HealingHeart Disease

Is Heart Disease Genetic?

Dear Healing With Plants, My mom has been in and out of the hospital with heart disease and after being diagnosed with high blood pressure for years, she had a major heart attack. I’m now afraid I might share the same fate. Is heart disease genetic? What can I do to protect my health and help my mom? Sincerely, Heavy Heart

Heart Disease is Not Destiny – I Have Good News To Share!

Dear Heavy Heart,

I hear that you are worried that because your mother got heart disease you will share the same fate. I wanted to write you with some really good news that I hope will alleviate your fears. The good news boils down to this – for over 100 years science has produced evidence showing that heart disease is 100% preventable and 100% curable with a whole food plant-based diet. The power to live a healthy life truly rests with you and what you put on your dinner plate! I know you will probably be anxious to dig into the research for yourself and so I’d like to recommend a book by my number one heart doctor hero –  Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn. For just $9.52 you can purchase his book Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease on Amazon and hear all the details from the famous heart doctor for yourself.

A Doctor With Your Heart at Heart

Dr. Esselstyn is a cardiologist who used to cut people open using traditional techniques for treating heart disease. During the course of his career as a heart doctor he began to question the prevailing treatments and learned of a safer and more effective treatment with much better results. Dr. Esselstyn conducted trials at the Cleveland Clinic that demonstrated how a whole foods plant-based diet helps heal heart disease in 100% of patients who adhere to it. The reason for his success rate, which far trumps any other heart disease treatment, is that it treats the cause rather than the symptoms. Eliminate the cause of heart disease, eliminate heart disease. This is the logic of holistic health, and its results speak for themselves. In Dr. Esselstyn’s words,

“This disease can be anihiliated.”

As in, wiped off the map of human diseases—why not? The cure is easy, simple, and affordable and heart disease is today’s biggest killer. Why not annihilate today’s biggest killer? It may be as simple as spreading information, sharing stories, and shining a light on important research like Dr. Esselstyn’s. 

Science Shows Diet Can Heal the Heart

The reason the diet approach is so effective at healing heart disease is because it eliminates the foods that cause the disease in the first place. Numerous studies have demonstrated over the years the link between diets high in animal foods and heart disease and that people who consume the most fruits and vegetables experience less heart troubles. Here’s a sample of the research:

The Plant-Based Diet Cure Works Quickly 

This good news keeps getting better – it works very quickly in most cases! Dr. Esselstyn has numerous success stories on his website to offer you even more hope and inspiration. In one case he describes a 60-year old stockbroker from downtown Cleveland who came to him with a cholesterol of 248 mg/dl.  Just 10 days after going on the plant-based diet, his cholesterol was down to 137 mg/dl. Dr. Esselstyn explains that within 2-3 days of making the change in diet the body’s endothelial cells begin to revive. Without the constant barrage of animal foods, which trigger response that damages the endothelial cells, these cells are restored to their proper function producing nitrix oxide. With a nice supply of nitrix oxide, restored blood vessels are able to dilate properly. A small increase in the diameter of blood vessels equates to a large increase in blood flow. 

Dr. Esselstyn is truly a doctor with your heart at heart.  He explains that present day cardiovascular medicine cannot cure patients. Only patients themselves have the power to cure themselves. As he says, “It is absolutely unconscionable not to offer this option to patients.”

The Nutrition Cure Works for Holistic Health 

The good news just keeps getting better the more you look into it! Along with helping prevent and reverse heart disease, a low-fat plant-based diet has numerous other health benefits as is further revealed by the work of Dr. Dean Ornish. Dr. Ornish says he used to perform bypass surgery on patients with heart disease but that the patients would go right back to the same life that caused the heart disease and it would come right back. He came to see bypass operation as bypassing the true problem in pursuit of a quick, expensive, and risky fix. When Dr. Ornish began experimenting with a plant-based diet he was amazed by the results which were far superior to any other treatment method he’d tried. Dr. Ornish found that prescribing a plant-based diet healed the person in many ways that work together to produce health. The results of his clinical trials showed his patients had a 90% reduction in angina chest pains, their blood pressure was reduced, and they lost weight on the new diet. The best part is chest scans revealed the patients heart disease was actually reversing. The most surprising part of The Lifestyle Heart Trial he conducted showed that heart disease could be healed at any age. As he describes the results of his trials, the more they changed the more they improved regardless of what age they were. 

Heart Disease Is Not Genetic

In my own research work collecting stories of people who have healed with nutrition, I have seen even people in their 90s change their diets and see their heart disease reverse. In addition to the wealth of resources the heart doctors I mention here have to offer, you can also find more stories on my website www.HealingWithPlants.us. I have collected over 500 stories of people who have healed numerous diseases with a low-fat plant-based diet. While not all these are currently published, I’ll be continuing to add more stories going forward. I truly hope these studies and stories provide you the inspiration you need to ditch the fear and embrace a healthy life for you and your family. Here’s to your healthy heart!

1. Artaud-Wild SM, Connor SL, Sexton G, Connor WE. "Differences in coronary mortality can be explained by differences in cholesterol and saturated fat intakes in 40 countries but not in France and Finland. A paradox." Circulation. 1993;88:2771-9.
2. Esselsytn, Caldwell."A Strategy to Arrest and Reverse Coronary Artery Disease: A 5-Year Longitudinal Study of a Single Physician’s Practice." The Journal of Family Practice, Vol. 41, No. 6(Dcc), 1995.
3. Jolliffe N, Archer M. "Statistical associations between international coronary heart disease death rates and certain environmental factors." J Chron Dis. 1959; 9(6): 636–652.
4. Joshipura K, Hu F, Manson J, Stampfer M, Rimm E, Speizer F, Colditz G, et. al, “The effect of fruit and vegetable intake on risk of coronary heart disease." Ann Intern Med. 2001, 134: 1106-1114.
5. Ornish D, Scherwitz LW, Billings JH, et al. "Intensive Lifestyle Changes for Reversal of Coronary Heart Disease." JAMA. 1998;280(23):2001–2007.
6. Yudkin J.& "Diet and coronary thrombosis: Hypothesis and fact." The Lancet. 1957; 270(6987): 155-162.

Reya Steele Andrews

Reya (Steele) Andrews is a holistic health writer, educator, and publisher at Healing With Plants. Reya is a certified Holistic Nutritionist (AFPA), is certified in Plant-based Nutrition, and teaches nutrition science and healthy food preparation. Find her book, The Frugivore Diet, on Amazon.

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