OF COURSE LIGHT EXERCISE IS GOOD FOR YOUR HEART. BUT, IN MATTERS OF THE HEART IT’S ULTIMATELY WHAT YOU EAT THAT REALLY COUNTS. THE MAIN THERAPY TO REDUCE THE RISK OF HEART DISEASE IS TO CHANGE ONE’S LIFESTYLE – TO HAVE’S LIFESTYLE – TO HAVE A BALANCED ‘HEART-HEALTHY DIET’ AND TO SHUN HARMFUL HABITS SUCH AS DRINIING, SMOKING, CAFFEINATED BEVERAGES, ETC.
India, the World Capital for Heart Diseases” Dr. Vijay Dikshit, Chief Cardio-Thoracic Surgeon “Coronary Artery Disease was considered the number one killer in the Western countries. But in the last few decades, India has emerged as the world capital for heart diseases. There are more people with heart problems in India than anywhere else in the world.
Heart Diseases: Young people in India at risk (The Lancet Magazine, USA)
New research published in The Lancet, a leading magazine in the USA, finds that India will bear 60% of the world’s heart disease burden in the next two years. In addition, researchers have determined that compared to people in other developed countries, the average age of patients with heart disease is lower among Indian people and Indians are more likely to have different types of heart disease that lead to worse outcomes.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) sixty percent of the world’s cardiac patients will be Indian by 2010. According to the International Obesity Task Force, a medical NGO that coordinates with the WHO on obesity issues, South Asians have by far the worst problems when it comes to heart disease.
PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE
Scientists suggest that having a healthy and balanced diet goes a long way in preventing heart diseases. Doctors at the University of London, say including the following six foods in your diet can reduce the risk of heart disease by as much as 88 percent by unclogging the arteries.
THE FOLLOWING FOODS REDUCE ONE’S HEART DISEASE RISK BY
SOYA – 45%: Lowers blood lipids (saturated fat and bad cholesterol); it contains phytoestrogens compounds that increase the number and effectiveness of LDL cholesterol receptors, improving the heart’s ability to get rid of cholesterol in the bloodstream.
PSYLLIUM HUSK (Isabgol) – 30%: Lowers bad cholesterol, blood sugar levels and frigtycides. Psyllium, the main ingredient in Metamucil, is a soluble plant fibre. It is useful for both diarrhea and constipation. Psyllium husk ‘blocks cholesterol from entering intestinal cells’. It is among the most powerful LDL lowering viscous soluble fibres in existence. It soaks up cholesterol.
GARLIC – 30%: Antiinflammatory; reduces plaque formation in the arteries. Garlic reduces damage to the heart; the fresh-crushed form restores blood flow to the aorta more effectively. Garlic may moderately cut cholesterol and help keep blood pressure in check.
BENGALGRAM (Chana) – 24%: Decreases bad cholesterol and triglycerides levels in the blood and hence keeps the heart-healthy.
INDIAN GOOSEBERRY (Amla) – 24%: Rich in vitamin C, it is an immunity booster and fights inflammation. Daily intake of amla purifies your blood rooting out all the impurities that are dangerous to the heart. It sorts out almost half of the heart-related problems. Amla is also very helpful in toning and strengthening of heart muscles, which helps heart in pumping purified blood into the body.
The British Heart Foundation says that “a diet should be rich in fruit and vegetables in order to reduce the risk of coronary artery diseases. This diet should then be taken in small parts, preferably 5-6 times a day.
Ginger is healthy for the heart: Ginger lowers cholesterol levels by reducing the absorption of cholesterol in the blood. It has extremely good anti-inflammatory properties.
Onions are very good for the heart: Onions contain dozens of powerful medicinal ingredients, including sulphur compounds called thiosulfinates (which are believed to have strong anti-inflammatory effects and help with detoxification), phenolics acids, sterols, pectin and volatile oils and vitamin C. Onion possesses the medicinal properties that are very similar to those of garlic. It has antimicrobial qualities, reduces blood pressure and elevated LDL (bad) cholesterol, and helps raise the good (HDL) cholesterol.
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