Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Coffee and Heart

According to a team of Greek scientists from the Harokopio University and Hippokration Hospital in Athens, drinking a couple of cups of coffee a day could help heart attack patients avoid potentially serious complications in the future. But only under condition that they have normal blood pressure levels.

The findings of the Greek research have shown that people who had heart attack and drink one to two cups of coffee a day have as much as 88 percent lower risk of the so-called ventricular systolic dysfunction, a condition which often precedes heart failure. The effect of coffee in heart attack patients who have high blood pressure is, however, right the opposite.

Coffee is an excellent source of antioxidants and many other compounds which can be both beneficial and harmful, depending on the person's blood pressure levels.

Eating Dark Chocolate Can Prevent a Heart Attack

Studies reveal that dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants which are good for the heart. Among the most powerful antioxidants that are found in dark chocolate are polyphenols and flavonoids which primarily come from cocoa. These compounds protect the cells in the heart, reduce the risk of blood clot formation and help prevent hypertension (high blood pressure), coronary artery disease, heart attack and a number of other diseases involving the cardiovascular system.

According to the experts, eating dark chocolate on a daily basis can be beneficial for heart and artery health. This, however, does not mean that it can be eaten in large quantities. Unfortunately, dark chocolate is not only high in heart-healthy antioxidants but it is also high in sugar and calories which are not good for the heart nor overall health. To benefit from eating dark chocolate, it is therefore highly important to consume it in small amounts only.

Eggplant to Lower Cholesterol

Eggplant is a highly nutritious vegetable which tastes delicious though slightly bitter. What is more, it has been shown to be one of the best natural ways to lower cholesterol.

Research has proven that drinking eggplant juice can significantly reduce the levels of LDL, commonly known as bad cholesterol. The unique cholesterol-lowering properties are associated with the plant's phytonutrients such as nasunin and terpene. These relax blood vessel walls and improve blood flow as well as enhance resilience of capillaries.

Eggplant can be taken in a form of juice or just added to the meals. Drinking three glasses of eggplant juice a day can lower cholesterol levels for as much as 20 points. The most appropriate eggplants are those that are firm and have no skin blemishes.

These are the findings of a study that was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2005.