Mr. Shah was a happy man for most of him life. He loved his wife and children and truly enjoyed his work. He was reasonably healthy and relished each day of his life. Then a tragedy struck, which produced such stress in his life that he was unable to cope with the stress. Within six months he died of a heart attack. He was fifty-two.
Why is your cholesterol high?
There is no doubt in my mind that along with cigarette smoking, high blood pressure elevated cholesterol levels and a sedentary life style, stress is also a major risk factor leading to heart – disease. But it is difficult to quantify stress. What may be stressful to you may not be stressful to another person. Apart from work related stress anger is another emotion that can affect your heart.
A Harvard Medical School study researched that the average risk of heart attack was increased, two hours after the onset of the anger by 2-3 time. Psychologists now in addition to anger and stress, emphasize the importance of depression and a general feeling of hopelessness. To put it simply, we are physiologically different when we are happy as compared to when we are unhappy. Even if the cholesterol levels are not high enough to constrict arteries, negative emotions still have an impact. They cause release of a biologically toxic chemical called cortisol that causes a spasm in the arteries, stopping the flow of blood to the heart muscle. The result is angina pain or it could even be fatal.
Every time one experiences a negative emotion, the body produces more cortisol which reduces the good HDL cholesterol. Negative and suppressed emotion contribute to heart disease by promoting formation of blood clots and cause thickening of the arterial walls, and also increase the risk of hypertension. Most of us living in metros are living fast-paced lives and are managing to cope. But for some stress can become severe and fatal. The good news is that there are ways and means to control stress.
Medication is a common household word now. Scientists have found reduced blood pressure & heart rate in those practicing medication. They found increased levels of the calming neurotransmitters and significant changes in brain waves on sophisticated EEG machines. They concluded that all these changes could reduce ours risk of heart disease. Deep and deliberate exercises also help to calm your emotions.
It helps produce beneficial harmones and neurotransmitters that favor heart health. Deep breathing exercises require no special place or clothes you can practice it everyday especially when you are stressed while doing deep breathing do not think about your work, finance, kids or any other problems. Practice deep breathing for 5 to 10 minutes everyday. Think of some picturesque set up when you practice deep breathing. Another simple and effective way to decrease stress is to simile. Your body releases a calming factor called serotomin, which is responsible for satiety and positive attitude. Surprising as it may sound, but-even if you smile when you don’t feel like it your body responds favorably and you are filled with positive emotions. So the next time you’ve had an argument with some one or are angry with your spouse/friend/collogue, just smile it off and it will make your heart happy!!!
The right diet for lowering cholesterol
- 1 cup tea (no sugar, 2 tbs. low fat milk)
- 1 glass carrot juice
- 1 to 2 bowls papaya
- 2-4 oat bran + oatmeal chappaties ( 3 tbs. Oat bran, 1 tbs. Oatmeal per chappati)
- 2 cups of any vegetable
- 2 cups raw salad
- 150gms. fish (alternate days)
- 1 cup tea (no sugar, 2 tbs. low fat milk)
- Apples or pomegranate or oranges
- 2-4 at bran + oatmeal chappaties (3 tbs. Oat bran, 1 tbs. Oatmeal per chappati)
- 1-2 cups any vegetable
- 1 cup whole channa or rajhma or green mung
- 1 cup raw salad
- During this diet take 1 tsp (5gms) of guargum in one glass of water two-three times a day. After mixing guargum in water, consume it immediately before it thickness. Drink more water if required. Guargum is soluble fibre wchich helps lower cholesterol. It comes from the cluster bean plant.
- Use 2-3 tsp of olive oil for cooking and salad dressings.
- Guargum is available at most chemist shops and grocery stores.
- Oat bran and Soyabean biscuits, Millet biscuits and Bran biscuits are available at the health food stores and most leading departmental stores in Mumbai.
In case you are suffering from one or more medical problems or are under any medication, then please consult your family physician before attempting any diet. Also, you can contact us on our toll free number 1800-891-8131 to talk with our expert nutritionists and doctors, regarding your specific health issues.