3 factors that ensure a healthy heart by Dr. Naresh Trehan on World Heart Day.
World Heart Day to be
observed on 29th September draws into focus the vital organ of our body
primarily the engine of our system the heart. According to the world heart
federation, the most number of deaths that occur in the world are due to heart.
It nearly accounts for 17.9 million lives that are lost due to cardiovascular
diseases which are 31 percent of global deaths. Therefore, it becomes very
crucial to keep our heart healthy. Famhealth in an exclusive conversation with
Dr. Naresh Trehan, one of the chief cardiac surgeons of the country as well as
the chairman and managing director of Medanta- the Medicity tells about some
effective tips and tricks to keep the heart-healthy.
The incensed pandemic
that has girdled our lives these days has given rise to tremendous stress to
our body, especially the mind, which directly affects our heart. Now it becomes
so much more important to take care of our heart. So, the mounting question is
what keeps our heart healthy?
Dr. Trehan primarily lists out 3 important factors that should be practiced to keep our heart healthy.
“When it comes to cardiovascular fitness it should be a sustained 40 minutes of exercise where heart rate goes up by 50 percent of your resting heart rate. ‘Pranayama’ is the most efficient breathing exercise that one must do regularly to calm one’s mind and body. With it, meditation and listening to “Mahāmrityunjaya Mantra’ will help in balancing the entire body. Practicing this regime at least 5 times a week will assure that your heart is in a healthy state says”, Dr. Trehan.
talking about nutrition Dr. Trehan says,” it (nutrition) is the second most
important factor which affects heart and arteries. While poor nutrition will
increase the propensity of a person to suffer from atherosclerosis which is the
depositing of fats in arteries therefore one must intake balanced nutrition.
Break up of daily nutrition – 50% from carbohydrates, that provide energy for daily tasks; 35 – 40 % should be from proteins which help in muscle build-up and the least amount (appx 10 – 15%) of fats because an excessive amount of fat consumption will lead to the formation of lipids that will start depositing in our liver, arteries, and heart with these all vitamins and minerals too”.
guiding about tips to keep heart healthy Dr. Trehan acquaints the role of
genetic makeup, “A history of heart disease in the family doubles the risk and
chances of a person to suffer from some form of heart disease, including problems
like high blood pressure, highly stressed mind, diabetes, etc. Therefore a
person must know his genetic predisposition and then tailor his lifestyle according
Healthy food in winters
Root vegetables like beets, carrots and turnips grow in plenty during winter season. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene that has exceptional health benefits to your body. Vitamin C helps can help in boosting your immunity and vitamin A is good for eye health.
Oatmeal is much more than just a convenient breakfast food; it also provides nutrients that are essential during winter. Oatmeal is high in zinc (important for proper immune function) and soluble fiber. Having an oatmeal breakfast with nuts provides you with essential nutrients and energy during winters.
Mixed vegetable or chicken soup is winter’s perfect food. But soup with minimal amount of cream and salt is more beneficial. Pair your soup with a side of 100 percent whole grain crackers. Homemade soups are the best as they are low in calories and are full of essential micronutrients that are good for health.
Cold and flu are common in winters, to prevent risk eat lots of cruciferous vegetables that boosts your defense system in winters. Broccoli and cauliflower are both high in vitamin C, which is associated with enhanced immune function. Try to buy and consume fresh broccoli and cauliflower.
Fish like salmon or tuna are good sources of vitamin D. During the winter months, when you have limited exposure to the sun, food sources containing high amounts of Vitamin D are more essential for daily intake. Vitamin D deficiency is associated with impaired growth, weakening of the bones and even the risk of heart disease. So having fish has great effects on our body during winters.
Food for healthy teeth
Proteins are vital for the formation and maintenance of the tooth structure. Proteins also protect the lining of your mouth. Some of the good sources of proteins that are easily available are soy, eggs, beans, poultry, seafood and dairy products.
Calcium and phosphorus are the building blocks of teeth and a rich supply of these nutrients protect the teeth against tooth damage. Some foods which supply high amounts of calcium and phosphorous are milk and milk products, seafood, tofu, almonds, green leafy vegetables, legumes and broccoli. Cheese is exceptionally high in calcium.
Vitamin D is a vital mineral that helps in calcium absorption. Sunlight is the richest source of Vitamin D. Other readily available sources of vitamin D are milk, fish, eggs, and cod liver oil.
Potassium is an essential trace mineral that helps in blood clotting, especially when gums bleed after an injury. Some good sources of potassium are fresh fruits and vegetables. You can also find high amounts of potassium in cooked spinach, cooked broccoli, potatoes and sweet potatoes.
Did you know fluoride is a great mineral that prevents the tooth against cavities and also promotes the absorption of calcium in the body. Tap water is a source of fluoride and other sources rich in fluoride are black tea and seafood.
Foods to stay healthy by Famhealth
Cereals are rich source of calcium, iron, and vitamin B. A cereal, which is coarser and grainier, is considered more healthy and nutritious. Experts say that a good cereal meal provides you with essential nutrients like carbohydrates, fats and proteins.
Eat lots of fruits and vegetables- Eating lots of fresh fruits and vegetables are rich in fiber and essential micronutrients. Do you know the more colorful the fruits, denser the nutrient. Eating five portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables is considered good for health.
To stay healthy, we need some fats in our diet; however consuming a fatty diet is harmful to our body. Experts suggest that the limited intake of saturated fat rich food items like ghee, butter, coconut oil etc. minimizes the risk of heart diseases and high blood cholesterol levels.
It is said that drinking about 8- 10 liters of water every day keeps the body hydrated. However; during summers or if you have an active lifestyle it is good to drink more water. Soft and fizzy drinks that are high in added sugar cannot replace the good benefits of water.
Experts say that exercise is the cornerstone of healthy living. Performing a 30 to 45 min daily exercise and sports like swimming, aerobics, power yoga etc. has shown good effects on our body.
Calcium Rich foods and their Role
Most cheeses are excellent sources of calcium. Parmesan cheese has the highest content of calcium among all cheese. As an added bonus, your body absorbs the calcium in dairy products more easily than that from plant sources.
Yogurt is an excellent source of calcium. Many types of yogurt are also rich in live probiotic bacteria, which have various health benefits. One cup (245 grams) of plain yogurt contains 30% of the daily-recommended dose for calcium, as well as phosphorus, potassium and vitamins B2 and B12.
Seeds are tiny nutritional powerhouses. Some are exceptionally high in calcium, including poppy, sesame, celery and chia seeds. For instance, 1 tablespoon (9 grams) of poppy seeds has 126 mg of calcium. Seeds also deliver protein and healthy fats. For example, chia seeds are rich in plant-based omega-3 fatty acids.
Milk and milk products are good sources of calcium. Daily consumption of milk helps in keeping our bones and teeth strong. Low – fat milk is a good option as it not only prevents the overloading of extra calories but also supplements your body with required calcium.
Tofu is an excellent source of calcium. You can simply add it to the vegetables or can stir-fry and eat. One block of tofu contains 1624 mg of calcium. Figs are also rich in calcium.
A healthy human heart beats about 2.5 billion times over the average lifetime. The heart is a muscular organ, which pumps blood through the blood vessels of the circulatory system. Blood supplies our organs with oxygen and nutrients, and helps in the removal of metabolic wastes.
According to centre of disease control there are various health conditions which can lead to heart disease. Some major contributory factors are genetics, age, poor lifestyle, age and family history. Genetics, age and family history are the factors which cannot be controlled. However, one can adopt a good lifestyle and can choose to eat a healthy diet to prevent heart diseases.
Risk factors causing heart diseases:
Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)
High blood pressure is one of the prime risk factors for heart disease. It is a medical condition resulting due to an excessive pressure of blood in arteries and other blood vessels. Hypertension is regarded as the one of the prime causes of major heart conditions like heart attack.
High blood pressure is also referred to as “silent killer”, as most of the people do not observe the symptoms of high blood pressure. However, high blood pressure can be controlled with a right diet, medication and a healthy life style.
Cholesterol is a fat-like, waxy thin, substance which is naturally produced by liver. However, consuming foods rich in saturated fats can lead to high cholesterol levels in our blood. The excess cholesterol gets deposited in the walls of the arteries which leads to their narrowing, thereby leading to major heart diseases like atherosclerosis and heart attack.
Diabetes mellitus another major risk factor of heart disease. The body needs sugar for providing energy and in normal circumstances pancreas produces enough insulin for the sugar to get utilized. However, in diabetes either no insulin or less insulin is produced by the body leading to sugar accumulation in the blood.
Major Heart Diseases
Angina is also known as chest pain or discomfort caused when the heart muscle is devoid of enough oxygen-rich blood. Angina patients may experience heaviness or tightness in the chest which can even radiate to arms, neck, jaw, back or stomach. Angina is an alarming condition of a major heart disease and should not be ignored.
Management of Angina
Treatment for angina not only reduces the symptoms but also minimizes the risk for heart attack and death.
Treatment options include:
Modifications in the lifestyle such as quitting smoking, managing weight, eating right, keeping stress at bay, and controlling diabetes
Taking medications like calcium channel blockers, satins (as prescribed by doctor)
Treatment like stenting, coronary artery bypass (depending what doctor opts for)
Cardiac rehabilitation post cardiac procedure which aims for physical fitness, minimize cardiac symptoms, and improves the overall health, and lowers the risk for heart problems in the future
Aortic stenosis is one of the most prevalent and most severe valve diseases of the heart which occurs due to obstruction of blood flow across the aortic valve. Affected patients may suffer from complications like chest pain, fainting, and heart failure which might lead to shortness of breath. This condition could be genetic or age related.
Management of Aortic Stenosis
Treatment for aortic stenosis depends on symptoms and the extent of the disease.
Mild disease may not require any treatment; however, a regular ECG is done by the doctor to forecast any complication. In severe cases the treatment includes:
Replacing the aortic valve: Aortic valve replacement is the only effective treatment for severe aortic stenosis.
Medications: There is no specific medication for this condition, however blood pressure is controlled to prevent further complications.
Atherosclerosis is a disease in which plaque builds up inside the arteries, which eventually causes blockage and limiting the flow of oxygen-rich blood to your organs. It is one of the prime causes of heart attacks, strokes, and peripheral vascular disease together called cardiovascular disease.
Management of Atherosclerosis
Lifestyle management-Eating a healthy diet
A healthy diet is primarily a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low in refined carbohydrates, saturated, trans fats, and sodium.
Some simple ways are to switch from white to whole-grain bread, eating fruits and vegetables rather than refined food items, using olive oil instead of solid fats like butter, and reducing sugar and sugar substitutes to a greater extent.
Quit smoking– According to the Mayo Clinic- for heavy smoker, quitting is the single most effective way to stop atherosclerosis from getting worse and reduce risk of complications
Maintain healthy weight– obese individuals are more prone to heart disease. Hence, a person should try to maintain a healthy weight.
Manage Stress– Keep the body relaxed; try deep breathing, meditation, and yoga to keep stress at bay. .
Medications and Surgery– Doctor may prescribe medication like cholesterol medication, anti-platelet medication, and calcium channel blockers. Surgery includes angioplasty, endarterectomy and bypass grafting
Atrial fibrillation (also referred to as AFib or AF) is the most common type of abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia) which can cause complications like blood clots, stroke, heart failure and other heart-related complications.
Management of Atrial Fibrillation
The atrial fibrillation treatment depends on how long the patient has had atrial fibrillation, acuteness of symptoms and the underlying cause of atrial fibrillation. Generally, the treatment goals for atrial fibrillation are to: