digestive habits and notice if your system becomes upset, even if you have not eaten anything out of the ordinary.

5. Shortness of breath - many women noticed that they could not catch their breath doing simple things like walking upstairs or doing daily tasks around the house.

6. Flu-like symptoms - clammy, sweaty skin, feeling light-headed or weak are signs of a heart attack in women.

7. Shoulder, neck, jaw or ear pain - women often experienced a sensation of tightness running along their jaw , neck and up to their ear. Sometimes the pain can run down the shoulder and arm, particularly on the left side or it can feel like a backache or pulled muscle in the neck or back. Men, typically experience pain and numbness in the chest, shoulder and arm before a heart attack.

All of these symptoms listed above are a main reason why women's heart attacks go unrecognized and untreated. Women report feeling no pain in the chest area during their heart attack or any kind of numbness.

How can you protect yourself? If you notice unusual things happening in your body and you just do not feel "quite right", then it is time to go see your doctor right away. Mention any risk factors such as heart disease in your family, high blood pressure or cholesterol, or if you smoke, and take steps now to reduce your risk.

Be good to your heart by eating lots of fruits and vegetables, fish, garlic, avocadoes, nuts and use olive oil in dressings and marinades. Of course, do what you can to de-stress yourself every day by meditating, doing Yoga and taking time out for yourself.
 

Keep Your Heart Healthy

You might be amazed at some of the simple things you can do to help reduce your risk of heart disease, atherosclerosis and blood clots, not to mention lowering your cholesterol and improving circulation. If you make an effort to do at least a couple of the following suggestions, you will keep your heart healthy.


1. OMEGA 3'S - (fish oil) - they provide blood thinning benefits without any side effects. Eat walnuts, mackerel fish or add ground flaxseeds to your oatmeal, salad or smoothie to reduce inflammation throughout your body including your heart. IF those do not appeal to you, take a good quality Omega 3 supplement - 1,000 mg. daily


2. B-COMPLEX- these vitamins are known to de-stress the body by supporting the adrenal glands, however, they also help to reduce your risk of heart disease. Sometimes we end up with too much of the amino acid homocysteine and B-complex vitamins help to scavenge this amino acid reducing your risk of heart disease.


3. TAKE GUM DISEASE SERIOUSLY - Gum disease can lead to an increase of pro-inflammatory bacteria in the blood which can trigger the liver to make more C-reactive proteins which is a risk for heart disease. Floss your teeth FIRST then brush twice a day and get your teeth cleaned at least every 6 months.


4. WHOLE GRAINS - The American Diabetes Association warns that people dealing with diabetes often end up with heart disease or suffer a stroke. It is so important to steer clear of white flour and sugar foods that spike blood sugar levels. Instead, choose whole grains, oats and whole foods at every meal.


5. LISTEN TO MUSIC - have you ever walked into one of those "nature" stores in the mall and felt immediately calm? Do what you can to de-stress your heart by listening to sounds of nature, handmade flutes, or take a Yoga class.


6. ORANGE BLOSSOM OIL - try adding this precious oil for a good-for-your-heart massage that will calm your heart.


7. LIMIT YOUR SALT INTAKE - The American Heart Association recommends no more than 2,400 mg. or 1 teaspoon of salt per day to reduce your blood pressure. Instead of using salt, jazz up recipes with herbs, spices and vinegars. Use low-sodium products whenever possible.


8. SMELL THE ROSES - roses really do help reduce stress levels by lifting your mood and calming tension. I can't resist a bouquet of roses at the grocery store.


9. YLANG-YLANG -is an essential oil that quiets heart palpitations and puts you in the mood for love. Use it as aromatherapy or add it to your favorite massage oil.


10. CAYENNE PEPPER - contains capsaicin which improves circulation, lowers cholesterol and prevents blood clots. You can add it to your favorite recipes or stir in 1/2 tsp. into boiling water and sip - you will feel your hands, feet and heart get warm.

Take care of your heart and your heart will take care of YOU. I wish you glowing good health - always!

 

Eat Your Way To Lower Blood Pressure

High blood pressure has no symptoms, but it can lead to the leading killers in this country, such as heart attack or stroke, aneurysms, and kidney failure. The good news is you can make healthy lifestyle changes that will help control your blood pressure and keep you off medications which we all know have side effects.

Here are some ways to eat your way to lower blood pressure:

1. Eat lots of vegetables, some fruit (no more than 2 servings per day), whole grains and low-fat or fat-free dairy products to lower your blood pressure.

2. Limit red meat.

3. Cut back on sodium and keep to 1,500 mg. or less daily. One-half teaspoon of salt contains 1,200 mg. so watch for sodium in processed foods and learn to season your foods with lemon, herbs, and salt-free seasoning blends.

4. Eat potassium rich foods like acorn squash, dried apricots and peaches, prunes, spinach, Swiss chard and low-sodium tomato juice. Potassium has been shown to lower systolic (the top number) by about 5 points and the diastolic (the lower number) by about 3 points.

5. Eat more high fiber foods because it will reduce your risk of developing insulin resistance and weight gain both of which are factors for having high blood pressure. Aim for 25-30 grams of fiber per day.

6. Drink alcohol in moderation - this means 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of red wine or 1.5 ounces of alcohol which can lower your risk for heart disease and high blood pressure.

7. Limit caffeine - caffeine does raise blood pressure by tightening blood vessels and can actually magnify the effects of stress. When you are under stress, your heart starts pumping a lot more blood and caffeine exaggerates this process.

Of course, one of the best techniques to lower blood pressure is to practice relaxation techniques like meditation, yoga or tai chi. These types of exercises calm the nervous system that can lower blood pressure by slowing down the breathing rate. Find an instructor and class you enjoy and can attend on a regular basis.


By far, the most important factor to consider when trying to lower blood pressure is to lose weight. How can you do it? Eat less and exercise more. A tiny drop in blood pressure can reduce strokes and heart disease dramatically, saving thousands of lives each year.

 In the natural medicine world, the #1 supplement to lower blood pressure is CALCIUM and MAGNESIUM – 500 MG OF CALCIUM with 250 mg. of MAGNESIUM TAKEN ONCE IN THE MORNING AND AGAIN ABOUT AN HOUR BEFORE BED.  They work together to relax the muscles throughout the entire body including the heart, arteries and blood vessels.
 

About The Author

Sherry L. Granader, ACE, AFAA, NETA, ACSM, BBU

517-899-1451


Sherry Granader is a Nutrition Consultant, National Speaker and Spokesperson, , Author, Writer, Yoga, Pilates and Group Exercise Instructor, Personal Trainer, TV and Radio Host. Download Sherry's "Eat Right, Feel Good Lose Weight" cookbook at http://www.sgtotalhealth.com