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Top Health Tips on Improving Heart Health

Fox Nuts (Makhana) - 12 Reasons Why You Should Eat Them!

Masters in Nutritional Therapy, Lifestyle & Weight Management, Sport Nutritions, graduation in Nutrition & Dietics
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Delhi
Fox Nuts (Makhana) - 12 Reasons Why You Should Eat Them!
When we think of a light evening snack, we often think of a packet of fried chips or Kurkure. However, it is time to think of something healthier, as we are already aware of the ill effects of these snacks all around us. This is where snacks like fox nuts are gaining popularity. Grown in the wetlands of Asian countries, they are also known as phool makhana (because of their flowery appearance) and lotus seeds.

They are a great snack and have multiple benefits. Read on to know about this wonderful, economical, tasty, and healthy dish.

They are low in calories, fat, and sodium. They are therefore the perfect in-between-meal snack. They also make you feel full, so further cravings for binge eating are reduced
Their low sodium and high potassium and magnesium content makes them very useful for people with high blood pressure
The high calcium content is good for bone and teeth health
Their sugar content is low, and so are highly useful for diabetics, who have the urge to eat at short intervals
The fox nuts have astringent properties and are useful for kidney ailments
People looking for weight loss should try makhana, as they are very low in calories but can fill the stomach. This helps control hunger pangs and intake of high-calorie foods
It is rich in fiber and so can be used in weight loss as well as for digestion problems like constipation
Fox nuts are rich in antioxidants and therefore useful in fighting ageing and chronic inflammation and stress in the body
In both men and women, makhana is believed to improve fertility rates. The sperm quality and quantity is believed to improve when makhana is consumed
Given its multiple benefits, especially calcium and iron, pregnant women are given makhana. It also helps prevent hypertension and diabetes in the pregnant mother
Fox nuts are believed to help get rid of insomnia
If addiction to coffee is your problem, try some fox nuts to get rid of the addiction
Methods of use:

The seeds are actually tasteless and so whether it is salt or sweet, they take on the added taste
Roast the seeds with a little ghee on a light flame. Sprinkle salt, and the yummy snack is good to go
Other spices like cinnamon or oregano can be added to suit one s taste
They can also be used in sweet dishes like kheer and other desserts
If you are looking for a super snack that is highly healthy, economical, and has little hazards on your health, grab a bowl of fox nuts.
14947 people found this helpful

Hypertension: What You Need to Know About It

MBBS
General Physician, Chandigarh
Hypertension: What You Need to Know About It
High blood pressure can develop over many years and affects everyone at some point in life but if not treated for a very long time, it can escalate the risks of a number of cardiovascular problems and chronic kidney disorders.

High blood pressure or hypertension is a condition where the long term force induced by blood on the artery walls may lead to health complications.

Different types of hypertension:

1. Primary Hypertension: High blood pressure caused by genetic, prenatal or other natural causes like aging (people over 60 develop HBP) is known as primary hypertension.

2. Secondary Hypertension: Secondary hypertension is that which is caused due to specific conditions, like kidney disorders, lung disorders etc.

Symptoms Of Hypertension:

It may not show any warning symptoms for several years while it continues to develop. A few tell-tale signs are frequent throbbing headaches, shortness of breath, nosebleeds, excessive sweating but these only occur when there is an extremely serious medical complication.

Complications of hypertension

1. Hypertension can also result in a disorder called aneurysm in which the blood vessels tend to swell and weaken. Rupture of an aneurysm can be fatal.

2. Heart failure is one of the most serious complications associated with hypertension. It becomes increasingly difficult for the heart to pump blood along with the high pressure. Consequently the heart muscle thickens and leads to cardiac arrest.

3. Uncontrolled high blood pressure and interference with your ability to remember and think. It can trigger memory loss and affect your understanding and deriving skills.

4. Persistent high blood pressure can result in atherosclerosis - hardening of the arteries. This can severely wreck cardiovascular health and cause stroke, heart attack or other complications.
11390 people found this helpful

Garlic - Benefits Of It!

Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS)
Sexologist, Sindhudurg
Garlic - Benefits Of It!
Although a vegetable, garlic is primarily classified as a spice and is used in many dishes across cultures. However, apart from the pungent smell which is the most known characteristic of garlic, it also has medicinal properties and thus, was even used by healers for various ailments before the advent of modern medicine.

Some of the reasons garlic is considered healthy
Garlic is considered healthy for a multitude of reasons. Let's look at some of the ailments that garlic can prevent as well as help in healing.

1. Great against common cold: Garlic and garlic based homemade treatments are great ways to ward of the common cold. Garlic contains the chemical "allicin" which is known to aid health within the body. Having a few cloves or garlic can help you fight the common cold infection.

2. It is known to improve bone health: Garlic is known to be very beneficial for bone health, especially in menopausal women. Women may encounter bone loss during menopause as the production of estrogen is lowered. Garlic encourages estrogen production which can stop bone loss and even protect against bone problems such as osteoarthritis.

3. Is an effective agent in lowering blood pressure: Hypertension is a known killer all across the world. Garlic contains polysulfides which are effective in vasodilation or the widening of the blood vessels and also relaxation of the muscles. This helps blood pressure being lowered within the body and is an effective home remedy if consumed in controlled amounts.

4. Reduces fatigue and is a performance enhancer: Garlic is known to reduce fatigue within people as it controls the heart rate by lowering blood pressure. Whether it is an athletic performance or other physical work related performance requirements, this spice tends to give an extra boost.

5. Controls LDL cholesterol, thereby reducing chances of heart disease: LDL cholesterol, also known as bad cholesterol, is controlled by allicin as it improves liver functions. The liver can then break down LDL cholesterol easily and thus also helps in preventing arteriosclerosis. Garlic is also known to prevent blood clots that lead to heart attacks.

6. Garlic has anti-parasitic and anti-bacterial properties: Garlic has been known throughout the ages to be an affective antibacterial and anti-parasitic agent. Garlic extracts or small amounts of garlic in your diet can help you build up immunity and also kill infections within your system effectively. It is also known to be very effective against tapeworm infestations within the gut.
10200 people found this helpful

How Erectile Dysfunction and Cardiac Problems are Related

Partners in Health
Multi Speciality, Gurgaon
How Erectile Dysfunction and Cardiac Problems are Related
Sexual problems might mean you have a broken heart, literally. The most common sexual problem in men is erectile dysfunction (ED). Erectile dysfunction affects >30% of men between 40 and 70 years of age. There are several different causes of ED, including depression, low testosterone, neurological problems, and some medications, such as beta blocker but the most common cause is a problem with the blood vessels called atherosclerosis.
Erectile dysfunction is frequently a sign of atherosclerosis, that can be the first clue to heart disease in men. It usually comes 3 to 5 years before a heart attack, so after ED is diagnosed, there is time to treat atherosclerosis and prevent a heart attack.
Sexual Activity and Cardiovascular Disease
Decreased sexual activity and function are common in patients with CVD and are often interrelated to anxiety and depression. In fact research has proved that there is a strong link between erectile dysfunction and heart disease. Studies have shown that if a man has ED, he has a greater risk of having heart disease. For instance, in one study, 57% of men who had bypass surgery and 64% of men hospitalized for a heart attack had had ED.
Several having ED can predict that a man will probably have heart disease symptoms within five years. In fact, having ED is as much a risk factor for heart disease as a history of smoking or a family history of coronary artery disease.
The Stockholm Heart Epidemiology Programme (SHEEP) study of post-MI patients (50% women) found that those who were sedentary had a higher risk of MI with sexual activity (relative risk 4.4) than did those who were physically active (relative risk 0.7).
How is the Heart and ED Related?
Deposition of cholesterol in the arteries causing atherosclerosis is taken as the most important reason for ED as the plaque formation reduces the blood flow in the penis, thereby affecting the erection process. However the latest studies show that ED is also due to the dysfunction of the inner lining of the blood vessels (endothelium) and smooth muscle. This causes inadequate blood supply to the heart and the penis which also aids in arthrosclerosis. Hence ED and heart disease are found to be inter related.
What to do?
If you are suffering from ED or heart disease , it is best to discuss your concerns with a specialist - for the heart a cardiologist and for the ED a urologist.
9984 people found this helpful

Hypertension: Symptoms that Can Control it on Time

MD - General Medicine, MBBS
General Physician, Mumbai
Hypertension: Symptoms that Can Control it on Time
Commonly people believe that you can understand your blood pressure is high if you are feeling dizzy suddenly or you are not able to sleep at night. Also sweating profusely is often related to having hypertension. But, to be honest, hypertension usually does not have any symptoms, which might help you get alert and take action to control it. This actually imposes a great threat to your well-being as you do not understand if you have hypertension. It is extremely important for you to keep checking your blood pressure level in order to avoid developing hypertension and hence developing a risk to your heart.

Although there aren't any major or very noticeable symptoms, here is a list of some rare symptoms which you can follow:

1. Headaches: If you are suffering from dull headaches almost regularly, it might be because you blood pressure has increased. The headaches can be a dull buzz or a severe migraine like ache. Keep monitoring your headaches and consult your doctor as soon as possible.

2. Dizziness: You might suddenly feel dizzy or you might feel you are about to pass out if your blood pressure increases. Make sure you refer to a doctor as soon as something like this happens.

3. Nosebleeds: A sudden occurrence of nosebleed might also be a symptom of a sudden increase in your blood pressure.

4. Severe anxiety: Severe anxiety or a panic attack is often referred to as a symptom of hypertension. If you have a sudden panic attack with no apparent reason, it may be because your blood pressure has suddenly risen.

5. Shortness of breath: High blood pressure may often cause a shortness of breath. You might experience it during various every day activity like walking, climbing stairs, etc.

6. Nausea: A sudden increase in blood pressure might make you feel nauseous. You might even vomit when this happens. Make sure you consult your doctor if this happens.
9874 people found this helpful

Milk - Is It Good or Bad for Your Weight Loss Plan?

Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS), MD (AM), PGDPPHC, ACLS
Alternative Medicine Specialist, Chandigarh
Milk - Is It Good or Bad for Your Weight Loss Plan?
Milk is nutritious, but sometimes, avid dieters shrink away from consuming milk. It is generally believed that the fat content in milk hinders weight loss. On the contrary, milk has a lot of benefits.

Here are some facts you need to remember before you say no to milk:

Nutrients and milk: Particularly, milk is an excellent source of zinc, vitamin B, protein and most importantly, calcium. So when you ditch milk in your crusade of weight loss, you skip out on calcium, the mineral primarily responsible for good bone health. Some studies suggest that calcium can actually add to weight loss, but this needs more research to back it up.
Health and milk: Previously milk did get a bad reputation when it was linked as a supposed cause of stroke and heart attack. But a recent study produced a result which proved the complete opposite, milk can actually prevent stroke and heart attack! According to research, milk can actually lower your blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Muscles and milk: Milk contains whey and casein protein, both of which are high-quality proteins if you are looking to build muscles. Whey is a fast protein (gets digested faster) while casein is a slow protein (gets digested slowly). Your body gets a good and healthy supply of proteins when you consume milk, so don t write it off just yet.
Fat and milk: As mentioned before, calcium can cause your body to burn fat. There is research pending on it, but the preliminary results suggest that dieters shouldn t skip out on milk. You might argue that you can just consume calcium supplements in that case. However, it has been discovered that other milk proteins to add to fat burning, which you cannot get from supplements. Milk is good for you, but it isn t a miracle weight loss food. So yes, you will need to follow a healthy diet as drinking a glass of milk with a couple of doughnuts will not help you at all.
So, milk is not all evil as people think it to be. It could be good for your weight loss plan. And the best way to incorporate milk into your weight-loss diet is to consume the low-fat skimmed milk variant than the whole fat milk as you get 90 calories from one cup of skimmed milk as compared to 150 calories from whole milk with nearly the same protein and calcium content. This way you get the best of milk without worrying about the fat in it plus an extra fat loss of 1 kg (9000 calories) from 150 cups over the time with a saving of 60 calories in each cup.
9703 people found this helpful

Vitamin K - Facts You Never Knew About It!

Diploma in Diet,Health & Nutritions
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Delhi
Vitamin K - Facts You Never Knew About It!
Vitamins are essential micronutrients which the body requires, though in small amounts, for optimal health. These chemicals play a crucial role in keeping our body healthy and disease free.One such vitamin is vitamin K, which is essential for optimal blood clotting process, and also has multiple other benefits. More details about the functions, benefits and sources are listed below.

Functions/Benefits:

Vitamin K is actually a group of vitamins and has K1, K2, and K3. The functions and benefits accordingly will depend on the actual chemical being referred to.
These are fat soluble vitamins and therefore absorption is better when something fatty is eaten along with it
Vitamin K1 or phyloquilline reaches the liver and is essential for blood clotting. Reduced levels of vitamin K can lead to uncontrolled bleeding, but this is very rare in adults. Newborns can have this problem, and therefore, it is common to give them a one shot of vitamin K injection.
Vitamin K2 is produced by gut bacteria and reaches blood vessel walls and bones. It prevents hardening and calcification of arteries, which is the main cause of heart disease.
It helps in improving calcium and other mineral concentration in the bones and makes the matrix strong. It can be used in osteoporosis to reverse and control bone loss. It can also be used to heal fractured bones.
It slows the growth of cancer cells and can be used to stabilise cancer. It has been shown to improve multiple forms including hepatocellular, prostate, colon, and oral cancer.
It is beneficial in controlling Alzheimer s disease and improves memory loss in ageing people
It improves insulin action and therefore prolongs onset of type 2 diabetes
It has been shown to have antioxidant properties (as most other vitamins) and also helps in reducing toxin buildup
It is good for skin health and can help control bruising and dermatitis
Sources:
Vitamin K is found naturally in many foods and the daily dose required for an adult is about 120 to 150 mcg/day. Therefore supplementation is usually not required.
Leafy green vegetables including spinach, okra, cabbage, beans broccoli, and asparagus

Fermented foods like yoghurt
Soybean in all forms including medium cooked as well and Japanese diet uses boiled, fermented soybean called natto, which contains tremendous amount of vitamin K
Nuts, such as cashews, almonds, walnuts, are a good source
Strawberries, grapes, prunes, and apples
Seafood such as salmon and shrimp contain good amount to control heart attack and stroke.
Meat (duck, beef, chicken, and lamb)
Supplements are to be avoided, especially in pregnant and/or nursing mothers and people with a history of stroke, heart disease, heart attack and blood clotting problems.
9461 people found this helpful

Turmeric (Haldi) - Know Its Importance!

Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine & Surgery (BAMS), PG Dip Panchakarma, PG Dip Ksharsutra For Piles, Pilonidal, Sinus & Fistula Management, Post Graduate Diploma In Hospital Administration (PGDHA), Certificate In Diabetes Update
Ayurveda, Navi Mumbai
Turmeric (Haldi) - Know Its Importance!
Turmeric is widely used in cooking spicy dishes all over the world. But there are several pieces of research, which prove the efficacy of turmeric or haldi in warding off ailments like dementia and reduce the risk of cancer to a great extent. Turmeric has the highest usage in countries like India and Sri Lanka followed by other parts of the planet.

As per the results of the World Alzheimer s Report, it is found that only about 3.6 percent of South Asians aged above 60 suffer from dementia which is quite lower than 6.4 percent of people in Australia as well as 7.2 percent of people in Western Europe. In similar lines, the World Health Organisation says that the rate of cancer patients is lower in India in stark comparison to the higher rates of more developed countries. If an individual is looking for the benefits of turmeric, he would come across several reasons to add more turmeric to foods on a daily basis.

Reduces the risk of cardiac problems: Curcumin present in turmeric can have a positive effect on people suffering from high cholesterol. Animal studies opine that it can considerably lower down cholesterol levels as well as prevent building up off LDL or bad cholesterol. Thus, it is a viable means of preventing plaque build-up which in turn may block the arteries and lead to strokes and cardiac arrests.
Fights inflammatory diseases: The anti-inflammatory qualities of turmeric can work as a potential anti-inflammatory medication without causing any unwanted side effects. It is also helpful in treating minor nicks and cuts and it can be administered with warm milk to heal any kind of inflammatory disease inside the body. There has been a study which showed turmeric to be useful in treating pain and disability stemming from osteoarthritis. Turmeric is also found helpful in combatting seasonal flu and viral infections.
Helps in digestion and supports weight loss: Turmeric stimulates the gall bladder which in turn produces bile. As bile helps in digestion of fat, health experts are of opinion that turmeric improves overall digestion and may also aid in controlling weight. It is useful in treating bloating and excessive gas formation caused by improper digestion.
Helps in maintaining blood sugar levels: Turmeric plays a crucial role in improving glucose control as well as controlling activities of insulin. It has the potential to bring about a drop in blood sugar levels. So, an individual with high blood sugar should add optimum amounts of turmeric in diet along with diabetes medication to help in reducing the blood sugar levels. But it is important to monitor the sugar levels continually to avoid conditions like hypoglycemia which is characterised by sugar levels dropping lower than required.
In addition to all these, there is a clear indication that turmeric helps in cancer prevention, reducing breast cancer, skin, and pancreatic problems along with multiple myelomas and juvenile leukemia.
9408 people found this helpful

Men and Heart Disease- International Men's Health

Partners in Health
Multi Speciality, Gurgaon
Men and Heart Disease- International Men's Health
Various studies and researches have been able to prove that women outlive men. In fact they are expected to live at least 7 years more than men. More men are living with and dying of Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) than women and have more hospital discharges for Cardiovascular disease (CVD) and CHD. The prevalence of CHD is higher in men within each age stratum until after 75 years of age, which may contribute to the perception that heart disease is a man's disease.
The classic risk factors for CVD are the same in women and men, but there are gender differences in the prevalence of risk factors. Dr Bernadine Healy first introduced the concept of the Yentl syndrome in 1991, suggesting gender bias in the management of CHD.
HEART DISEASE AND SEX DIFFERENCES
Reasons for Cardiovascular Disease:
There are a number of risk factors that affect the men more than women. The following are few aspects that are reasons for the rising incidences of heart disease in men:
Diabetes mellitus
High blood pressure
High cholesterol level
Smoking
Sedentary life style
Stress
Obesity
Social isolation
Unhealthy food habit
Lack of exercise
It is important that men take control of their health. Opt for regular cardiac screenings tests, yoga, stress management and ensure that they live a heart healthy life.
9292 people found this helpful

Alcohol - How Much Should You Drink Everyday?

MD, House Job Certificate ( SKIN & STD) , MBBS
General Physician, Gurgaon
Alcohol - How Much Should You Drink Everyday?
How much alcohol can you safely drink every day? Moderate, say the experts. Alcohol abuse has serious health downsizes, but moderate drinking can actually be good for your heart. Moderate alcohol use has a few other health benefits too. Let s see what these are.

Reduces risk of developing and dying from heart disease
Reduces your risk of ischemic stroke during which the arteries to your brain become narrowed or blocked, causing reduction of blood flow to your brain
Reduces your risk of diabetes
The link between alcohol and health is tenuous at best and the health benefits of moderate drinking are by no means certain. Also every one may not benefit from alcohol. Moderate alcohol use - Guidelines
One drink a day is considered moderate for healthy women of any age and men older than 65, and up to two drinks a day for men younger than 65. This alcoholic drink can be:

Beer: 12 ounces
Wine: 5 ounces
Distilled spirits : 1.5 ounces
Moderate alcohol use can be counter-productive for you, if you have risk factors for heart disease. It s always better to take care to lead a healthy lifestyle and eat a heart-healthy diet to reduce your heart attack risks.

Risks of heavy alcohol use
We know about the definition of moderate drinking, but what s heavy drinking? It is defined as more than three drinks a day for women and men older than 65 (or more than seven drinks a week), and more than four drinks a day for men less than 65 (or more than 14 drinks a week).
Binge drinking is even worse. If you drink four or more drinks within two hours as a woman and five or more drinks within two hours as a man, it is referred to as binge drinking. Heavy drinking, including binge drinking, can increase your risk of serious health problems, like:

Cancer, including breast cancer and cancers of the mouth, throat and esophagus
Pancreatitis or inflammation of the pancreas
Sudden death due to pre-existing cardiovascular disease
Alcoholic myopathy or damage to heart muscle, which causes heart failure
Stroke
High blood pressure
Liver disease
Brain damage in fetuses
It s best to ditch alcohol altogether. It is the healthiest thing you could ever do. The guidelines make it very clear that you shouldn t start drinking alcohol, albeit moderately, to make your heart healthy. The best way to have a healthy heart is to eat and exercise right. However, if you are an occasional drinker, you could make sure that your alcohol intake is within limits and you drink moderately at all times so that you don t attract any health penalties associated with heavy alcohol use.
8919 people found this helpful