Yoga may improve cardiovascular and metabolic health

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS

namasteYoga has been around for centuries, with writings extolling its virtues in producing serenity and transcendence – but world leaders, as well as a growing collection of scientific research, are pointing to how the ancient practice also can be good for your health.

The United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution commemorating June 21 as International Day of Yoga. Cosponsored by more than 170 member states, representatives said yoga not only promotes “clarity of vision and action” but health.

“Yoga can contribute to resilience against non-communicable diseases. Yoga can bring communities together in an inclusive manner that generates respect,” U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon told the news agency Reuters at the time of the resolution in December. “Yoga is a sport that can contribute to development and peace. Yoga can even help people in emergency situations to find relief from stress.”

A recent review of 37 randomized controlled trials concluded that yoga may improve cardiovascular and metabolic health, according to researchers at Harvard University and its Schools of Medicine and Public Health and Erasmus University Medical Center in the Netherlands. The study was published in December in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.

The research paper said “yoga showed significant improvement” for body mass index, systolic blood pressure, low-density lipoprotein (also called “bad”) cholesterol and high-density lipoprotein (also called “good”) cholesterol compared to those who did not exercise. The study noted “significant changes” in heart rate, body weight and diastolic blood pressure, as well.

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Food and Stress? EVERYTHING is related!

April 30, 2015
Food and Stress? EVERYTHING is related!

Eat to beat stress. Is food related to stress?
Well, it´s actually a two-way street. You can stress your body from food and modern living or you can use nutrition to alleviate the damage from stressful living.

Eating in general causes a state that is known as oxidative stress. When we digest our food we form compound molecules called free radicals, these molecules may be harmful to DNA, protein and lipids in our bodies, which at the same time contribute to a state of physiological stress and premature aging.

Nutritional stress is a type of physical stress, more common for 21st century men and women because of the rapid change in the food industry and consumption of over processed filled foods. Our body in an effort to assimilate and metabolize foods filled with harmful artificial flavorings, colorings and additives causes the release of even more free radicals and additional oxidative stress. We also live at such a high pace that we half chew our foods while on the run adding strain to our digestive system.

Are we filling up with toxins, sugary, fat, and chemically loaded food and then expecting it to cope without any complaints?

If we are not properly nourished, we will not have the tools required to fight off diseases. Nutrition is essential to life, without it our systems can fail, starting with a weak immune system that cannot fight invaders leaving us susceptible to infections, diseases and even to overweight and obesity. Stress also has an additional effect on the immune system. A person who is stressed may engage in unhealthy behaviors to cope and try to reduce stress like drinking, smoking or eating comfort, but nutrient void foods. Stress is linked to many different ailments, such as, headaches, infectious illnesses, cardiovascular disease, chronic diseases like diabetes and cancer, asthma, gastric ulcers, you name it!
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