Month: May 2016

This Seed Reduces Blood Sugar, Triglyceride & Is An Anti-Oxidant

Foxtail millet (a seed not grain) reduces blood sugar, triglyceride level and is an antioxidant. It is largely grown in China and Southern states of India especially Andhra Pradesh and Tamilnadu.

We all know to prevent Hear Attack, one needs to keep Blood Glucose and Triglyceride Level in check. And one needs to consume anti-oxidant to counter the oxidation process. Foxtail millet fits all the above.

Japanese Foxtail Millet
Japanese Foxtail Millet

Foxtail Millet in Reducing Blood Sugar

Scientists from Sri Venketeswara  University (India) studied diabetic rats. They induced diabetes in rats and later fed them with Foxtail millet. Within 6 hours, they noticed 70% drop in Blood Glucose level. When they continued feeding diabetic rats for 30 day, their fasting Glucose Level decreased significantly. They also noticed improvement in glycemic control. Moreover, LDL level decreased with increased HDL levels. However, normal rats were unaffected.

Foxtail Millet in Reducing Triglyceride Level

Scientists from Seoul, South Korea, induced hyperlipidemia in 24 rats by feeding them high fat diet. Later they were divided into four groups. Each group contained 6 rats. To see the effect of different grains, a group was fed either white rice, sorghum, foxtail millet or proso millet for 5 weeks. The group which was fed with fox millet showed lower number of triglyceride level.

As you know amount of fat in blood (triglyceride level) is proportional to heart attack risk. Thereby reducing fat level in blood, reduces risk for heart attack.

Foxtail Millet – An Anti-Oxidant

A team of Biochemists from Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada analyzed anti-oxidant activity in several variants of millet (kodo, finger, foxtail, proso, little and pearl millets). They found that kodo had the highest anti-oxidant level while proso the least. Although there is no mention as to the level of anti-oxidant level of Foxtail, it can be deduced they have decent amount as it is concluded that all millets have high anti-oxidant levels.

Therefore, don’t forget to include Foxtail Millet in your Diet. It is also a great substitute for rice.

Sources:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20869855

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20534332

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20465288

How to Start Exercise Regime After Heart Attack

Exercise is vital for good health. Moreover, it is an established fact that exercise increases longevity. A study published in the Journal of American Medical Association by Steven Blair followed 10,224 men and 3,120 women for 8 years. It was found that maximum death rate occurred in the least fit group while the most fit group had least death rates. Therefore, to get back in health, after a heart attack, exercise is mandatory. But you should know how to exercise safely.

Moderation is the Key:

When someone mentions exercise, most think of guys sweating at the gym and lifting heavy weights. Well, that is one part of exercise which is necessary for being fit. However, if you plan to get only healthy then moderation is the key. With just moderate exercise you get all the health benefits of strenuous exercise. Just 30 minutes per day, five days per week is all you need.

You don’t even need weight because all you will do is walk for 30 minutes. If you can afford a treadmill or go to your local gym, that’s okay. But you don’t need them as you can always walk around the block at leisure. And as the sub-heading says ‘Moderation is the key’. Exerting yourself too much won’t do much good. To find if you are exercising at moderate pace you need the ‘Speech Test’.

Speech Test:

While exercising if you can converse without breathing difficulty then you are exercising moderately. However, if you need to stop and catch your breath to talk, then you are over exerting.

Before we get into the 12 week exercise regime, you need to find your Target Heart Rate.

How to Calculate Target Heart Rate?

Its simple. Just minus your age from 220. For example, if you are 45 year old then 220-45= 175. Therefore, 175 is your Target Heart Rate.

In the 12 week program we will mention 50% or certain percentage of Target Heart Rate. Here is how to calculate percentage.

Let’s assume we need to find 45% of Target Heart Rate. Then Multiply your Target Heart Rate with 0.45.

Target Heart Rate (THR)x0.45

170×0.45= 76.5 (77)

Therefore, for someone who has THR of 170, their 45% of THR will be 77.

The 12 Week Exercise Program

The exercise program is as follows:

Week 1: Walk 15 minutes, twice per day, at 50-60% of THR, six to seven days a week.

Week 2: Walk 20 minutes, twice per day, at 50-60% of THR, six to seven days a week.

Week 3-5: Walk 30 minutes per day at 50-70% of THR, six to seven days a week.

Week 6-8: Walk 45 minutes per day at 60-75% of THR, six to seven days a week.

Week 9-12: Walk 60 minutes per day at 60-80% of THR, six to seven days a week.

Important: Before starting any exercise regime consult your doctor or cardiologist.

The above exercise regime is taken from Dean Ornish’s book ‘Reversing Heart Diseases’.

Stop Inflammation With This One Powerful Anti-Oxidant

In our previous post about inflammation causing heart attack we discussed a concept called oxidation. If you haven’t read that post click here to read now.

Only continue if you have read that post. 

We discussed that inflammation is caused by oxidation. And oxidation occurs when free radicals combine with other molecules making theme oxidized in nature. It is this oxidized molecule that causes inflammation.

The oxidation process can easily be reduced. How?

Through the consumption of anti-oxidants.

Anti-oxidants are opposites of oxidation process. When you consume anti-oxidants they combine with free radicals. This blocks free radicals from oxidizing any other molecule in our body.

There are many types of anti-oxidants.

However, the most popular and one with profound effect is Vitamin C.

That is why we wrote this post previously ‘How Vitamin C Prevents and Reverses Cardio Vascular Diseases‘.

Linus Pauling, two times unshared nobel prize winner, stated that when one consumes mega doses of high amount of vitamin C, heart disease is prevented and can be easily reversed.

Though he was met with mockery, today most doctors are considering his path.

According to Linus Pauling we need to supplement ourself with Vitamin C as our body cannot produce it though animals do.

So How Much Vitamin C Must One Consume?

In Linus Pauling’s book ‘How to Live Longer?’ he mentions that one must consume 6 gm (6,000 mg) of Vitamin C. The amount is huge for most as we consume much, much less. Generally, we consume in the range of 60 mg per day.

However, you can start the regime with 1 gm (1,000 mg) per day. And increase the amount over time.

However, if you are skeptic over Dr Linus Pauling’s recommendation then you can take Vitamin C present in Lemon, Oranges, Gooseberries, Blueberries etc.

However, we recommend Vitamin C supplements.

Inflammation – The Real Cause for Heart Attack

Cholesterol is not actual cause for heart disease, inflammation is. In a minute you will understand how. Before that we need to understand inflammation.

Definition of Inflammation is ‘a localized physical condition in which part of the body becomes reddened, swollen, hot, and often painful, especially as a reaction to injury or infection‘.

There are two types of inflammation:

  1. Acute and
  2. Chronic

When inflammation occurs and it hurts (visible and painful) it is acute. Examples include, rash on you skin, when you get your toe stubbed or a splinter in your finger.

Chronic inflammation goes unnoticed as it occurs within arteries. It is not only responsible for heart diseases but for Cancer, Arthritis, Diabetes, Obesity and loads of other diseases.

We are going to look into Chronic inflammation and how it causes heart attack.

But before that we need to deal with something else called oxidation.

What is Oxidation?

We know that electrons revolve around an atom in orbits. And electrons in the last orbits are known as valence electrons. These valence electrons can easily be lost. When an atom loses an electron it is called ‘Free Radical‘ and it needs an electron to fill the place of lost electron. Therefore, it tries to pair with another atom or molecule. And if it does pair, then the paired molecule has been oxidized.

note: rusting of metal is due to oxidation.

Okay, now we know what is inflammation and oxidation. Keep them aside. We need to discuss another concept to understand completely. And yes, this is the last concept.

Function of LDL and HDL:

Both, LDL and HDL are two types of Cholesterol. However, when you take cholesterol measurement, it is the measurement of LDL.

Function of LDL is to carry cholesterol from liver and supply to various organs and tissues.

Function of HDL is to take excess LDL back to liver.

Hence, it is necessary to have a higher ratio of HDL to LDL.

Okay, we are done with concepts. Now, we shall take a look into

How Heart Attack Occurs?

Free radical keep on looking for some molecule to pair with. And guess who it finds? LDL cholesterol, the one responsible for supplying cholesterol to various tissues and organs. LDL after pairing with Free Radical is no longer LDL but oxidized LDL.

Coronary arteries have a thin sheath between blood and the artery called as endothelium. Being very thin and delicate the oxidized LDL, while passing through coronary artery enters the endothelium starting inflammation.

When inflammation begins, immune system sends monocytes (biggest type of white blood cells). Monocytes release cytokines which are vital for immune system response. Consider Cytokines as a regulator for immune system.

Unfortunately, these cytokines are themselves inflammatory. They increase the inflammation process and cause the endothelium to secrete sticky molecules called ‘adhesion molecules’.

These adhesion molecules stick with monocytes and they together form Macrophages. Function of macrophages is to eat all the problem causing element. In this case it is the oxidized LDL.

However, there is one problem. There is no limit to how much a macrophage can eat. It will continue to eat until it bursts.

So, oxidized LDL keep on attacking endothelium, the macrophages will keep on eating oxidized LDL. When macrophages eat too much they burst and leave a yellow streak.

Body considers the yellow streak as foreign body and blood rushes to form a clot. This blood clot blocks the flow of blood. And there you have a Heart Attack.

In most cases, blood clot is minor and goes unnoticed. If inflammation process is stopped then inflamed area turns into a scar and heals itself. But if inflammation process continues, the cycle continues and layer of plaque (fatty streak forms into plaque over time) keeps on forming. Further decreasing area of blood flow.

And the reason cholesterol gets the bad rep is due to LDL’s ability to get oxidized and being at the spot of clot.

Here we come to our conclusion that cholesterol is not the main cause but inflammation.

Therefore, reducing inflammation must be our first step. And we shall learn how to decrease inflammation in our next post.

How to Interpret EKG – Part 2

In this second part EKG series we are going to learn about P wave.

P wave is the first wave that forms in an EKG. It is a short burst of energy that represents the contraction of right and left atrium. We will discuss more about how the wave is formed. First, let’s take a look at how a P wave looks.

480px-Normal_P_wave_(ECG)
The Circled Part Represents P Wave

Heart contracts due to depolarization process. Concept of depolarization is little complex. Hence, for the sake of simplicity let’s assume contraction occurs due to electric current (which is similar to depolarization).

This wave of electric current begins at the Sinus Node.

heartconduction

As you can see from the above picture, Sinus Node is situated above Right Atrium. Therefore, when the electric current passes it contracts the Right Atrium first and then Left Atrium.

P wave, therefore, is nothing but contraction of Right Atrium and Left Atrium.

Taking this idea further, we can deduce that first half of P wave represents Right Atrium and second half represents Left Atrium (Sinus Node is situated at top of Right Atrium. Hence, Right Atrium will contract first.)

 

depiction of right & left atrium within P wave
depiction of right & left atrium within P wave

After P wave there is small pause because it takes time for electric current to reach the ventricles. Once, it reaches the ventricles another lengthy wave called QRS complex is generated which we will discuss in the next part.

pause

Heart Stents – What is Their Life Expectancy?

How long does a stent last?

This question troubles all those who had stent(s).

Well, here is the shortest answer: stent is for life. In other words, stent is permanent.

Stents are made up of metal. Usually, today’s stents are drug eluting. Stent is coated with anti clotting drug. When it’s placed within an artery the coated drug dissolves over several years. Therefore, you need not worry about stent’s life. But you need to worry whether the stent is functioning properly.

Therefore, the question you must ask is:

How Can I Get the Most Benefit from Stent?

Your body considers stent as alien. After stent is placed, blood will rush to clot over a stent. Hence, it is necessary to take anti clotting drugs like Clopidogrel. Aspirin is obvious. You will be prescribed Clopidogrel for months or a year but Aspirin is for your life.

Sometimes, stents damage inner artery walls.

Finally, within years stent will get blocked. In such cases, your doctor will either recommend another stent procedure or bypass.

Therefore, after a stent procedure, ensure to take prescribed medicines. Most important of all eat healthy and exercise regularly.

A stent procedure is no guarantee that you won’t have another block.

Note: This article discusses stents made up of metals. 

Is It Heart Attack or Heartburn? Find Out Now

Symptoms of Heartburn and Heart Attack usually appear similar. But both are different. Even experts sometimes have difficulty in diagnosing. However, in this post we will try to sort out the difference.

First lets understand Heartburn and Heart Attack.

What is Heartburn?

Although Heartburn contains the word ‘Heart’ it has nothing to do with your heart. It is simply a problem of your oesophagus.

Heartburn is caused when digestive juices (made up of HCl, an acid) enters the oesophagus. Your stomach is meant to withstand the acid, your oesophagus is not. Hence, the burning sensation.

What is Heart Attack?

Plaque formation within coronary arteries blocking the flow of blood is called heart attack or Myocardial infarction.

Both conditions occurring at chest’s center, a pain caused by heartburn can easily be considered as Heart Attack.

Use these guidelines to find which is which:

  1. Heartburn usually occurs after a meal (usually a heavier one). Heart Attack can occur at any time.
  2. Chest pain caused by heartburn remains around the chest. Rarely it passes to the throat and jaw. In case of Heart attack, the chest pain starts at chest and spreads alongs the arms, jaw, shoulder and back.
  3. If you belch and the pain goes away, it’s heartburn. If it’s heart attack, pain remains even after belching.
  4. If the pain passes away after taking an antacid then its Heartburn.
  5. If pain worsens after bending over or lying down then it’s heartburn. No matter in what position you are, the pain remains the same for heart attack.
  6. If you experience regular chest pain, often in short periods of time then it indicates possibility of heart attack. Chest pain caused by heartburn stays for hours.
  7. Chest pain accompanied by sweating and trouble in breathing is surely Heart attack.
  8. If you experience sourness in your mouth then its heartburn. This occurs due to the rising of acid.
  9. In case of Heartburn over the counter medication solves the problem.

For a complete list of heart attack symptoms click here.

For heart attack symptoms in women click here.

Here is How to Avoid HeartBurn

  • Don’t sleep within an hour after a meal. Give it a couple of hours so the food you consumed gets digested.
  • Stand up and walk so gravity can assist in digestion.
  • Avoid citrus fruits at night.
  • Don’t eat a heavy meal. When you eat too much, your body secrets more digestive juice than normal. This can easily result in heartburn.
  • Avoid oily foods.
  • Some medications like aspirin can cause heartburn. Talk to your doctor about it.

Although we have provided some tips to differentiate heartburn and heart attack, do not hesitate to call emergency number when in doubt. It is better to be rushed to the hospital and find it’s heartburn than to be foolish and risk your life.

The topic for this article was recommended by Molly Lindsey on our Fan Page. Thanks Molly for a great topic.

If you would like to suggest a topic then please do not hesitate to mention in the comments below or on our Facebook Page.

3 Steps to A Healthy Blood for Your Heart

A smooth flowing blood is vital for a healthy heart. Make it viscous and your heart needs to pump harder. Increase stickiness of platelets and they clot easily. Finally, if there is high triglyceride level, plaque forms within arteries.

All above factors lead to Heart Attack. 

For blood to flow smoothly, it must be less viscous, low in triglycerides and blood platelets shouldn’t stick easily.

How to Make Your Blood Less Viscous?

Actually, we aren’t going to make blood less viscous. Blood is already in perfect proportion. We will learn not to make it more viscous than normal.

Glucose is our body’s energy source. If glucose level falls low, we become weak. If level is high it leads to diabetes (in the long run).

A high glucose level makes the blood viscous and stickier than before. This results in heart pumping stronger than to keep the blood flowing. Evidently, heart comes under strain not to mention increased in blood pressure.

Therefore, first step is keep your glucose level strictly under control.

But wait, how do I measure my blood’s glucose level?

Well, you don’t need any fancy instrument. Glucose level in blood is indicator of hunger. When the level falls below normal you get hungry. And when level comes to normal you feel full. However, there is one problem. It takes time for the signal (glucose returning to normal) to reach your brain. Hence, you tend to overeat.

Eat slowly. Cherish each morsel. Some doctors recommend chewing each morsel for at least 20 seconds before swallowing. In this manner, you wont overeat when the satiating signal hits your brain.

 How to Keep triglycerides level Low in Blood?

Answer to this question is simple. Avoid saturated fats (animal fats). If you are trying to prevent heart attack then keep saturated fats in limits. Don’t consume more than 7% of total daily calories from saturated fat.

If you had previous heart attack then avoid completely.

Note: There is new research indicating saturated fat has no relation with heart attack. However, it needs validation from respective authorites. Till then we will stick with old rule of blaming saturated fat.

Important note: Avoid liver if you have heart disease.

How to Keep Blood Platelets Less Stickier?

Avoid Smoking. It is that simple.

Smoking makes the blood platelets sticky. Instead of flowing smoothly, they start to clot when there is minor disturbance.

Of course, the ability to clot is necessary in healing of tissue. But we do not want unnecessary clotting.

Moreover, smoking makes the overall resting diameter of arteries smaller. This again hinders flow of blood.

Finally, it makes red blood cells stiff. We know red blood cells are disc shape in size. Hence, they are larger in one side. Now, since they are flexible, these red blood cells can easily pass through arteries. When smoking makes them stiff they are no longer flexible. And passing through arteries becomes hard resulting in minor blockages which are only visible under microscope.

To conclude the three steps required to keep your blood heart healthy are:

  1. Maintain your blood glucose level within normal range.
  2. Limit or avoid saturated fats
  3. Avoid Smoking