WISDOM Excessive eating and atherosclerosis
Unhealthy eating habits play a major role in the development of heart diseases, diabetes, etc. However, balanced nutrition helps prevent many lifestyle diseases.
What is atherosclerosis? Atherosclerosis is a process in which the inner walls of the arteries are clogged due to cholesterol, fats, and inflammatory deposits called plaque. As plaque builds up, the artery wall gets hard and thickened. The resultant damage is different in different individuals. Plaque formation and inflammation causes narrowing of arteries due to which blood flow is hampered. In general, people with high cholesterol, diabetes mellitus, high blood pressure, smoking habits, etc. are more prone to atherosclerosis.
A few tips for a healthy heart: Detoxify your body by consuming raw vegetable juices such as mint coriander, tomato and coriander, capsicum and coriander, etc. Eat fibre-rich wholegrains such as jowar, bajra, millet (ragi) Eat more vegetables. Reduce the consumption of non-vegetarian foods, whole milk, cheese, etc. Eat healthy fats such as nuts, seeds, mustard oil, sesame seed oil, etc. Avoid saturated fats found in processed foods.
Which supplements help? Several flavonoid-rich herbs such as turmeric, and cocoa help in battling the disease, and to reduce some side effects of drugs. Pomegranate: Its daily consumption reduces blood pressure and improves ischemia (inadequate blood supply) in patients already suffering from atherosclerosis. Turmeric: Curcumin is the main flavonoid of the spice. It has shown powerful antiinflammatory and antioxidant properties, that help manage atherosclerosis by preventing plaque build-up in the arteries. Cocoa: Recent studies have found that cocoa flavonoids are cardioprotective in nature — they reduce the tendency of plaque formation and increases blood flow in arteries. There are a number of other supplements that can also help protect the heart, including white tea, green tea, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries.