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7 Natural Cholesterol Reducers For A Healthy Heart

The Kashmir Monitor

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Cholesterol is a ductile substance which travels in lipids (fatty acids) of the bloodstream and all membranes of body. There are two types of cholesterols: Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or “bad” cholesterol, and High-density lipoprotein (HDL). High levels of LDL cholesterol can result in buildup of plaque in your arteries – which is one of the leading causes of heart disease. Levels of bad cholesterol increase because of fats in animal sources like egg, meat, yolks, and cheese. Fat from these foods deposit in blood vessels, which causes disturbance in blood flow and eventually lead to heart diseases and stroke. In this article, we talk about natural cholesterol reducers which can help in regulating cholesterol levels in the body. Keep reading…
The most important thing for keeping your cholesterol levels under control is limiting intake of saturated and trans fats. Food rich in saturated fats like butter, red meat (mutton, beef, pork), full fat and low-fat dietary product heightens dietary cholesterol. Limitation of high dosage of all such food sources will help in maintaining not only cholesterol but also a healthy lifestyle.
Natural cholesterol reducers for regulating cholesterol levels in the body:
1. Soy protein
Replace red meat with soy milk, tofu, soybeans and soy chunks as they can help in reducing overall cholesterol levels in the body. Soy is an excellent source of lean protein. Soy is used in many foods like soups, salad dressing, frozen yogurt, bread, breakfast cereals, whipped topping, and pasta.
2. Niacin
Foods sources of niacin include turkey, chicken breasts, tuna fish, peanuts, mushrooms and green peas to name a few. Niacin helps maximising good cholesterol and minimizing triglycerides – a fat that can clog arteries.
3. Garlic
Garlic can help in increasing in HDL cholesterol and reducing total cholesterol levels in the body. Garlic can either be eaten raw or as an ingredient in various Indian dishes.
4. Red yeast rice
China is world’s largest producer of red yeast rice. Red yeast rice is used in traditional medicine which is taken for improving digestion. Red yeast rice is basically white rice which is fermented with yeast. It helps in lowering cholesterol levels as it has the same chemical make up as lovastatin, a cholesterol-lowering medicine. It is used to color a variety of foods such as red rice vinegar, pickled tofu etc.
5. Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids help in reducing overall cholesterol levels. Salmon, tuna, lake trout, herring, sardines, and other fatty fish are all rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Flax, hempseeds, walnuts, chia seeds, fresh basils are some of the vegetable-based alternatives of fish oil.
6. Soluble fibers
Fibers are of two kinds: soluble fiber, which dissolves into liquid, and insoluble fiber Soluble fiber lowers cholesterol absorption in the bloodstream. Soluble cholesterol is present in foods like orange, pear, peach, asparagus, potato, whole wheat bread, oatmeal and kidney beans.
7. Protein-rich plant food
Beans and legumes are super healthy and protein-packed alternative to meat. Legumes help to lower the LDL cholesterol, non-HDL cholesterol, and blood sugar and insulin level. Nuts and seeds are also good for heart health, but make sure you eat them in limited amounts since they are high in calories. Lentils, peas, pinto beans, red beans, white beans, and soybeans are all natural cholesterol reducers.


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Health

Hepatitis A Causes and Symptoms

The Kashmir Monitor

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Generally speaking, hepatitis A is more common in parts of the planet that are developing. It’s for the fact that sanitation and food handling practices are by and large poor. However, medical experts say that living in developed countries can also put you at risk of having hepatitis A, but it’s really a rare occurrence.

Just like what’s mentioned earlier, hepatitis A is caused by the hepatitis A virus or HAV. It can be spread around by someone who has hepatitis A because he or she is a carrier of the virus behind it. It is said that a person with hepatitis A is most infectious about 2 weeks before he or she begins to experience signs and symptoms.

Here are some of the ways that hepatitis A is spread around:

 

Consumption of food that is prepared by a person who has hepatitis A. This is most especially true if he or she has not properly washed his or her hands.

Drinking of water that is contaminated with the hepatitis A virus.

Intake of raw or undercooked seafood obtained from contaminated water.

Close contact with someone who has hepatitis A. This includes having sexual intercourse with an infected person, especially when the rectal or anal area has been touched with the fingers, mouth or tongue.

Using illegal drugs, especially when paraphernalia contaminated with the hepatitis A virus are used.

Symptoms

Medical experts say that it may take a while before the various signs and symptoms associated with hepatitis A show up. They say that someone may experience them about 4 weeks after getting infected. It’s even possible for someone with hepatitis A to not experience any sign and symptom at all.

Some of the initial signs and symptoms of hepatitis A include:

Tiredness and malaise
Achy muscles and joints
Pain in the upper right section of the abdomen
Loss of appetite
Mild fever
Headaches
Sore throat
Diarrhea or constipation
Hives or raised rash that’s itchy

These initial signs and symptoms associated with hepatitis A can last anywhere from a few days only to a couple of weeks. Afterwards, as the infection of the liver progresses, the following may be experienced by the individual:

Jaundice, which is the yellowing of the skin as well as the whites of the eyes (sclera)

Pale colored stools
Dark colored urine
Skin itching

Tenderness and swelling of the upper right section of the abdomen

Although it rarely happens, hepatitis A can cause liver failure. When such develops, the person who is infected may experience severe vomiting, frequent bruising, bleeding of the nose and gums, drowsiness and confusion.

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Health

Busting myths around blood donation

The Kashmir Monitor

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As per the World Health Organisation (WHO) norms, ideally, one per cent of the total population should regularly donate blood to meet the requirements, which is anywhere between 1% and 3% of country’s population that would require blood in a year.

Contrary to the myth about blood donations making a person weak or anaemic, the body replenishes the lost blood in a matter of a few days, say experts.

“A healthy bone marrow makes a constant supply of red cells, plasma and platelets, so there is no question of becoming weak, much less anaemic. It is a myth and should not deter people from donating blood,” says Dr RK Singal, chairman, internal medicine department, BLK super-speciality Hospital.

 

The donors can give either whole blood or specific blood components, as there is sophisticated equipment available these days that extract relevant components from blood and the rest of the blood can be transfused back to the donor.

As per the World Health Organisation (WHO) norms, ideally, one per cent of the total population should regularly donate blood to meet the requirements, which is anywhere between 1% and 3% of country’s population that would require blood in a year.

About 65% of India’s population is young and if this section donates blood regularly, chances of the country facing blood shortage will be remote. Hence, there is all the more reason for people, especially youngsters, to come forward and be regular blood donors.

How to prepare

Have enough fruit juice and water in the night and morning before you donate

Have a full meal 3 hours before donation; never on an empty stomach

Have some rest for about 10-15 minutes after donation

Have some snacks or a juice with high sugar content after donation

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Health

Erectile dysfunction’s connection with lifestyle

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By Dr Anjani Kumar Agrawal

healthy-lifestyle-can-reverse-effects-of-hypertensionAll over the world, but perhaps more so in India, men are embarrassed to admit that they may have a problem getting or keeping an erection — a condition known as erectile dysfunction (ED).

All over the world, but perhaps more so in India, men are embarrassed to admit that they may have a problem getting or keeping an erection — a condition known as erectile dysfunction (ED). From my research, I have found a strong link between ED and stress. Other major causes include smoking, drinking, diabetes, hypertension or high blood pressure and cholesterol levels. My advice to these patients is — do not get even more stressed over this situation. Instead, focus on taking the right medication and making some changes to your lifestyle, so you can once again enjoy a satisfactory sexual life.

 

DIAGNOSIS OF ED

We normally diagnose ED and its underlying causes by asking the patient a few questions about his medical and sexual history. This is sometimes done by sharing a questionnaire with the patient. The questions that we ask are designed to help us understand the cause of ED in the particular patient.

We also do a physical exam, ask for certain blood tests to rule out other medical conditions responsible for erectile dysfunction, and recommend imaging tests (if required) to determine whether the person is physically able to have an erection or not.

SHORT-TERM SOLUTION, LONG-TERM CURE

Underlying medical conditions such as diabetes, hypertension and hypercholesterolaemia (high cholesterol levels) can cause ED. In these cases, ED can be reversed once the patient starts treatment.

In my experience, many men suffer from ED because of work stress, family pressure and anxiety. So, changes in lifestyle with regular exercise, yoga, abstaining from alcohol and smoking, and proper counselling help in treating ED. Along with this, medicines for ED are usually prescribed for about 3 to 6 months by which time lifestyle changes start to take effect and the patient is physically and mentally healthier, which helps resolve the problem.

An estimated 16% to 25% of men experience ED at some point in their lives. I would urge them not to be embarrassed about it. Seek medical help from a urologist or andrologist; get the necessary advice/medication; and go on to enjoy a healthy, fulfilling sexual life.

The author of this article is Dr Anjani Kumar Agrawal, head, andrology, department of urology sciences, Max Smart Super Speciality Hospital, Saket

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