London, Feb 26 (IANS) After analysing the genetic characteristics that determine the size of good cholesterol particles, a team of researchers has demonstrated that not all good cholesterol is healthy.The findings indicate that people with large high-density lipoprotein (HDL) particles have an increased risk of myocardial infarction, while only small HDL particles are actually associated with decreased risk."This study highlights new and potential therapeutic targets in the field of cardiovascular diseases, including several genes related to the qualitative aspects of HDL particles, which may contribute to cardiovascular prevention," said researcher Albert Prats from Hospital del Mar-IMIM in Spain.According to the researchers, HDL cholesterol or good cholesterol is associated with a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease as it transports cholesterol deposited in the arteries to the liver to be eliminated. This contrasts with the so-called bad cholesterol, LDL (low-density lipoprotein cholesterol), which causes cholesterol to accumulate in the arteries and increases cardiovascular risk.For the study, published in the journal Metabolism, Clinical and Experimental, the team analysed genetic characteristics that determine the size of good cholesterol particles, and then studied their relationship with the risk of myocardial infarction. The conclusion is that genetic characteristics linked to the generation of large good cholesterol particles are directly associated with a higher risk of heart attack, while features linked to small good cholesterol particles are related to a lower risk of heart attack. The good cholesterol particles are more effective in transferring cholesterol to the liver so that it can be eliminated, the study revealed. Currently, there are no drugs that increase good cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.--IANSvc/bg
New York- Combining healthy lifestyle interventions reduces heart disease through beneficial effects on different lipoproteins and associated cholesterols, a new study suggests.
The study, published in the journal eLife, indicated that combining cholesterol-lowering medications and lifestyle interventions may yield the greatest benefits to heart health.
"Until now, no studies have compared the lipid-lowering effects of cholesterol-lowering medications and healthy lifestyle interventions side by side," said lead author Jiahui Si, from Harvard University in the US.
Cholesterol-lowering medications such as statins help reduce heart risks by lowering levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, the so-called "bad" cholesterol.
Healthy lifestyle interventions, including exercising regularly, having a healthy diet, lowering alcohol consumption and maintaining a healthy weight, have also been shown to lower LDL as well as increase "healthy" high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol.
For the study, the team used a technique to measure 61 different lipid markers in blood samples from 4,681 participants, including cases of stroke, coronary heart disease and healthy individuals.
They studied lipid markers in the blood of participants who had multiple healthy lifestyle habits and compared them to those of participants with less healthy habits. They found 50 lipid markers associated with a healthy lifestyle.
When the team looked at a subset of 927 individuals who had coronary heart disease in the next 10 years and 1,513 healthy individuals, they found 35 lipid markers that showed statistically significant mediation effects in the pathway from healthy lifestyles to the reduction of heart disease.
Together, the combined beneficial effects of the lipid changes associated with healthy lifestyle practices were linked to a 14 per cent reduced risk of heart disease, the team said.
Specifically, very-low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) and HDL levels in the blood were linked to the heart-protecting benefits of healthy lifestyles, they added.
Overall, they found that taking cholesterol-lowering medications and engaging in multiple healthy lifestyles would likely help individuals to achieve the greatest heart-protecting benefits because of the complementary effects of the drugs and healthy behaviours. (Agency)
Heart diseases among Indians occur five to ten years earlier than in other populations across the globe. According to the 2018-19 INTERHEART study, the median age for the first presentation of acute Myocardial Infarct (commonly known as a heart attack), in the South Asian (Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka) population is 53 years, whereas that in Western Europe, China, and Hong Kong it is 63 years. In India, the most worrying part is that heart ailments among younger people are on a constant rise.
We can easily blame this on the sedentary lifestyle and increased stress levels amongst the youth in India. The young age group of 25 to 39 years is mainly the victim of this kind of lifestyle. With the advent of technology, OTT platforms, mobile games, traditional modes of relaxation like going out with friends for a walk or sports are less common now. Lack of open space for playing, cycling, or recreation in most urban centers is only adding to the problems. Most of our school curriculums also have very little emphasis on sports or physical activity.
A heart attack suffered by a Bollywood choreographer Remo D' Souza at the age of 46 years throws light on the need for addressing cardiac concerns amongst the young population.
Dr. Brajesh Kunwar, Director-Interventional Cardiology, Hiranandani Hospital, Vashi, points out: "The minimum requirement of exercise as per guidelines is 35-45 minutes a day for four to five days a week, to fulfill the requirement of the heart and vital organs. Importantly, there is no work-life balance; the competitive culture of corporate entities has increased man-hours at work leading to chronic stress amongst the youth.
"Multiple other factors like smoking, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, Diabetes, Obesity, and hereditary factors play a major role. Smoking is a major dominant modifiable risk factor associated with young Coronary Artery Disease, patients. India is witnessing an increase in the incidence of smoking, especially among adolescents."
Also, it is important to note that our diagnostic capabilities have improved over the years. That's another reason why we see much higher numbers. But that of course is a good part. Having said that, we must understand that there is a critical need to prevent and tackle Cardiovascular Diseases (CVD) among youth by way of a lifestyle change, he adds.
Now you might be wondering how people who seem fit or are fitness enthusiasts get heart diseases? Kunwar explains:
The role of genetic cholesterol: Well, while we feel that fitness and exercise are extremely necessary for a healthy life, it is not the only thing that can protect you from heart ailments. The food we eat, the lifestyle we lead, our stress levels, and genes also play an equivalent role. We all know that Indians are predisposed to Diabetes and CVDs, similarly many people also suffer from Familial Hypercholesterolemia (FH) which is a genetic condition.
People who have this condition are born with it; this defect prevents the body from ridding itself of the type of Cholesterol that can build up in your arteries and cause heart disease. So, people having this condition need to be more careful. There is medication available for treating this condition and patients can easily manage it with the help of a clinical expert.
Stress: A Silent killer: The grinding pace of modern lifestyle distracts our minds and affects our health for the worse. Stress has been said to be a major reason why the younger generation is prone to heart diseases. When you are exposed to long periods of stress, your body gives warning signals that something is wrong.
These physical, cognitive, emotional, and behavioral warning signs should not be ignored. They tell you that you need to slow down. If you continue to be stressed and you don't give your body a break, you are likely to develop health problems like heart disease. You could also worsen an existing illness.
Symptoms of Heart Attacks
Some of the warning sign of heart attacks include:
- Extreme chest pain and pressure
- Stabbing pain in the arm, neck, or jaw
- Sudden shortness of breath
- Sweating, and dizziness
Prevent Heart Ailments
Going forward, it is important to follow these healthy practices to prevent heart ailments at an early age:
- Control your blood pressure
- Keep your cholesterol and triglyceride levels under control
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Eat a healthy diet
- Get regular exercise
- Limit alcohol intake and don't smoke
- Manage stress
- Make sure you sleep well
- Indulge in a moderate-intensity exercise like a brisk walk, swimming, etc. (Agency)
A Walnut is a seed that grows inside the fruit of the walnut plant. It comes from the Juglandaceae family. It is an edible seed that is used as a garnish and snack. The walnut fruit is a green, round, and single-seeded fruit. The husk gradually starts getting brittle, and the nutshell gets hardened. When the fruit is fully grown, the husk is removed. This gives a wrinkled shell that contains the walnut inside.
The two most common types of walnuts are the Persian walnut and the black walnut. About 3.8 million walnuts are produced every year, with the United States of America and Iran being some of the largest producers.
Walnuts are a rich source of antioxidants, proteins, carbohydrates, sugar, fiber, and good fat. It also has a content of water. Walnuts have anti-inflammatory, lipid-lowering, digestive, and anti-bacterial properties. It helps in curing the problem of cholesterol, diabetes, diarrhea, and artery problems. Walnuts are also good for the skin and are found to be a major ingredient in skincare products. Walnut scrubs and oils are widely used for the anti-aging of the skin.
The article provides all you would need to know about walnuts as Ayurvedic medicine.
How Did The Word “Walnut” Originate?
The word “walnut” originates from the Old English word “walh-hnutu," which is said to have a German compound meaning "foreign nut." It is said to have derived from the Italian word "juglans," which was used to represent the walnut tree itself. The literal meaning of the word is "the nut of Lord Jupiter."
Historical Use of Walnuts
The use of walnuts dates to thousands of years ago. It was known to man as a tree containing edible seeds even in 7000 BC. The Romans believed that it was a godly nut and called it "the nut of Jupiter," as in, lord Jupiter. Walnuts were also traded through the Silk route.
Early men used walnut paste to remove the dead skin and get the skin to glow. It was used as a Vata balancing agent even in the early. The nut was made to be eaten when a person was suffering from diarrhea.
Today, we have a scientific approach to the possible treatments, and many more uses have also come up.
Walnut Health Benefits: Benefits of Using Walnuts in Ayurvedic Treatments
There have been a few types of research to show the benefits of walnuts. Till some time back, these studies used to be conducted on animals. However, being a natural agent, it has been researched on human subjects as well. There are several benefits of Walnuts on human health.
Walnuts work on both low-risk and high-risk diseases. It has anti-proliferative and antioxidants along with anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, hypoglycemic, and anti-aging effects on humans.
Walnuts have madhura or sweet rasa taste. It has a guru or heavy and snigha or slimy quality when consumed. It remains sweet on digestion. Walnuts have ushnaveerya or hot potent that helps in igniting the Agni or the digestive fire. Walnut balances the Vata in tri-Dosha by reducing it. Here is more to treating diseases with the help of walnuts.
Treating Diseases and Health Problems Using Walnuts
Walnuts for Diabetes
Ayurveda: Madhumeha or diabetes is caused due to aggravated Vata Dosha. This results in impaired digestion which leads to the accumulation of Ama or toxins in the body. Walnuts help in balancing the Vata by reducing it and removing the Ama or toxins from the body. Hence, Walnuts help in managing the problem of diabetes. It helps in managing both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
Science: Walnuts help lower blood pressure and help regulate the body weight of the person consuming them. Thus, it is said to manage diabetes.
Walnuts for Diarrhea
Ayurveda: Diarrhea is caused due to an imbalance in Vata Dosha. This results in the accumulation of Ama or toxins in the body. Walnuts help in the easy excretion of toxins and thus balance the Vata Dosha as well. Hence, it helps in curing diarrhea.
Science: Walnuts have anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It is rich in antioxidants. This helps remove toxins and bacteria from the body and prevent bacterial growth in the body. Walnut binds the stomach and reduces any inflammation. Thus, walnuts help in managing diarrhea.
Walnuts for Cholesterol
Ayurveda: Cholesterol is caused due to weak Agni or digestive fire. Toxins start to accumulate in the body and increase bad cholesterol. Walnut helps in increasing the Agni or digestive fire and removing toxins. This also helps in increasing the good cholesterol in the body, thus, managing the cholesterol problem.
Science: According to the scientific view, walnuts help in lowering cholesterol levels. It increases the level of high-density lipoprotein. This helps in removing the bad cholesterol in the body while also increasing the good cholesterol. Being rich in antioxidants, it removes toxins and thus, helps in managing cholesterol.
Walnut for Coronary Artery Disease
Walnuts are rich in antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory and lipid-lowering properties. This helps in preventing any damage to the blood vessel and curing swellings if any. Thus, walnut helps in preventing the risk of coronary artery disease.
Forms of Walnuts in Ayurveda with Recommended Dosage
Walnut, as Ayurvedic medicine, is available in powder and capsules. These are used in different types of tonics and recipes. They should be taken with the recommended dosage only. Overdosing can cause a lot of problems. There is a list of dosages of these.
Take ¼ to ½ teaspoon of the powder of walnut twice a day.
You can take 1 to 2 capsules of walnut capsules twice a day.
Types of Ayurvedic Care with Walnuts
Raw walnuts are a rich source of all the nutrients and antioxidants it carries, and one of the best sources.
You can take it as per your liking; however, be sure not to eat more than 4 to 5 whole walnuts.
Take a few walnuts and add them to the grinder.
Without any liquid, dry grind the walnuts till it forms a powder.
You can take the powder twice a day.
¼ to ½ teaspoon of this powder is recommended to be taken in one go.
Take it along with warm water after lunch and dinner.
You can have 1 to 2 capsules twice a day.
Swallow the capsule along with warm water after light meals, preferably after lunch and dinner.
Take 2 to 5 drops of walnut oil and add it to your regular oil, coconut, or olive oil.
Apply it over the affected areas to reduce wrinkles and dead skin.
You can buy the scrubs already present in the market or make some for yourself as well.
Take 1 teaspoon of walnut powder in a small bowl and add honey to it.
Add some gulab jal or rose water and mix the ingredients.
Apply it on your face and massage your face to exfoliate with the scrub.
Rinse your face with water once the massage is complete.
You can use it 2 to 3 times a week if you are not using other packs.
It removes dead skin and blackheads.
Side Effects of Walnuts
Walnuts are very healthy and tasty; however, no matter how much you love them, do not overdose on walnuts. It can cause some serious side effects, some of which can be a problem in the long run. Here are some of the side effects:
Being high in calories and having carbs and fat as well, can result in increased body weight if you overdose on walnuts on a prolonged basis.
It can cause swelling in certain parts of the body.
Excessive consumption can cause the stomach to heat a lot and trigger problem of diarrhea.
Making the stomach warm can also mean that excessive walnuts can cause acne and pimples as it is oily.
People who have asthma are sensitive to walnuts and should avoid them.
Some people are also allergic to walnuts and other nuts. These reactions may include:
Swelling in the throat
Itching in tongue and throat
Rashes and swelling in the parts of the body
If you face any of the above discomforts, make sure to visit a doctor immediately. Do not wait for any more symptoms to show up.
Precautionary Guide to Using Walnuts
Walnuts During Pregnancy
Every woman has different conditions during pregnancy. It is generally safe to consume walnuts while a woman is pregnant, but you must consult your gynecologist seeking advice on your diet, including walnuts.
Walnuts While Breastfeeding
It is safe to take walnuts while you are breastfeeding. However, consult your gynecologist about the same first.
Walnuts with Asthma
Walnuts are not recommended for people who have Asthma. It can cause even more problems for them.
Walnuts Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q. Should Walnuts be soaked?
Ans. It is not compulsory to soak walnuts. You can soak walnut if you like them that way. If you are soaking them in water, leave them soaked overnight.
Q. Can walnuts expire?
Ans. Walnuts do not expire, but they can go bad. Walnuts are natural products and can go bad after some time. You can use walnuts kept at room temperature for up to 6 months. You can store them in the refrigerator for up to 1 or 1 and a half years.
Q. Can walnut make you gain weight?
Ans. Walnuts can cause you to gain weight if you take them in excess. It has quite a few calories and is also rich in carbs and fat. Do not overdose on walnuts, and you will be good to go.
Q. Are walnuts good for the brain?
Ans. Yes, walnuts are good for the brain. It has a lot of antioxidants and also has anti-inflammatory properties. Walnuts help in removing toxins. It helps in preventing damage to the brain and improves memory and cognition.
Q. Are walnuts good for patients suffering from blood pressure?
Ans. Yes, walnuts can help in managing blood pressure. It has the content of certain fatty acids and boosts the production of nitric oxide. This helps in lowering blood pressure. The anti-inflammatory property of walnut helps remove any inflammation or swelling. Thus, walnuts help in managing blood pressure.
Q. Are walnuts good for the hair?
Ans. Walnut oil is good for the hair. It controls the oil in the hair and at the same time also provides moisture to the roots and scalp. It is rich in Vitamin E; thus, it also helps hair growth and prevents hair damage. Walnuts also help in controlling hair fall. Balancing the Vata Dosha, walnuts help in curing several problems related to the hair.
Q. What are some Ayurvedic medicines that contain walnuts?
Ans. Herbal preparations like Balamritam and AmritaprashaGhrita are some of the most famous walnut Ayurvedic medicines. Balamritam helps in promoting immunity and appetite. The medicine, AmritaprashaGhrita, cures fever, bleeding disorders, cough, and cold, weakness, and burning sensation.
Q. How many walnuts can I eat per day?
Ans. You can take about 3 to 5 walnuts daily during winter. During summer, the temperature is already warm; you must take only 2 to 3 walnuts daily.
Q. What is the best time in the day to eat walnuts?
Ans. You can have walnuts before your meals during lunch and dinner time. You can also have it along with other dry fruits during your breakfast. Be sure to not drink water after at least 15 to 30 minutes of eating walnuts.
Q. Can walnuts cause stomach upset?
Ans. If you overdose on walnuts, it can cause your stomach to heat up a lot. This can result in the stomach opening up and causing loose motion or diarrhea. So, yes, walnuts, when overdosed can result in stomach upset.
Q. Is walnut good for the stomach?
Ans. Yes, walnut is good for the stomach. It has a lot of antioxidants and anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Being rich in antioxidants, walnuts help remove toxins from the body and help with the easy excretion of waste. Being anti-bacterial, it stops the growth of bacteria in the digestive system and also prevents further growth.
Also, being anti-inflammatory, walnuts help reduce any inflammation in the digestive system and ease digestion. It prevents diarrhea and also cures it if you are suffering from the same. However, be sure not to overdose on walnuts. It can increase your trouble.
Q. Can I consume walnuts while on homeopathic medicines?
Ans. Yes, you can consume walnuts while on homeopathic medicines. It does not show or cause any side effects.
Q. Can I consume walnuts while on supplements?
Ans. Yes, you can consume walnuts while on a dietary supplement. However, if you are consuming more than one supplement, take your doctor's or physician's advice.
Q. Can I consume walnuts while on western medicines?
Ans. There is not enough information on the question of if you can consume walnut while on allopathic medicine or not. Take the advice of your doctor if you want to consume walnuts in such a case.
Q. Are walnuts good for the liver?
Ans. Yes, all types of nuts, including walnuts, are good for the liver. It reduces the fat in the liver and prevents any damage to it. Being rich in antioxidants also helps remove toxins from the liver, thus detoxifying it.
Many nutrients are found in the fennel, which is very important for healthy living. Aniseed contains many mineral elements like calcium, sodium, iron, and potassium, cold fennel is used as a medicine in addition to enhancing the taste of the mouth and also in the treatment of various diseases. These are aromatic and delicious seeds of the same plant.
An astringent, sweet, and bitter-tasting fennel is rich in calcium, protein, iron, potassium, vitamins-A, and C, and dietary fiber. It also has antiseptic and antioxidant properties. Learn about it-
Grind an equal quantity of sugar candy, almonds, and fennel. Consuming it daily after dinner and in the afternoon enhances memory power. Vata-Pitta and Kapha balance the three doshas. Consuming anise on an empty stomach purifies the blood and makes the skin glow.
It is beneficial in difficulties of indigestion, acidity, constipation, and thirst along with enhancing eyesight and improving digestion. It is a mouth freshener. Anise reduces stress, high blood pressure, and cholesterol.
The intake of boiled fennel water and soup relieves the problem of flatulence and also helps in weight loss. Fennel seeds can also be worked as a pain reliever. Aniseed is also effective in detracting from inflammation.
Usage: You can also consume the powder of fennel by grinding it in tea. Putting the fennel in the tea will make the tea taste better. Its properties are destroyed by overcooking fennel. Although it can be gently roasted on a griddle.
Add it after soaking or cooking the foodstuff. Apart from the whole, it can also be taken in powder or tea or soaked in water. Fennel seeds are also applied in preparing pickles.
Amid the rising cases of Covid-19 in Delhi-NCR, health experts on Tuesday stressed that along with a focus on overall health, taking special care of your heart's health is extremely important because the virus affects more to people with heart and its related problems.
The doctors said that the biggest risk factor of heart diseases is unhealthy cholesterol levels. So, it is important to keep a track of your lipid profile and maintain healthy cholesterol levels.
As per a survey conducted by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), 79 per cent of Indians are suffering from dyslipidaemia i.e. unhealthy cholesterol levels.
Experts suggest that managing cholesterols by taking natural antioxidants from a very young age can help keep your heart healthy by controlling high cholesterol level along with other health benefits.
The latest antioxidant which is gaining popularity in India is Gamma-Oryzanol, a natural antioxidant found in rice bran. Gamma-oryzanol is a mixture of ferulic acid esters and is an important bioactive component which is mainly found in the germinated brown rice and rice bran oil.
"For good heart health keeping high cholesterol level in check is really important, Gamma oryzanol which is a natural antioxidant has properties that lowers bad cholesterol and increases the concentration of good cholesterol," said Dr Praveen Chandra, Head of Department, Interventional Cardiology, Medanta Hospital in Gurugram.
"It also helps in preventing heart attack by preventing platelet aggregation, a system where platelets blood gets stuck together and form clots that block arteries. So maintaining healthy cholesterol levels during Covid times is important," Chandra added.
As Gamma Oryzanol is found to be effective in controlling high cholesterol level in the body, it is registered in Japan and the US as a natural medicine to treat hyperlipidemia/dyslipidaemia (elevated cholesterol levels/unhealthy cholesterol levels).
"Gamma Oryzanol helps lower cholesterol because It helps decrease cholesterol absorption and increase cholesterol elimination," said Swapna Chaturvedi, Senior Dietician, Department of Dietetics, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi.
Recently, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has recognised Gamma-Oryzanol as a nutraceutical and a natural antioxidant to reduce high blood cholesterol.
"During COVID times, we need to be extra careful with our heart's health and ensure healthy cholesterol levels," the experts noted. (IANS)
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