5 Dietary Guidelines for a Healthy Heart


5 Dietary Guidelines for a Healthy Heart

It’s never too late or too early to adopt a fiber-packed, heart-healthful diet. Here’s how.

Variety of legumes in bowls and glasses, arranged on kitchen tableMake vegetables, beans, whole grains and fruit the center of your diet – all day, every day.

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You’ve likely read about former president Bill Clinton’s dramatic heart-health makeover and about superstar Beyoncé’s substantial weight loss with a vegan diet – but did you know a plant-based prescription can be 20 times more powerful than today’s leading drugs in treating and reversing heart disease? With 1 in 6 cases of heart disease that start in utero, and with a heart attack occurring every 45 seconds, it’s never too late or too early to adopt a fiber-packed, heart-healthful diet.

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FDA Strengthens Heart Risk Warnings for Common Pain Relievers


Health Buzz: FDA Strengthens Heart Risk Warnings for Common Pain Relievers

Read labels carefully before taking ibuprofen and other NSAIDs.

Close-up image of a young customer choosing the necessary remedy in the drugstoreRead over-the-counter and prescription medication labels carefully before taking NSAIDs.

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is taking steps to improve the warning labels featured on non-aspirin nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs – NSAIDs – so they reflect that the drugs increase the risk of for heart attack or stroke.

In 2005, the FDA added boxed warning labels about cardiovascular risk to all prescription NSAIDs. However, a new comprehensive review found that the risk for heart attack or stroke can happen even after using NSAIDs for a short term, like a few weeks – an earlier estimate than previously stated.

This new safety information prompted the update on the drugs commonly used to treat toothaches, back pain, strains or sprains, menstrual cramps and headaches, according to an agency announcement.

Patients who take over-the-counter or prescription NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen, naproxen, diclofenac and celecoxib, should seek immediate medical attention if they experience chest pain, shortness of breath or trouble breathing, weakness in one part or side of their body or slurred speech.

“Be careful not to take more than one product that contains an NSAID at a time,” Dr. Karen Mahoney, deputy director of the FDA’s Division of Nonprescription Drug Products, said in the consumer update.

Read the Drug Facts label for additional information on the proper way to take NSAIDs, she adds. If you already have high blood pressure or heart disease, speak to a health care provider before using NSAIDs.

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Yoga may improve cardiovascular and metabolic health


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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