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Valuable medical pearls

/ 03:46 PM August 26, 2013

LOSING weight on a diet that is high in fat is dangerous for overall health. The risk of coronary heart

disease has been found to be significantly increased among those individuals who stayed on a high

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protein red meat diet to lose weight. While these

subjects became slimmer, their cholesterol levels were high, leading to a higher rate of heart attacks. The object of dieting is not only to maintain a normal weight but to be healthier all around.

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Nothing beats abstinence from red meat and eggs (eating only fish, vegetables, fruit, high-fiber), combined with daily exercise and abstinence from tobacco as the best formula for maintaining good health.

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Persons getting a flu shot to prevent influenza may even experience an added benefit from it. Studies have shown that flu vaccination appears to be associated with a reduced risk of stroke, especially among those who are 60-75 years old.

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Forget all old worries and past problems, if you want your blood pressure not to shoot up. It is a

medical fact that recalling previous sad or morbid events, or emotional trauma, raises the blood pressure during the moment of recollection. If these spikes in blood pressure happen often, they could

adversely affect the heart. All of us should let go of these painful experiences of the past and not dwell on them. Life ahead of us is so precious we ought to leave our miserable baggage behind and have a more positive outlook, at the same time protect our heart.

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If you love tuna, which is a good fish, it is better to eat canned tuna made from smaller and younger tuna because its mercury content is much lower than fresh or frozen tuna. Albacore tuna is said to have higher mercury content, and so with other large fishes.

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You do not really have to run or jog for health. Brisk walking can lower the incidence of heart disease by 18 percent, as effectively as any of those more vigorous exercises, minus the injuries attendant to them.

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Oil of oregano: an “antibiotic”? It seems so, to a certain extent, anyway. It has been found that oil of oregano, which is used in salad dressing and for cooking, reduces harmful food pathogens. This oil has been found to inhibit E.Coli and Listeria monocytogenes.

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Mustard is a popular condiment, used in a variety of ways, especially with hotdogs. The compound that imparts yellow color in mustard is curcumin, component of tumeric spice, and curcumin has been found to slow down the progression of cancer. Also a cancer inhibitor is raspberry because of its content, ellagic acid, a cancer-inhibitor. Most of the spices are boosters of the immune system.

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One can of beer, one 4-ounce glass of wine or one shot of whiskey reduces the incidence of heart attacks, according to the American Cancer Society. The same benefit was found with ingesting 2, 3, or 6 drinks. But at one drink the cancer rate and over-all death rate was lower. At two drinks, the prevalence of cancer and death rate are the same as among non-drinkers, and both total death and heart death are lower. At 3 drinks, the cancer death rate is higher. At four drinks, total death and cancer death are both higher.

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Homocysteine is a substance within our body that is implicated in the development of arteriosclerosis (hardening of the artery), leading to blockages in the carotid (causing stroke) and coronary arteries (causing heart attack), including the aorta in the chest and abdomen (causing aneurysm/ rupture and bleeding), and arteries in the legs (causing gangrene). The Framingham studies showed that the more elevated the level of homocysteine in the patient, the higher the finding of blockages in carotid and coronary arteries. Those with low folate (folic acid) who are unable to efficiently metabolize the harmful homocysteine have 3 times higher risk of developing heart attack. Folic acid in B complex vitamin is prescribed to these

patients. This substance is found in green leafy

vegetables, like spinach, lettuce, chard, whole grains, yeast, peanuts, wheat germ and dry beans.

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Is genetics a more important factor than diet in the development of coronary heart disease/heart attack? Familial hyperlipidemia (super high serum cholesterol due to a genetic defect) is seen in one in 500 persons. Except for this type of individuals, and all “unhealthy habits” (smoking, inadequate, or lack of daily exercise) remaining equal, diet is a very significant factor in the causation of coronary heart disease. It has been shown that even if the parents had coronary heart disease, the children did not necessarily develop the disease, if these offsprings lived a healthier lifestyle than their elders. Keeping the cholesterol level low by not eating red meat and eggs, and concentrating on fish, vegetables, fruits, hi-fiber diet, coupled with abstinence from cigarettes, doing daily exercises, properly treating high blood pressure and or diabetes, if present, is the best strategy to ward off coronary heart disease/heart attack and stroke. The caveat: simply because we cannot choose our parents, does not mean we are trapped in this genetic dilemma, and, therefore, are hopeless. Far from it. If we are disciplined enough to live a healthier lifestyle than our parents did, we can outsmart those particular defective genes they gave us.

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