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Power foods to keep you healthy

22 Oct

·         Blueberries : A 2005 University of Illinois study found that a number of compounds in blueberries, including pigment-producing anthocyanins, have powerful cancer-preventive powers. Other berries have similar antioxidants in smaller quantities.

·         Walnuts: Like all nuts, walnuts are a great source of protein, fiber, and healthy fats. Unlike other nuts, however, walnuts are high in heart-healthy omega-3 oils. Enjoy up to 15 walnuts a day as part of your nut/seed allotment other sources of omega-3s include flaxseed and, of course, fish and fish oil.

·         Pomegranates: These fruits are high in flavonoids, antioxidants also found in re. Recent studies show that pomegranate juice may also help prevent heart disease.

·         Sweet potatoes : They’re rich in beta-carotene and vitamin C, both powerful antioxidants that work to eliminate free radicals (damaged cells that injure healthy cells and harm DNA

·         Tomatoes A 2002 study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute found that eating tomato products may reduce prostate cancer risk. The link is so strong that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration now allows tomatoes and tomato-based products, like tomato sauce, to carry a health claim linking tomato consumption with a reduced risk of prostate cancer. The key ingredient is a powerful antioxidant called lycopene, also found in pink grapefruit and guava.  

·         Kale : Research shows that eating dark leafy greens, like kale, may help maintain good health by reducing one’s risk of heart disease and stroke, some cancers, and several other illnesses. They’re rich in beta-carotene, folate, and vitamins C, E, and K, which help protect against cell-damaging free radicals. Regularly eating dark leafy greens may also lower blood pressure and cholesterol and promote normal eyesight. Spinach and Swiss chard also contain these disease-fighting ingredients.

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Those Panic Attacks Could Be a Warning Sign for Older Women

10 Oct

Postmenopausal women who’ve had at least one panic attack may be at greater risk for heart disease, stroke and even death, new research suggests.The study found that older women with a history of panic attacks were four times more likely to have heart disease than women who hadn’t had a panic attack.“Women who reported at least one panic attack were at higher risk of having cardiovascular illness and death after an average of five years of follow-up. Even after controlling for other risk factors, a panic attack remained an independent risk factor on its own,” said study author Dr. Jordan Smoller, an associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.Symptoms of a panic attack include a sudden feeling of fear, anxiety or extreme discomfort that’s out of proportion to your current situation. Panic attacks may also be accompanied by a rapid or irregular heartbeat, sweating, hot flashes, chills, chest pain, difficulty breathing, shaking, dizziness and a feeling that you might die. About one in 10 postmenopausal women has had at least one panic attack, according to the study.

Dr. Stephen Siegel, a cardiologist at New York University Medical Center, said the study definitely raises some interesting questions, but more research needs to be done to establish a definite link between panic attacks and cardiovascular health.In the meantime, Siegel recommended that all women do whatever they can to reduce their cardiovascular disease risk factors. “Control all the known risk factors out there — hypertension, cigarette smoking, diabetes, elevated cholesterol. We can make changes in these factors and we know they make a difference,” he said.Exercise is another great — and proven — option, Siegel said. Not only does it improve your heart health by lowering blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol, but exercise can also help ease anxiety and depression, providing both a physical and psychological benefit.

Gum Disease Can Be a Sign of Heart Disease

10 Oct

Some studies have suggested that periodontal disease may cause heart disease. So far, however, the research is inconclusive, but there is some evidence that gum disease is a sign of heart risk.    Studies are under way now to try to determine  increased risk of heart attack or stroke. Until the results are in, it makes sense; 

brush your teeth twice a day (with a fluoride toothpaste)

floss every day

visit the dentist for a check-up and professonal cleaning

             eat a well balanced diet  

  D   don’t use tobacco products

Mediterranean diets shows promise

2 Jul

Mediterranean diet beats

low-fat regime for heart

 health: researchers

 

Last Updated: Monday, July 2, 2007 | 5:55 PM ET

CBC News

Spanish researchers are predicting that a traditional Mediterranean diet including olive oil or nuts can reduce heart problems. Two groups of study subjects who added olive oil or nuts to their diets did better than people on a low-fat diet, researchers with PREDIMED, a long-term trial looking at the Mediterranean diet, said in a news release Monday.“After the three-month intervention period, the two groups following the Mediterranean diet were compared with the low-fat diet group and showed lower blood pressure and decreased blood glucose levels, cholesterol, triglycerides and inflammation markers,” said Dr. Ramon Estruch, general co-ordinator of PREDIMED in Barcelona.The subjects also had higher HDL (good) cholesterol levels.After reporting early results, “it’s easy to foresee that the participants who follow the Mediterranean diet supplemented with olive oil or with nuts will show in the long run a 50 per cent reduction in the incidence of cardiovascular complications,” he predicted.A Mediterranean diet is rich in legumes, whole grains, fish, nuts, fruits, vegetables and olives, but contains little meat and dairy products; as a result it is low in saturated fat and high in monounsaturated fat and dietary fibre.

 

The investigators tested 372 subjects aged 55 to 80 with a high risk of coronary heart disease. One group of 121 was put on a low-fat diet, a second group ate the traditional Mediterranean diet supplemented with a litre a week of free olive oil and a third group ate the traditional diet with 30 grams of free nuts — mostly walnuts — a day.After three months, oxidized low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or bad cholesterol) fell in the two groups following the traditional diet, but there was no change in the low-fat group.The study, published in the June 11 edition of the Archives of Internal Medicine, was the first to test what many people had suspected, said Estruch.Because the Mediterranean diet is rich in antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables, “a lot of people simply figured that it would be beneficial. But nobody has tested the antioxidant effects of this dietary pattern in a randomized trial,” he said.The researchers are looking ahead to a test of 9,000 people, expected to be completed in late 2010.PREDIMED is supported by the Spanish Health Ministry. It includes 17 groups of Spanish researchers in 200 health centres in the country.LDL cholesterol promotes the buildup of plaque in artery walls, reducing the flow of blood, which greatly increases the risk of heart attack.There is also evidence that the Mediterranean diet can significantly protect against Alzheimer’s disease.

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