If you have read my last two blogs, you will have an idea about what a naturopath is, how we work and also how herbal medicine can be of benefit for various cardiovascular conditions. So how does nutritional medicine fit in the picture?
As well as herbal medicine, as naturopaths we also use nutritional supplementation and dietary therapy to bring about positive change.
In my practice, I use evidence-based nutritional medicine, meaning the actions and benefits of supplements, food or particular diets have shown positive impacts in scientific studies and research.
There have been many studies that have looked at certain compounds in food and their effect on the heart and cardiovascular system as a whole. Compounds such as polyphenols, peptides and various vitamins and minerals.
Take for example, Resveratrol as a supplement. As well as being highly antioxidant, it has also shown in the literature that it has the capacity to reduce systolic blood pressure, improve glycaemic (blood sugar) control and reduce insulin resistance.
When it comes to dietary therapy, we know for example that eating a certain amount of celery daily can help reduce blood pressure and garlic has many benefits such as lowering cholesterol levels and reducing blood pressure also.
Of course we know that prevention is key in any instance and nutrition is at the basis of preventive cardiology. However, we know that it is possible to make positive changes with both nutritional supplementation and dietary therapy if you have been diagnosed with a cardiovascular issue.
Safety of Nutritional Medicine
Again, I have to point out not to self-prescribe nutritional supplements.
If you are taking medications, there can be negative side effects if you don’t know what interactions occur between the two therapies.
A classic example is Warfarin or other blood thinning agents. Warfarin interacts with many nutritional supplements and these negative interactions can contribute to bleeding issues or haemorrhage. Even eating too much garlic may interact with the medicine.
And so, once again, always consult with a naturopath first! What works for one person, may be detrimental to another based on multiple factors. A naturopath can help find the correct nutritional supplements and dietary therapy that is safe for your body in your current situation.