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When we speak of heart health, we often picture older people. Studies, unfortunately, show that Indians are at risk of heart disease at least a decade earlier than western counterparts. This means there is an increasing prevalence of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) in people as young as 30. India already accounts for one-fifth of deaths worldwide, caused by cardiovascular diseases. And this reflects in the younger population as well, with an age-standardized death rate of 272 per 1,00,000 population as compared to the global average of 235.
This increased risk of heart disease in young Indians is due to a combination of inherited genes as well as environmental factors. Unfortunately, these environmental factors have only worsened the risk over time. Working long hours, often in stressful jobs and sleeping less has become the new normal in our lives. Modern work setups involve sitting a lot and not exercising and this can nearly double the risk of poor heart health.
People in top cities, between ages 30 to 40, who do not exercise regularly, are at greater risk of heart disease. Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash
A study conducted by Saffolalife in 2019 states that 58 per cent of people in top cities, between ages 30 to 40, who do not exercise regularly, are at greater risk of heart disease. Despite this 92 per cent of them do not consider lack of exercise among the top 3 risk factors for heart disease. This lack of awareness further exacerbates the issue. Among younger people, we do see an increasing awareness about the importance of food in maintaining good health. But the reality also is that after a long and tiring day, it has often become easier to order in and give in to unhealthy food urges. With less exercise and eating junk food frequently, there is an increased chance of belly fat, which is another major risk factor for heart disease. Thankfully, there is good news. Caring for your heart is not difficult. Once you are aware of the risk factors, you can take the right steps to reduce their impact. Making simple changes to your diet and lifestyle can really make a difference. The most important thing, however, is to be proactive; changes we make in our 30s and 40s can go a long way in keeping us heart-healthy.
In your 30s, it is a good idea to assess your blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar and general health every year. Photo by Fitsum Admasu on Unsplash
In your 30s, it is a good idea to assess your blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar and general health every year. This can let you be aware of symptoms earlier and corrective action can be taken immediately. Develop healthy lifestyle habits like brisk walking for about twenty minutes a day, at least thrice a week. Try to take breaks between work hours for deep breathing exercises. Control stress with exercise and yoga, rather than emotional/stress eating or staying up late and binge-watching. Make simple and easy changes to your diet, like eating one portion of raw fruits and vegetables during snack-time every day. Try to include heart-healthy ingredients like nuts, green leafy vegetables, avocados and oats. Using heart-healthy oil can also be a great and easy change you can make.
Remember good lifestyle habits developed early on can help reduce heart risk. So make heart health a priority today.
(Article originally written by Sheryl Salis for IANSlife) (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: health, heart, rish, indian, disease
Cutting 20 per cent of sugar from packaged foods and 40 per cent from beverages can prevent death as well as the onset of cardiavascular diseases and diabetes in millions of people worldwide, according to a study. The study, led by a team of researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital, Tufts University and others, showed that reducing the amount of sugars in packaged foods and beverages can reduce the risk of 2.48 million cardiovascular disease events (such as strokes, heart attacks, cardiac arrests), 490,000 cardiovascular deaths, and 750,000 diabetes cases in the US. The reports was published in the journal Circulation.
"Reducing the sugar content of commercially prepared foods and beverages will have a larger impact on the health of Americans than other initiatives to cut sugar, such as imposing a sugar tax, labelling added sugar content, or banning sugary drinks in schools," said lead author, and attending physician at MGH, Siyi Shangguan.
Consuming sugary foods and beverages is strongly linked to obesity and diseases such as Type-2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of mortality in the US. Photo by Jair Lázaro on Unsplash
Consuming sugary foods and beverages is strongly linked to obesity and diseases such as Type-2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of mortality in the US. More than two in five American adults are obese, one in two have diabetes or pre-diabetes, and nearly one in two have cardiovascular disease, with those from lower-income groups being disproportionately burdened.
"Sugar is one of the most obvious additives in the food supply to reduce to reasonable amounts," said Dariush Mozaffarian, co-senior author and dean of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University. "Our findings suggest it's time to implement a national programme with voluntary sugar reduction targets, which can generate major improvements in health, health disparities, and healthcare spending in less than a decade," Mozaffarian added.
The team created a model to simulate and quantify the health, economic, and equity impacts of a pragmatic sugar-reduction policy proposed by the US National Salt and Sugar Reduction Initiative (NSSRI). Ten years after the NSSRI policy goes into effect, the US could expect to save $4.28 billion in total net healthcare costs, and $118.04 billion over the lifetime of the current adult population (ages 35 to 79), according to the model.
(Article originally published at IANSlife)(IANS/SS)
Keywords: health, sugar, heart, disease, heart attack
An Ayurvedic poly-herbal formulation, NEERI-KFT, has the potential to not only slow down the progression of chronic kidney disease but also restore normalcy in functional parameters of the vital organ, a team of researchers has claimed.
In a review published in the latest edition of Saudi Journal of Biological Sciences, they said "phytopharmacological evaluation of NEERI-KFT suggests that it exhibits substantial potential against oxidative and inflammatory stress induced apoptosis by exerting antioxidant, nephroprotective and immunomodulatory effects in the patients associated with renal dysfunction or chronic kidney disease (CKD)".
The NEERI-KFT, a herbal medicine extracted from plants, has been found to correct oxidative as well as inflammatory stress known for reducing body's immunity, said the authors after drawing data on the formulation for kidney ailments from more than five electronic databases such as Science Direct, Google Scholar, Elsevier, PubMed, Springer, ACS publication from published database between 2000 and 2020.
The study, 'A systematic review on nephroprotective AYUSH drugs as constituents of NEERI-KFT' not only examined the impact of the herbal extract of NEERI-KFT prepared by the AIMIL Pharma interventions on patients, but also dwelled in detail the adverse events of the modern medicine used for the management of the kidney ailments.
The study also highlighted the herbal drug's efficacy in reducing "serum creatinine, blood urea, and serum uric acid as compared to placebo group" and described "its well-tolerated effect with no adverse hematological or biochemical abnormalities occurred to any subjects during clinical trial".
"It can be suggested that NEERI-KFT can be an alternative and complementary therapy at end-stage renal disease (ESRD) or complete loss of kidney function where frequent dialysis of renal transplant remains only a single option for continued survival CKD patients," researchers said.
K.K. Sharma, AIMIL Pharma Managing Director, attributed this to the "more than 20 different potent herbs like haridra, varuna, shirish, gokhru, punarnava and anantamul to name a few in the formulation which are known for their nephro corrective, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and reparative regeneration of kidney cells.
It was after a string of stringent tests that this formulation has been developed to provide relief to kidney patients, he said.
K.N. Dwivedi from Banaras Hindu University said the herbal ingredients in NEERI-KFT are loaded with many anti-oxidants besides medicinal values which not only strengthen kidney but liver also.
"This is a very unique drug and we have found it very effective in our study also," he added.
Keywords: Ayurveda, Kidney, herbal medicine, disease
Hypertension is one of India's most common lifestyle diseases and is often termed a "silent killer" disease. The condition exhibits no symptoms even if blood pressure reaches a dangerously high level, making a person prone to having a cardiac arrest or stroke.
With the fast-paced life and demanding work schedules, everyone is under a significant level of stress. The pandemic has further escalated the stress levels due to work from home, resulting in longer working hours. Hypertension refers to a condition where the long-term force of the blood is unusually high against the artery walls leading to several other diseases over time, notes Sharanya S Shastry, a dietician at Apollo Spectra Hospital, Bangalore.
Regular headaches, nosebleeds, and shortness of breath are a few symptoms of high blood pressure, these are not specific to only hypertension and don't occur till the blood pressure is at a severely increased level, says the expert. According to Shastry, including a few foods in the daily diet can help manage hypertension as these foods have medicinal properties. A few superfoods for hypertension are:
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This delicious fruit contains antioxidants and bioactive polyphenols, which possess many medicinal qualities beneficial for hypertension. One can simply include a bowl of fresh fruit as their mid-morning snack.
High blood pressure can cause narrowing of the blood vessels, and this fruit contains potassium, which is good for the muscles. Besides being a wonder fruit for hypertension, Jamun fruit is also good for managing elevated cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
This has been a go-to superfood for Olympians as it contains natural nitrates, which are converted into nitric oxide by the digestive system. A glass of raw beetroot juice or a cooked vegetarian dish of beetroot can significantly reduce high blood pressure levels in 2-3 hours of consumption.
Garlic has been known to have medicinal properties for ages as it produces a natural compound called allicin on being crushed or chopped. It can bring blood pressure down instantly and is an excellent option to be added to the everyday food intake of hypertension patients.
Both leaves and seeds are rich in fiber, Calcium and they reduce the level of LDL/TG in the body resulting in bringing the blood pressure down. Hence include methi seeds in your tadka or a methi paratha in your diet.
Foods that have a proven history of helping maintain a healthy blood pressure level. A combination of these and a moderate level of physical activity daily can significantly help manage hypertension. While working from home, try to create a sleep routine that gives the body ample time to reboot and reset.
As we wait for this pandemic to pass, health must become of prime importance to boost immunity and battle the consequences of the virus. (IANS/KB)