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Posts Tagged "Foods for a Healthy Heart"

National No Smoking Day – March 12th 2014

March 12th is National No Smoking Day, so what better day to quit than today? Most of us are all aware of the numerous health, as well as social and financial benefits to quitting. If you do smoke, quitting is the single most beneficial action you can take to improve your general health. As you can see from our list below, quitting will drastically improve not only your health, but the people around you including your future generations. Some health benefits of giving up smoking: Reduce your risk of developing cancer Reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke Protect the health of people around you, who are affected by your smoking Improve your fertility levels and increase your chances of having a healthy pregnancy Improve the quality of your skin and teeth Look and feel healthier and younger Improve your general fitness Reduce the chance of your children developing asthma Quitting actually improves your confidence Enjoy the taste of food Reduce your risk of developing Erectile Dysfunction (E.D) There are many different ways of quitting smoking. These range from using nicotine replacement products (such as patches, gum, lozenges and the inhalator), hypnotherapy, homeopathy through to strong medications. These strong medications can have some very harsh side effects, so it’s well worth exploring the other options before trying these drugs. Some people can quit instantly, without needing to use any products for support. Good...

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Beans for a Healthy Heart

Beans for a Healthy Heart

A new study has confirmed information thatmany nutritionists and health professionals have been advocating for many years, that beans within your diet can help maintain a healthy heart. The study has found that people with type-2 diabetes should eat morebeans, lentils and pulses to help control blood sugar levels and reduce therisk of heart disease. Eating more foods such as chickpeas, kidney beans, peas, puy lentils, masoor lentils and haricot beans can reduce the risk of heart disease as they have a low glycaemic index (GI). The study which was led by Dr David Jenkins at St Michael’s Hospital in Toronto said, “Legume consumption of approximately 190g per day (a cupful) seems to contribute usefully to a low-GI diet and reduce CHD (coronary heart disease) risk through a reduction in blood pressure.” Dr Jenkins continued, “These findings linking legume consumption to both improved glycaemic control and reduced CHD risk are particularly important because type-2 diabetes is increasing most rapidly in the urban environments of populations in which bean intake has traditionally been high.” This is good news for many people from South East Asia, who generally have a higher incidence of type 2 diabetes. The Indian diet incorporates many lentils and beans, and these foods should be encouraged in as part of the daily diet. People with type 2 diabetes need to eat low amounts of refined carbohydrates such as white rice and white bread.Brown rice is a good alternative as it also has a lower glycaemic...

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Daily Flaxseed Can Lower Blood Pressure

Taking a daily dose of flaxseed has been found to lower the risk of high blood pressure, reduce the risk of stroke and heart disease. Flaxseed can be added to cereals, salads or even baked foods such as bagels and muffins. Researchers from University Hospital Holguin, Cuba, havefound adding flaxseed to the diet can reduce systolic blood pressure by 10mmHgand diastolic blood pressure by 7mmHg. The study was conducted on 110 patients who had peripheralheart disease. Most of the group also had high blood pressure. The patientswere also taking an anti-hypertensive drug. Half of the group had 30g offlaxseed added to their diet (bagels, buns and muffins), and the control grouphad the same foods without the added flaxseeds. The results found that after six months the test group had asignificant drop in blood pressure levels. Dr Rodriguez who presented the studysaid that the reduction of systolic and diastolic blood pressure is the largestdecrease in blood pressure ever shown by any dietary intervention. These reductions in blood pressure would be expected to leadto a drop of around 50 per cent in the incidence of stroke and a 30 per centreduction in heart attacks, according to Dr Rodriguez. The flaxseed group also showed a major increase in plasmaalpha-linolenic acid and an even greater increase in levels of enterolactone.These levels did not change in the control group. The researchers believe that the reduction in blood pressurelevels is a result of the synergistic effect of the alpha-linolenic acid,enteroligans and...

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Watermelon Reverses Atherosclerosis

Watermelon juice has been found to reverse atherosclerosis in an animal study. The fruit juice demonstrated positive effects after just eight weeks. The study, which was conducted at the University of Kentucky was published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry. The trial involved mice with diet induced high cholesterol. The control group was given water to drink whist the experimental group was given watermelon juice. After the eight week trial period, the experimental group had less fat mass which resulted in lower body weight and cholesterol levels. The experimental group also experienced a greater reduction in atherosclerotic lesions than the control group. These initial findings are very promising, although more work is required to back up these results. There is however no reason why people who are at risk of atherosclerosis or who have high cholesterol levels should not consume watermelons or watermelon juice. Watermelons are a good source of lycopene, which is important for a healthy cardiovascular system. Watermelons are also full of vitamin c, magnesium,potassium, B vitamins and bet-carotene. So a regular serving of the fruit will aide to enhance your health on many...

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Can Non-Alcoholic Red Wine Reduce Blood Pressure

“A glass of red wine is good for the heart”. We’ve all heard of this medical fact, but a new study suggests that non-alcoholic red wine can lead to a decrease in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. The study was published in American Heart Association journal Circulation Research. The researchers studied 67 men with diabetes or three or more cardiovascular risk factors who ate a regular diet plus either a large glass of non-alcoholic red wine, red wine or a large measure of gin. The men consumed this diet for 4 weeks. The red wine group had very little change in their blood pressure readings, the gin group had no change whilst in the non-alcoholic red wine group the diastolic blood pressure reduced by 2mmHg and the systolic by 6mmHg. The researchers suggest that this could lead to a 14 percent reduction in the risk of heart disease and a 20 percent reduction in the risk of stroke. Both alcoholic and non-alcoholic red wine contain polyphenols which are antioxidants the can reduce blood pressure. The researchers concluded that the reason that the non-alcoholic version is better is that the alcohol in red wine weakens its ability to lower blood pressure. The non-alcoholic red wine increased levels of nitrous oxide which helps to improve blood flow to the heart and organs, and reduces both systolic and diastolic blood...

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Can berries help prevent heart attacks?

Can berries help prevent heart attacks?

A new study claims that eating summer fruits such as strawberries and blueberries three times a week could drastically reduce the risk of heart attacks. The study was carried out on women, but these findings can also be applied to men. So can berries help prevent heart attacks? Read on to find out more… Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and the University of East Anglia analysed data from 93,600 female nurses between 25 and 42 years. They were monitored every four years for 18 years. 405 heart attacks were reported during the study. The results found that the women who ate strawberries and blueberries at least three times a week had a 32 per cent lower risk of getting a heart attack, than those who ate the berries less frequently. The researchers also found that the berries were more effective at preventing heart attacks than other fruits and vegetables. The reasons behind this effect could be due to the anthocyanin content in the berries that can help to improve blood flow and prevent the build up of plaque on the blood vessels. Dr Eric Rimm, associate professor of nutrition and epidemiology at HSPH said, “Blueberries and strawberries can easily be incorporated into what women eat every week. This simple dietary change could have a significant impact on prevention efforts.” Dr Aedin Cassidy, from the University of East Anglia said, “We have shown that even at an early age, eating more of these fruits may reduce risk of a heart attack in later...

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Six Foods for a Healthy Heart (Part 2)

Continuing from Part 1 of foods for a healthy heart, the following foods have also been found to be beneficial in maintaining a healthy heart and improving general health. All of these foods can easily be incorporated into your regular diet. You may even be pleasantly surprised by some of the recommended foods! Beans, lentils and pulses are very important foods for general health. These have a low Glycemic Index (GI). Beans, lentils and pulses are absorbed and digested slowly, and release glucose steadily.The low GI factor is very important in maintain a healthy weight, as it prevents binge eating and constant snacking between meals. These foods have also been reported to lower cholesterol levels. Chick peas, kidney beans, mung beans and soya beans are a good source of fibre and help to maintain a healthy digestive system.  Diets high in fibre are related to a lower incidence of cardiovascular disease. Beans are generally a good source of B vitamins, zinc, calcium and potassium, and are naturally low in fat. All of these properties make beans and lentils an ideal food for a healthy cardiovascular system. Garlic is well known as food that benefits the heart and circulation. If you don’t like garlic, there are many vitamin companies that make garlic tablets for maintaining a healthy heart. The active ingredient of garlic is allicin. When purchasing a supplement, make sure to choose a brand that has good levels of allicin. For those who like garlic, you can incorporate it into most meals, with the added benefit of boosting your overall health. Garlic can help lower cardiovascular risk by thinning blood and improving circulation. Garlic has cholesterol lowering properties, which can also prevent heart disease. Both of these properties help to maintain healthy arteries and prevent atherosclerosis which can help to prevent high blood pressure, heart attacks and stroke. Oily fish are a rich source of omega 3 essential fatty acids. These essential oils are essential for a healthy heart and help maintain healthy cholesterol levels. Oily fish can help to lower LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels, which can lead to improved overall cardiovascular function.  Omega 3 oils are also important for circulation and a healthy nervous system. Dark chocolate...

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Six Foods for a Healthy Heart (Part 1)

Six Foods for a Healthy Heart (Part 1)

Heart disease can be prevented by making a few simple dietary changes, alongside regular exercise, avoiding excess alcohol and stopping smoking.  All of these factors can influence your chances of getting heart disease. A healthy diet is a good way to start to improve heart function. Read on for our six foods for a healthy heart… There are many foods that can be harmful to the heart if eaten in excess. Junk food, processed ready meals, salty foods and fried foods can contribute to heart disease. There are however certain foods that can help maintain a healthy heart, reduce blood pressure, improve heart function and lower cholesterol levels The following foods will provide you with many essential nutrients that are important for a healthy heart: Seeds and Nuts are a rich source of omega 3 essential fatty acids. Omega 3 oils help to reduce levels of triglycerides and LDL (bad) cholesterol. You can add a handful of nuts and seeds to your breakfast or salads throughout the day. Flax seed oil is another way to get omega 3 oils into the diet. This can be added to cereals or salads. Nuts such as walnuts and almonds have a high amount of antioxidants. These antioxidants (e.g. selenium, vitamin E) help to neutralise free radicals, which can damage the heart. These foods also work by reducing general inflammation. Many illnesses are now being linked to inflammation, so foods which reduce inflammation should be part of a daily diet. Fruit and Vegetables are always mentioned as foods that we need to eat more of. The famous “5-a day” slogan is everywhere! We actually should be doubling this to 10-a day to get the correct levels of nutrients for good general health. Fruits and vegetables provide us with numerous vitamins and minerals. Green vegetables are very important for a healthy heart, as they contain magnesium. This essential mineral helps to reduce bloods pressure.  Green vegetables are also a good source of B vitamins , which help to reduce levels of homocysteine. Homocysteine is an amino acid that is produced by the body, and has been associated with heart disease and atherosclerosis (hardening of arteries). Coloured fruits such as berries (blueberries, blackberries, raspberries), bananas...

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