How to Reverse Heart Disease – 4 Simple Steps from Dr. Dean Ornish

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By: Meredith Witthar | Victor Padilla | Segun Oduolowu Posted: 2:03 PM, Apr 18, 2019

Wondering how to reverse heart disease? Then keep reading! We’ve all been told to eat healthy and exercise more. But Dr. Dean Ornish says he has scientific proof that simple changes can actually change our lives. And now he’s sharing with us the secrets from his new book Undo It.

 

1. Eat Well

 

The first step on how to reverse heart disease? Eat well! “An optimal diet for most people is really a whole foods, plant-based diet,” informs Dr. Ornish. But he says the most important thing is to eat foods as close to their natural form as possible – meaning no processed foods! “The more you change, the more you improve, and so you decide how much you want to change,” adds the expert. And he has a simple trick for being healthier when eating out. “Ask when the waiter comes by, can you ask the chef to just make me a plate of the freshest vegetables? Let the chef prepare them in whatever way. And you’ll be amazed at what comes out. It takes 10 or 15 seconds to explain what you want, and you don’t have to draw attention to yourself.” Get some of Dr. Ornish’s heart-healthy recipes here!

 

2. Move More 

 

Let’s continue our tips on how to reverse heart disease with step number two: move more! “It’s not like you have to do one kind of exercise to prevent or reverse heart disease, another one for diabetes or cancer or whatever,” insists Dr. Ornish. “It’s the same for all of them, because […] they all really are just the same disease masquerading and manifesting in different forms.” He says that the best exercise to do is something that you like, because that means you’re more likely to actually do it! “Just about everything gets better when you exercise,” assures our expert.

 

3. Stress Less

 

Dr. Dean Ornish’s guide on how to reverse heart disease also includes working on your mental and emotional health. So far these steps have been pretty simple, but this next one might be a little harder: stress less! Dr. Ornish says that this step starts with realizing where stress comes from: “The stress comes primarily not from what we do, but how we react to what we do.” In other words, you can’t control the world around you, but you can control how you react. “And by practicing some simple stress management techniques on a regular basis – stretching, breathing, meditation, etc. – you can be in the same job, the same family, the same environment, but you react very differently. These techniques don’t bring you a sense of peace – you have it already. What they do is […] help to stop disturbing it, even if it’s only temporarily,” adds the doctor.

 

4. Love More

 

The final step on how to reverse heart disease – love more! “Study after study has shown that people who are lonely and depressed are three to ten times more likely to get sick and die prematurely from virtually all causes when compared to those who have a sense of love and connection and community.” So putting your family and friends first isn’t just good for your relationships – it’s also good for your health!

 

We hope you’re feeling inspired, because now you’ve learned four easy lessons on how reverse heart disease!

 

Follow Dr. Dean Ornish on InstagramFacebook, and Twitter – and don’t forget to pick up a copy of his book Undo It here!