The heart is one of the most important organs of the body without which one’s body cannot survive. As per the World Health Organisation (WHO), cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are the leading cause of death globally, with heart attack and stroke responsible for most of these deaths (85%).
Dr. Smita Naram, Co-Founder of Ayushakti, also highlighted that heart attacks have taken a serious toll in the past two decades and heart disease has become the leading cause of mortality across the globe. As around 52% of cardiovascular deaths take place before the age of 70, it is very important to maintain a healthy heart, she stated.
Causes of heart attack
A heart attack is caused by the deposition of fatty and calcified plaque in the coronary arteries, which hinder the flow of the blood to the heart.
“Heart ailments don’t occur overnight, they are built up over the years, depending on lifestyle, food pattern, exercise and much more. Some contributing factors that can cause a heart attack are high blood pressure, cholesterol, obesity, diabetes, family history, unhealthy lifestyles like eating habits, and smoking/drinking,” explained Dr. Naram, a well-accomplished Ayurvedic physician, pharmaceutical herbalist and nutritionist.
Take turmeric daily to keep heart healthy
To maintain a healthy heart and prevent any ailments, it is extremely essential to prevent piling up toxins in the artery which can be done by taking antioxidants such as turmeric (haldi) daily, said the Ayurvedic practitioner.
“Curcumin in turmeric helps in improving these endothelial functions. It has powerful anti-inflammatory effects and is an extraordinarily strong antioxidant. Thus, improves the flexibility and capacity of arteries, if taken daily for years and years,” Dr. Naram elaborated.
Foods to eat and avoid for a healthy heart
According to Dr. Naram, one should follow a heart healthy diet by including: lots of vegetables such as ridge gourd (Turia), bottle gourd (dudhi), ivy gourd (tendli), snake gourd (padwal), pumpkin, leafy vegetables, etc and proteins such as green gram (mung), lentils, tofu, millet, rice, barley, etc as these foods help dissolve toxins and blockages from the arteries at a fast pace.
Your diet should be a combination of 60 percent vegetables, 30 percent proteins, and 10 percent carbohydrates, she stated.
Dr. Naram recommended excluding sour foods (like tomatoes); all sour fruits (oranges, pineapples, lemons, grapefruits, any kinds of vinegar, etc.); heavy to digest foods such as maida and red meat (as they are hard to digest and increase cholesterol in the body; wheat, fermented or fermentation increasing foods such as yogurt, alcohol, cheese (especially old and hard ones).
A healthy recipe for your heart
Dr. Naram often shares health tips, kitchen remedies, herbal remedies, marma, and detox plans for long-lasting results in any health problems.
She suggested a simple home remedy recipe that one can incorporate in their daily routine to maintain a healthy heart.
“Mix 1/2 tsp ginger juice and tsp garlic juice with warm water and consuming it twice a day,” she said.
In addition to following a healthy diet, one should include a daily walk for 30-45 minutes which would improve the heart functions and also help reduce cholesterol and weight, she suggested.
Following these simple tips will surely lead to a healthy heart and lifestyle, the Ayuveda expert added.
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