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Chocolate Protects Against Heart Attacks

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Chocolate: Even More Positives!


Everybody likes chocolate, and they should–it’s more than just delicious and tempting. It actually does have some nutrients. Certainly, the way in which it is regularly eaten often involves many “fats” which aren’t so good for the body; but on the plus side, a new Harvard study has found that eating chocolate can actually help prevent heart disease.

Findings Of The Study


Through rigorous study, it was discovered in London that middle-aged adults who regularly consume up to, but not exceeding, 3.5 ounces of chocolate a day were at lowered risk for the contraction of heart disease. This study followed over 20,000 residents in Norfolk, England for about eleven years. Of those who died of heart disease, 12% were in the chocolate category, 17.5% were in the non-chocolate category.

Should You Start Throwing Chocolate In With Your Fruits and Veggies?


Well, maybe don’t start doing that just yet. Reasons why are varied. Some theories include the body’s natural response to substances like chocolate. When the body is happy, the brain triggers the release of dopamine. Dopamine is known to lower stress levels. Stress erodes the Telomerase at the end of DNA. Telomerase is kind of like the tape at the end of a shoe string. It keeps your genetic code intact so that it doesn’t unravel and get trampled on by allegorical health sneakers. But with age, telomerase slowly unravels from the end of your DNA. The reason is stress. The more stressed out you are, the more telomerase erodes from your genes. There’s a reason stressful people tend to have diminished lifespans. When chocolate releases dopamine in the brain, that helps reduce stress levels. Reduced stress means strengthened telomerase, which in turn tends toward longevity. The thing is, most chocolates aren’t entirely healthy for you in their substances. Mental reaction besides, it doesn’t matter how well-bound up your telomerase is around your DNA if you’ve clogged your arteries with fat, and the coding can’t sequence well enough to repair and maintain the body. Many chocolate compounds don’t even contain “real” chocolate, and are basically pseudo-cacao which has a synthetically derived taste fostered for increased profit margins on the part of the chocolate company. They taste good, and you get a dopamine response–but then the false ingredients rot the teeth, mess with your digestion, and ultimately end up adding padding which inhibits bodily function. So if you are thinking about deliberately adding 3.5 ounces of chocolate to your diet on a daily basis, you should ensure beforehand that you’re already living a healthy lifestyle filled with healthy foods, and that the chocolate you ingest is of the purest quality. This will ensure all the positive health benefits while eliminating collateral damages.

Diminished Diabetes Risk, Too? How?!?


Apparently, chocolate ingestion on a regular basis can also help inhibit your risk for diabetes. Dark chocolate ingested in 100 gram daily portions was able to reduce the risk of diabetes in subjects between the ages of 18 and 69. Liver enzymes were improved, and insulin resistance was curbed. One reason for this is likely because dark chocolate doesn’t have a ubiquity of the sugar which causes diabetes. Additionally, chocolate is strong in polyphenols, which are known to be good for their cardiometabolic effects.

Curtail Diabetes and Heart Disease With Dark Chocolate


Dark chocolate is certainly a recommendable solution to varying medications and treatments, but it must be eaten carefully, in controlled amounts, and prepared in a way that is the most healthy. Consult your physician to see if such a diet may be recommendable for you in the future.

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How Does Your Heart Work

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Cannot Replicate Nature Exactly

Men of science try to replicate the heart and its function; somehow mechanical hearts do not seem to stand the test of time. Heart transplants have come a very long way in the last 20-years, and there are now more successful organ transplants than there are failures as seen when heart transplants first emerged on the medical scene. The heart is the largest and strongest muscle in your body.

The Largest Muscle in the Human Body

Did you know that it takes, two pumps for the heart to work, one positioned on the left side and one on the right side?

If it were not for the heart and its function, all the rest of your vital organs could not do their job or live without the oxygen-rich blood the heart circulates throughout your body, while one chamber of your heart squeezes the other chamber relaxes in sequence.

The Left Chamber

The role of the left heart chamber or pump is to receive blood from the lungs full of precious oxygen and deliver it through the arteries to all parts of the body. Nutrients accompany this oxygen-rich blood to feed vital organs.

The Right Chamber

The function of the right chamber of the heart (pump) is to receive used blood from your body and deliver it back to the lungs. This second process is responsible for ridding the body of carbon dioxide and picking up new freshly oxygenated blood.

Four Valves

Each chamber of the heart has two valves, four valves altogether. These valves control the blood flow into and out of the heart chambers. These valves help to monitor the amount of blood to and from the lungs. Another job of these heart valves is to keep blood always flowing forward, never backward. Once these valves open to let blood out of the chamber, they close so that the blood does not seep back into the heart.

It is vital that your heart works like a good precision timepiece as your body relies upon the constant pumping action of the heart in its remarkable job of supplying your body with oxygen.

An Unparalleled Electrical System

The heart does not just consist of two pumps; the heart offers you so much more, such as its electrical system prompting the chamber into a synchronized movement. The heart’s electrical impulses control your heart rhythm. This heart rate is what medical professionals listen to when they want to see or hear the rhythm of your heart if the doctor orders an EKG. This rhythm controls how fast your heart beats.

As long as your heart stays healthy, the normal heart rate and rhythm keep going. If the electrical impulses mess up, it causes your heart not to beat in an even pattern, causing the heart to beat too fast, too slow, or it may present an irregular beat.

Health issues cause a heart pattern to beat irregularly, such as,

  • A Viral Infection
  • Diabetes
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Heavy Alcohol Consumption
  • Narrowed arteries
  • Malfunctioning Heart Valves
  • Congenital Heart Defect

Keep Your Heart Healthy

  • Eat healthily, read food labels, be aware of hidden sugars and sodium in food choices.
  • Stay active and develop an exercise plan right for you.
  • Stay within your healthy adult body weight. If overweight, lose the pounds.
  • Quit smoking and do not breathe secondhand smoke
  • Cut alcohol consumption to a minimum
  • Make sure to monitor your cholesterol levels. Work with your doctor
  • Remove all stress from your life that you can remove. The stress you cannot remove, you must learn how to cope with in a healthy way.

 

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Heart Disease Prevention


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Heart disease is among the leading causes of death across the globe. The incidence of cardiovascular complications continues to rise. This is largely attributed to the stress of modern life, the pollution in the water we drink and the air we breathe, as well as the abundance of unhealthy food. Whereas all these factors have a part, it often comes down to your individual lifestyle choices. In that light, we look at a few tips that you can follow to lower your risk of heart disease.

Practice Healthy Eating

Nutrition and diet play an integral role when it comes to preventing heart disease. In fact, research shows that in spite of having a family history or genetic predisposition for cardiovascular problems, maintaining a healthy diet can lower your risk. In order to avert heart disease, you need a diet rich in vegetables, raw fruits, fiber-rich whole grains, and omega-3 fatty acids.

Moreover, in the spirit of practicing health eating, there are foods that you’ll have to limit or avoid altogether. They include:

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Foods with high amounts of salt and sugar
  • Foods with partially hydrogenated vegetable oil

Also, you’re advised to watch your calories. It’s important to know how many calories you need and focus on consuming a variety of foods that are abundant in nutrients and low in calories.

Work Out for Your Health

Regular exercise is another essential habit when it comes to prevention of heart disease. You need to realize, however, that getting exercise doesn’t have to include the gym or the grueling aerobic sessions. You can actually exercise at work, school, home, or anywhere else.

Here are some effective, but less strenuous exercises:

  • Walk instead of driving
  • Park the car a little far from your destination, and walk the rest of the distance
  • Always take the stairs instead of the elevator
  • When you are at the store, just make an extra trip around the aisles, to ensure you picked everything on your shopping list.

Wherever you are, you need to be conscious of the amount of workouts you have every day. This will not only improve your overall health, but will also make you look and feel better than ever.

Uphold Positive Habits

When it comes to heart disease prevention, positive habits include:

  • Reducing or avoiding alcoholic drinks
  • Stopping smoking
  • Managing stress

Managing stress may not be easy, but with a few tricks, you will be able to live longer, healthier, and happier. Just counting to ten or taking a couple of deep breathes will normally calm you down, and make you feel more under control, in even the most stressful of circumstances.

Medication

If you have a particularly high predisposition of cardiovascular complications, your doctor may prescribe medication to lower your risk. The medications that are often used to help prevent heart disease include:

  • Blood pressure tablets – these include angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors that are used in the treatment of high blood pressure.
  • Low-dose aspirin – this is used to prevent blood clots.
  • Statins – are used to minimize blood cholesterol levels.

With the number of heart disease cases rapidly increasing, it has become more vital than ever to take care of our hearts. In that light, it is imperative that you seriously follow heart disease prevention methods. Fortunately, heart disease prevention isn’t so difficult, and you can do it with a few lifestyle changes. Therefore, follow the above lifestyle habits to safeguard your heart health and improve your general health and well-being.

 

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How to find your ideal heart rate?

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When you think about the idea of maintaining a balanced and healthy heart rate, then you have to take multiple things into consideration. However, instead of just trying to feel good, you also need to have some actual numbers to base your heart rate on. Look to the following points to better understand what your ideal heart rate should be.

What is Your Heart Rate

You first need to understand what a heart rate is. Your heart is an organ (arguably the most vital) that pumps oxygenated blood throughout your body. The more beats per minute, the harder your heart is working. The average heart rate for people will then vary depending upon multiple factors that are related to both short term activities and changes to your body as well as long term changes. This is the exact reason why you need to know what your ideal heart rate is, because it can change from both person to person, as well as within the same person over shorter periods of time.

Ideal Heart Rate Range

The ideal heart rate will vary. However, the average heart rate for a normally functioning human being is between 60 and 80 beats per minute. In other words, your heart will beat roughly every second in order to push blood throughout your body. If it works too slowly, then you could have a problem because you aren’t getting enough oxygen to the rest of your body as well as your brain. That being said, if it works too quickly, then you could have a problem where your body and heart have to work too hard to push your blood through your veins and you could have high blood pressure.

Another point to remember is that when individuals are doing more strenuous exercise, you have to take into consideration the fact that different aged individuals should be mindful of their ranges. For example, a 40 year old can work out in high intensity exercises and allow their heart rate to reach 150 beats per minute. However, a 70 year old shouldn’t go above 125 to 130 unless approved by their medical provider. Too much pressure and too much exercise can be a bad thing in certain circumstances.

Varies on Age, and On Activity

While your resting heart rate should be between 60 and 80 beats per minute, it will have to change just a little bit depending upon your personal activity. If you work out and run or do a lot of cardio exercises, then you are conditioning your heart to work harder. That means when your heart is resting it has no problems with simple blood flow through out the body.

How to Measure

When you are actually trying to measure your heart rate it isn’t the most difficult thing in the world to perform, but you have to be prepared to measure it correctly. You cannot use your thumb when checking your pulse because your thumb has its own pulse and that will obviously mess with the reading. What you can use is your index finger and middle finger. Gently press those two fingers (together) over the blood vessels in your wrist (or other areas where you can find a pulse such as on the neck). Then you count the beats you feel for a full minute to get your pulse. You can also use the short cut method by counting for 10 seconds and multiplying the number by six.

As you can see, in order to get your ideal heart rate you just need to have some knowledge and then keep active, too.

 

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What is Ablation of Atrial Fibrillation?

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The ablation of atrial fibrillation refers to an invasive procedure used in atrial fibrillation treatment. Ablation is the melting away or removal of unwanted tissue or structure. Atrial fibrillation is a common cardiac arrhythmia. The occurrence of atrial fibrillation has increased over the years, in both developing word and developed world. In case you have atrial fibrillation, electrical impulses don’t usually arise in the Sino-atria (SA) node. However, most impulses start simultaneously & spread through the atria and will compete for an opportunity to travel through the atrioventricular (AV) node. This, therefore, will result in a disorganized, irregular, and very rapid heartbeat.

The impulses rate through the atria ranges from 300-600 beats in every minute. Luckily, as the impulses pass through the atrioventricular (AV) node, they are slowed down, and the resultant pulse rate is mostly below 150 beats in every minute.

Atrial fibrillation classification

  1. Persistent atrial fibrillation

The episodes of atrial fibrillation will last for over seven (7) days

  1. Paroxysmal atrial fibrillation

This simply means that atrial fibrillation terminate spontaneously and normally lasts for less seven (7) days

  1. Permanent atrial fibrillation

This refers to an atrial fibrillation that failed cardioversion, or in which cardioversion was not even attempted.

  1. Lone atrial fibrillation

This refers to an atrial fibrillation that occurs when you are still young with no evidence of a significant disease.

  1. Non-valvular atrial fibrillation

This refers to an atrial fibrillation occurring in the absence of any illness that involve your heart valves.

Atrial fibrillation symptoms

There are some patients with atrial fibrillation that may be fully asymptomatic. Some of the bothersome symptoms that you may have include palpitations, breath shortness, chest discomfort, giddiness, and fatigue among many others.

The risk factors for atrial fibrillation

Some of the risk factors of atrial fibrillation include the following;

  • Increasing age
  • Hyperlipidemia
  • Hypertension
  • Metabolic Syndrome
  • Heart failure
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Obesity
  • Chronic renal disease

Reasons why atrial fibrillation is dangerous

Atrial fibrillation is dangerous since it increases the stroke risks significantly. If you have atrial fibrillation, you are about 3 to 5 times more likely to experience a stroke than when you don’t have it. Heart contractions that are not coordinated will lead to blood pooling within your atria. This blood pooling will result in the formation of a clot, and when this gets dislodged & pumped into your bloodstreams, it will potentially go to your brain and cause a stroke. Apart from increasing stroke risks, atrial fibrillation can also result in heart failure.

How atrial fibrillation is diagnosed

After a serious physical examination and interview, your physician will order some investigations. An electrocardiogram can be used in diagnosing of atrial fibrillation. An electrocardiogram is simply a test that will check for any problem with electrical activity of your heart.

Furthermore, your doctor can order other tests, such as chest X-ray, an echocardiogram, or even blood tests.

Atrial fibrillation management

The management of atrial fibrillation usually seeks to attain three main goals. These goals include;

  1. Slowing down your heart rate
  2. Restoring and maintaining your normal heart rhythm
  3. Prevention of stroke

In conclusion, the above is just some of the information that you need to know about atrial fibrillation. Currently, the alternative drugs that are used to treat atrial fibrillation include clopidogrel and aspirin. If you have atrial fibrillation, you should be aware that relatively simple treatment measures will reduce stroke risks dramatically. Therefore, it is always imperative that you seek medication early in case you suspect you have this condition.

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What are the symptoms of heart disease?

Premier-banner-symptoms-heart-diseaseThe symptoms of heart and cardiovascular diseases can vary widely from no perceptible symptoms to intense pains or a racing heartbeat. A review of the most common heart and cardiovascular diseases according to the Mayo Clinic and their symptoms is provided in the following bullet points.

Atherosclerotic Disease:

Heart disease causing narrowing, blockages, or stiffening in blood vessels, resulting in too little blood being pumped to the heart or from the heart to other parts of the body. Symptoms include:

  • Shortness of Breath: Difficulty breathing or catching a breath while doing activities that otherwise you would normally feel comfortable engaging in.
  • Angina: Chest pain or discomfort (like pressure or squeezing) in the area due to the heart receiving too little oxygen in the blood.
  • Change of Sensation in the Appendages: Due to the restricted blood flow reaching the arms and legs, you may feel a range of symptoms including pain, numbness, or feeling particularly weak or cold in the arms and/ or legs.
  • General Body Pain: Pain may be present in the neck, jaw, throat, upper back, or upper abdomen. Especially in women this may lead to nausea.
  • Extreme Fatigue: The body may also feel tired.

Arrythmia:

An abnormal heartbeat in which the heart beats too quickly, too slowly, or at irregular intervals. Symptoms include:

  • Fluttering: Feeling as if the heart is fluttering in the chest.
  • Tachycardia: Racing or increased heart rate.
  • Bradycardia: Slowed or decreased heart rate.
  • Angina: Chest pain or discomfort (like pressure or squeezing) in the area due to the heart receiving too little oxygen in the blood.
  • Shortness of Breath: Difficulty breathing or catching a breath while doing activities that otherwise you would normally feel comfortable engaging in.
  • Dizziness: Feeling off-balanced or disoriented.
  • Syncope: Fainting or nearly fainting.

Cardiomyopathy:

The weakening of the heart muscle due to muscle stiffening.

  • Swelling: Enlargement usually occurs in and around the legs, ankles, and feet.
  • Fatigue: The body may feel tired.
  • Shortness of Breath: Difficulty breathing or catching a breath while doing activities that otherwise you would normally feel comfortable engaging in.
  • Dizziness: Feeling off-balanced or disoriented.
  • Syncope: Fainting or nearly fainting.
  • Irregular Heartbeat: Feeling that the heart is racing, pounding, or fluttering.

Heart Infections

(Pericarditis: Infection of the tissue surrounding the heart, Myocarditis: Infection of muscle tissue in the walls of the heart, Endocarditis: Infection of the membrane separating the chambers and valves of the heart.): Infections cause a variety of symptoms depending on the type and placement of infection, however, a few symptoms are fairly common in most infections.

  • Fever: Increased body temperature.
  • Shortness of Breath: Difficulty breathing or catching a breath while doing activities that otherwise you would normally feel comfortable engaging in.
  • Fatigue: The body may feel tired or weak.
  • Swelling: Enlargement usually occurs in the legs or abdomen.
  • Changes in Heart Rhythm: Speeding up or slowing down of the heartbeat.
  • Cough: Cough may be dry and/ or continuous.
  • Skin Rash: Skin may have a rash or unusual spots that appear.

Valvular Heart Disease:

Over time, heart valves may develop or experience several types of dysfunction including: Stenosis (narrowing of the valve), Regurgitation and/ or Insufficiency (leaking of fluids or cellular material in or out of the valve), and Prolapse (improper closing of the valve).

  • Fatigue: The body may feel tired.
  • Shortness of Breath: Difficulty breathing or catching a breath while doing activities that otherwise you would normally feel comfortable engaging in.
  • Swelling: Enlargement usually occurs in ankles and feet.
  • Irregular Heartbeat: Feeling that the heart is racing, pounding, or fluttering.
  • Syncope: Fainting or nearly fainting.
  • Angina: Chest pain or discomfort (like pressure or squeezing).

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