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Heart Diseases In India – An Alarming Epidemic

20 years ago India saw lesser heart diseases, a recent research says that beginning from 1980s there is a steep increase in heart diseases in India, especially in young adults.

India in fact has seen a massive growth in the health sector and is very popular for medical tourism. So the reason behind the growing number in heart ailments is not decline in quality of medical care but is a deeper one.

The worst one anyone would have dreamt of was a genetic connection, which is making the disease an alarming epidemic in India and people of Indian origin living abroad.

The Genetic Connection To Higher Heart Diseases In India

There is a gene that makes Indians susceptible to heart diseases
The Genetic Connection To Higher Heart Diseases In India

Early insights into the association between bad tickers in Indians and bad genes came from the USA, when American-Indian cardiologist and head of the CADI (Coronary Artery Disease among Asian Indians) Research Foundation, Enas A Enas, was drawn to investigate the cause for an inconsistency he called the South Asian Paradox. 

A study conducted by a team of Indian researchers has concluded that around 35 to 40% of Indians carry a set of genetic variants in the Chromogranin A (CHGA) gene, called CGHA promoter haplotype 2 makes the carriers susceptible to heart diseases.

The study is based on analysis of genomic DNA samples from over 750 individuals from Indian population. The research findings have been published in Journal of Biological Chemistry.

Dr Nitish R Mahapatra, professor at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, who led the study said, “We studied genomic DNA of Indians and discovered a specific set of changes in the CHGA gene sequence called haplotype 2 which contributed to increased CHGA gene expression, and ultimately increased CHGA protein levels in plasma. When the clinical parameters of those in the study were compared, Haplotype 2 carriers displayed higher levels of metabolic and cardiovascular traits like plasma glucose, blood pressure and body mass index”.

Indicating that we are a susceptible race for cardiovascular diseases, such as cardiac arrests, congestive heart failures, coronary heart diseases, rheumatic heart diseases and strokes. 

Does This Mean We Are All Going To Get Cardiovascular Diseases ?

Of course the study makes us a little worried, however the gene alone cannot make you a candidate of heart disease. A phenotype is an expression of a genotype plus the environmental factors, so if you give the right environment for the gene to be expressed it will be expressed. However, if you do not provide a conducive environment, you still can fight the disease from affecting you. All you should be looking out is a change in your lifestyle.

However, if you provide the right conditions such as consuming high fat food, living a sedentary life, smoking, drinking alcohol, hypertensive, obese or diabetic you may give a very good chance for the gene to express itself. If any of these conditions occur together, that is giving even more chance to the gene.

Although having a gene that might easily get triggered to cause a heart disease, you still can suppress it by following healthy lifestyle practices such as 

How To Keep Your Heart Healthy Naturally
How To Keep Your Heart Healthy Naturally
  1. Having A Good Sleep
  2. Taking A Balance Diet
  3. Improving Your Magnesium and Selenium Intake
  4. Restricting Sitting For Long
  5. Making Aerobic Exercises a Part Of Your Life
  6. Gardening
  7. Positive Thinking
  8. Quit Smoking and Drinking Alcohol

A Good Sleep – Your First Stop Towards Healthy Life

You would have thought I would say right food or exercise as the first step. Well, a good sleep is the key to normal functioning of every organ in your body. 

The obvious side effects of less sleep are constant irritability and less productivity, however it goes deeper, Melatonin, the hormone which regulates your circadian rhythm, is secreted when you have a good sleep.

In fact, melatonin and sleep are interrelated – good sleeps induces better melatonin secretion and melatonin induces better sleep.

It is in sleep that, melatonin helps melanin, the pigmentation seen on your skin is secreted, your organs repaired, helps in an increase of antidepressant activity in brain, enhances antioxidant activity in body and also synchronizes your motor skills.

If you cannot get 8 hours of sleep because of your occupation or any other reason, try to have small power naps during the day.

          (What Foods Induce Better Sleep)

Take Balanced Diet – To Fight Heart Diseases

Fat induces heart disease, this is a fact you would already know. Cut down on bad fat content in your food, concentrate on taking food rich in proteins.

Probiotics such as lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium found in fermented food including yogurt and idlis and Saccharomyces boulardii or the common yeast have been reported to keep your gut healthy. However, recent research states that these probiotic bacteria help in keeping your heart healthy too. A very important reason now for you to give more importance to your gut health too.

Prebiotic food such as garlic are dietary fibers that are food for the good bacteria in your gut. Foods like garlic and turmeric are great prebiotic food and can help you fight many diseases including heart disease and cancer.

Improving Magnesium and Selenium Intake
There are some food that can keep your heart safe -they are described here
Heart Saving Foods You need To Know About

In early 1800s scurvy was seen as the most deadly disease until it was found that it was caused due to deficiency of vitamin C. Same is the condition of many diseases these days, the cause mostly, is a deficiency of certain minerals and vitamins.

Minerals such as selenium and magnesium are gaining importance these days because of their properties to act in boosting brain function, immune system, thyroid function and also safeguard against heart diseases and cancer.

 (How to improve selenium content in your body)

Magnesium also helps in assimilation of calcium, keeps your body temperature in control and also makes sure your heart is safe.

There are many foods rich in magnesium which will help to increase magnesium content in your body naturally, you need to know how to take them and when, to reap the benefits of these foods. 

I strongly recommend consuming one handful of superfoods such as pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds, daily – sunflower seeds in the morning and pumpkin seeds before going to bed. Pumpkin seeds help in secretion of melatonin – inducing better sleep.

(you can get pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds here)

Sitting For Long Causes Heart Health Issues

Stationary lifestyle not alone increases your weight and makes you obese, it causes more serious problems including a host of heart diseases, type 2 diabetes, cancers and even poor mental health.

It’s very important to move more, do aerobics exercises for at least 30 minutes every day. If you can go out you can jog, run, walk, swim, ride and so on. If you have little space or time to go out resort to yoga, aerobics exercise or any other exercise.

 (Yoga for weight loss)

Make Aerobic Exercise A Daily Routine

Now, I don’t think I need to tell you more about aerobic exercises and their benefits to you. In fact, running marathons and zumba events have become a norm these days and they are not here without a reason.
If you need to fight a genetic disease, you need to work hard – hard enough to burn calories that may otherwise accumulate as fat.
Fighting fat is important and aerobic exercises do exactly that.

Does Gardening Help In Fighting Heart Diseases

The plant hormones have a soothing effect on human brain making you happy and stress free
Doea Gardening Help You To Keep Your Heart Healthy
If you are wondering why I have included gardening on a list that speaks about reducing heart diseases read here the effect of gardening on your mental health and heart.
It’s astonishing that plants and their hormones can bring a lot of changes in your hormonal development and even soothe you to a level of meditation. 
Gardening not only enhances your overall health but also makes you happy and content – a feeling you get after you make enough practice to convince your mind to secrete happy hormones, a rare phenomenon only when you are with plants.
Positive Thinking – Conditioning Your Mind

Psychosomatic illness, according to Britannica encyclopedia – Bodily ailment or symptom, caused by mental or emotional disturbance, in which psychological stresses adversely affect physiological (somatic) functioning to the point of distress. Psychosomatic disorders may include hypertension, respiratory ailments, gastrointestinal disturbances, migraine and tension, etc.

In one of the famous texts on yoga, Yoga Vasisth, Vasisth maharshi has explained how the psychosomatic illnesses arise. He says illness or vyadhis are of two types- adhija vyadhi or anadhija vyadhi meaning those which arise out of adhi and those which are independent of adhi like bacterial infections or injuries, respectively.

Ailments arising out of adhis are called psychosomatic ailments or life style related. Adhi in common parlance means “stress”. When a person is continuously experiencing stressful situations, over a long period the disturbances in our mind level start slowly to percolate into the physical level and manifests as diseases.

Due to adhi there is a disturbance in the flow of prana through our body which leads to kujirnatvam (wrong digestion), ajirnatvam(non digestion) or atijirnatvam(over digestion). When this improperly digested food settles in body it results in ailments of psychosomatic type.

So how to avoid adhi so that prana flows freely and food is properly digested?

By disciplining the self!

Eating freshly prepared healthy food, keeping our surroundings clean, early to bed and early to rise are some things to be kept in mind.

Also, we imitate people close to us, hence always keeping good company, having a positive attitude towards life, Contentment with what we have and not hankering after material possessions is also an important mental attitude to be developed.

OMG the list is long and difficult to remember and practice, well there is a single solution! Practice YOGA, all the above qualities and attitudes will develop automatically!

Quit Smoking and Drinking Alcohol

Tobacco is injurious to health – Yeah, of course all of us know that, but once a person is addicted to tobacco, it becomes very difficult for him to get out of it. The same can be said of alcohol as well. 

These vice practices not only harm your overall health but also retard your cognitive behaviour and make you dependent on them totally. 

Though they are started as fun, at times alcohol and tobacco become the main culprit behind unhealthy lives and are directly related to heart disease. Quit smoking and drinking alcohol if you want to keep your heart healthy.

Easy Ways To Stop Smoking

To have a healthy heart, you can follow the 9 proven steps to maintain a healthy heart

Join Our 45 Days Challenge To A happy and Healthy You

At Simple Indian Mom we take health very seriously and for this we have come up with a 45 days challenge combining with fitness experts, nutritionists and physiotherapists to bring in a wholesome challenge for 45 days. 45 days is a long enough period for any behaviour to become a habit and keeping that in mind we have come up with 7 behavioral change modules

45 days challenge to a happier and healthy you
A challenge that will be guided by experts in fitness, mindfulness and diet.
  1. Morning mindful meditation
  2. Planning and mindmapping your day
  3. Exercise for the day
  4. Diet consultations
  5. water prompts
  6. power nap
  7. gratitude journal at the end of the day

This will be a group program with us, the mods giving prompts, encouragement and pushing you daily to follow each of your goal and fulfil it every day. This is happening in our Facebook group Naturally Fit and Mindful Living.

This group is free to join for a limited time and is planned to be one of the best places to get into healthy habits based on natural remedies, healthy food and exercise. 

I received this tag from (Rajalakshmi) at (Destiny’s Child). It’s my pleasure to pass on this tag to (Rohan Kachalia) at (Rohankachalia.com). There are 29  of us on this Blog Hop and it will be spread over 3 days–1st, 2nd and 3rd November  2019. Do follow the #WordsMatter Blog Hop and prepare to be surprised! 

Dr Menaka Bharathi
Dr Menaka Bharathihttps://www.simpleindianmom.in
Dr Menaka Bharathi aka Simple Indian Mom is an Agricultural Microbiologist and helps moms to keep their family and kids naturally healthy both mentally and physically.


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