Tag Archives: Heart

Your Diet Could be More Important Than Your Genes

A Mediterranean-style diet promotes heart function — even in men who are normally genetically predisposed to poor heart health. This means that the autonomic system controlling your heart rate works better if you eat a Mediterranean or similar diet, no matter what your genes.

In a study, researchers showed that a Mediterranean-style diet is related to higher heart rate variability (HRV), a measure of the time interval between a person’s heart beats. Low heart rate variability is a risk factor for coronary artery disease.

WebMD reports:
“In order to conduct their analysis, the researchers administered food frequency questionnaires to 276 middle-aged male twins. Diet can influence heart rate variability, but this association can be confounded by environmental and genetic factors. Using twins enabled researchers to examine the influence of diet on heart rate variability while controlling for genetic and other familial influences.”

Resources:
WebMD June 16, 2010
Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes June 15, 2010 [Epub ahead of print]

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Yoga Is The Best Medicine For Heart Patients

Heart attack is a condition where a blood clot in the coronary artery blocks the flow of blood to the heart. Consequently, some tissues die due to lack of oxygen. Once dead, these tissues are lost forever as unlike the other body tissues, heart tissues do not regenerate. Though the heart remains crippled and needs medication for life, the remaining tissues should be strengthened to prevent further problems and yoga is the best means to achieve that. Pawanmuktasana series and uthitpadasanaare excellent for the health of the heart.

.click to see the picture

Pawanmuktasana, with its mild stretching and flexible movements, maintains the elasticity of the blood vessels, making the heart’s job of pushing blood into them easier, while uthanapadasanabrings more blood to the organ and makes its tissues healthier. This asana can be done even during the recovery period after a heart attack. Though no prop is required for utthitpadasana, for heart patients, it is necessary to take a support so as not to strain the heart in any way. It is a simple position where lying on the back, the feet are placed on a six inch high platform such as a rolled blanket. To further enhance the effect and hasten the recovery, the following meditative technique should be practiced.

Lie down in shavasana–legs apart, hands little away from the body.

Imagine you are breathing in from the left nostril and breathing out from the right one; and then breathing in from the right nostril, breathing out from the left.

When the rhythmic alternate breathing pattern is established, add the mantra sohamto your breath when you breathe in and hamwhen you breathe out.

Practice this for 20 to 30 minutes twice a day.

After a few days, when you are comfortable with the practice, maintain the ratio of 1:2 for inhalation and exhalation. Then the mantra will become: so – ham‘¦m‘¦m‘¦m. You can also practice this meditation for 2/3 minutes to maintain a relaxed state.

Source: Yoga.am

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What We See

When we judge others we should ask ourselves where these judgments come from, is it something we see in ourselves?

Though it is human to evaluate people we encounter based on first impressions, the conclusions we come to are seldom unaffected by our own fears and our own preconceptions. Additionally, our judgments are frequently incomplete. For example, wealth can seem like proof that an individual is spoiled, and poverty can be seen as a signifier of laziness—neither of which may be true. At the heart of the tendency to categorize and criticize, we often find insecurity. Overcoming our need to set ourselves apart from what we fear is a matter of understanding the root of judgment and then reaffirming our commitment to tolerance.

When we catch ourselves thinking or behaving judgmentally, we should ask ourselves where these judgments come from. Traits we hope we do not possess can instigate our criticism when we see them in others because passing judgment distances us from those traits. Once we regain our center, we can reinforce our open-mindedness by putting our feelings into words. To acknowledge to ourselves that we have judged, and that we have identified the root of our judgments, is the first step to a path of compassion. Recognizing that we limit our awareness by assessing others critically can make moving past our initial impressions much easier. Judgments seldom leave room for alternate possibilities.

Mother Teresa said, “If you judge people, you don’t have time to love them.” If we are quick to pass judgment on others, we forget that they, like us, are human beings. As we seldom know what roads people have traveled before a shared encounter or why they have come into our lives, we should always give those we meet the gift of an open heart. Doing so allows us to replace fear-based criticism with appreciation because we can then focus wholeheartedly on the spark of good that burns in all human souls.

Source: Daily Om

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Stem Cell Therapy May End Transplants

myocardial infarction - Myokardinfarkt - scheme
Image via Wikipedia

British scientists have developed a new technique that can rebuild a severely damaged heart, and one day, might replace the need for transplantation.

Researchers at Imperial College London revealed that stem cell heart surgery can help repair damaged hearts using progenitor cells derived from patients’ own cardiac muscle.

They have discovered a way to extract, grow in the laboratory and then graft on a patient’s own muscle-building cells which then can be used to patch up the heart and increase its pumping power. Moreover, it can increase the quality of life for people who suffer a heart attack.

“This could transform the care for patients who have had heart attacks or have heart disease,” the Telegraph quoted Nicholas Boon, president of the British Cardiovascular Society as saying. “Because the cell therapy uses a patient’s own cells, it negates the risks or complications associated with other treatment options such as rejection linked to transplantation,” he said

Sources: The Times Of India

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