Heart health

  1. The heart is one of the most important organs of the human body, which is vital for survival. Cardiovascular diseases continue to be one of the leading causes of death worldwide. Since Ayurveda provides effective diet and lifestyle remedies to prevent and manage lifestyle disorders, let us take a look at how best can Ayurveda help with keeping our hearts healthy.
  2. Ayurveda classics have suggested some of the reasons for heart ailments such as :
    • Over-consumption of hot, oily, spicy, and fried food items.
    • Excessive use of food items that have a sharp and astringent taste.
    • Consuming incompatible food combinations
    • Excessive physical exercise or lack of exercise.
    • Excessive stress, fear, and anger.
    • Suppression of natural urges
    • Excessive fasting
    • Over-eating and irregular food habits.
    • Improper application of vasti and drastic purgatives.
    • Excessive consumption of alcohol/tobacco/cigarette etc.
    • Injury over chest
  3. In terms of diet, Ayurveda recommends consuming – wheat, barley, sorghum, and at least 1-year-old rice. Red gram, horse gram, green gram along with bitter and astringent leafy vegetables are good for heart health. Refined flour and refined flour preparations like bread, pastries, noodles, etc, and newly harvested rice should be avoided. Black gram and chickpea should also be avoided.
  4. Among fruits mango, gooseberry, wood apple, pomegranate, sweet lime, and orange are recommended. In general, Ayurveda says that sour food items are always good for heart health.
  5. Cow’s milk with turmeric and buttermilk is advisable. Nonvegetarian foods are not good for heart health especially, red meat. Lean meats like fish or chicken are also best avoided but if not then these are the better options.
  6. Turmeric, black pepper, asafoetida, cinnamon, garlic, dry ginger, coriander, cumin, and fenugreek seeds are the recommended spices.
  7. Quit smoking if you are a smoker. Alcohol should also be avoided except for red wine, which is considered good for the heart when consumed in moderation.
  8. One needs to lose weight in the case of overweight individuals, and stress levels should be kept under check. Also, exercise or at least 30 minutes of walking is highly recommended. Yoga, pranayama, and meditation are beneficial.
  9. Try and avoid sleeping during the daytime. A nap is fine though. Oversleeping or lazing around without being active does not support the heart. At the same time lack of sleep and a disturbed sleep cycle is equally unhealthy.
  10. Herbs like arjun, ashwagandha, rudraksh, and tulsi are good for heart health when taken as per an Ayurveda physician’s advice.
  11. Whenever needed follow the dosha balancing diet and lifestyle suited to you. Right food combinations, incorporating the six tastes, following the dosha cycle – daily and seasonal and avoiding incompatible food combinations is the right approach to having a healthy heart.

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