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Cardiovascular Disease and Your Diet Print
 
Arteries carry nutrient and oxygen containing blood to the body?s tissues. Blockage of arteries supplying the heart (heart attack) or the brain (stroke) is a common cause of death in developed countries. When cholesterol is deposited in the arteries and hardens, blood flow is restricted. Blood clots and blockage is possible.
 
 
Symptoms include pains in the chest, throat and left arm and breathlessness, weakness, dizziness and reduced mental function. Sometimes there are no warning symptoms.
 
 
Key risk factors include ? obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, high LDL cholesterol levels, high stress, lack of exercise, smoking and contraceptive pills.
 
Diet
The following are aimed at high LDL cholesterol levels and blood pressure and increasing the protective HDL cholesterol levels.
  • Reduce consumption of salt, saturated fats, dairy products, meat and poultry.
  • Avoid caffeine products.
  • Eat at least six daily servings of fresh fruit and vegetables.
  • Use cold pressed virgin olive oil instead of vegetable oils.
  • Avoid margarine.
  • Have two or three servings of fish rich in omega 3 fatty acids.
 
Olive Oil
45% of calories in the Cretan diet is fat derived, of which 30% is from olive oil. Yet the people of Crete show the lowest rate of heart disease in Europe. Olive oil is high in mono-unsaturated fat called oleic acid. Oleic acid helps reduce harmful LDL cholesterol and increase healthy HDL levels.

 
Other factors in olive oil work to lower blood pressure, thin blood and reduce absorption of dietary cholesterol.  Above all this, the Hadith encourages us to use olive oil internally and externally.

 
Exercise and Relaxation
Counter stress levels with the remembrance of Allah, meditation, breathing exercises and aerobics (which also counters obesity).
 
Helpful Herbs
  • Garlic
  • Hawthorn
  • Liem Blossom
  • Ginger
  • Green Tea
  • Gingko
  • Ginseng
  • Siberian Ginseng
 
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  helpline@sanha.org.za

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