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The influence of our diet on circulation
This is a continuation of last two weeks’ articles in the Westmeath Examiner on foods and changes in our diet that improve circulation. If you missed these articles, poor circulation is medically referred to as Vascular Disease. Vascular Disease includes any condition that affects your circulatory system including diseases of arteries, veins and lymph vessels as well as blood disorders that affect circulation. These include Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD), Renal Artery Disease, Varicose Veins, Venous Blood Clots, Aneurysm, Raynaud’s Disease, Peripheral Venous Disease and Erectile Dysfunction.
Atherosclerosis occurs when arteries become clogged up by fatty substances, such as cholesterol. These substances are called plaques or atheromas. This build-up of plaque is the root cause of various vascular diseases such as peripheral venous disease, PAD, erectile dysfunction and Raynaud’s Disease. It also causes cardiovascular conditions such as angina, heart attack, stroke and peripheral vascular disease.
Certain factors increase the risk of atherosclerosis including smoking, diabetes and high blood pressure. Diet is a major factor, especially a diet high in fat and cholesterol. Over the course of years and decades, plaque builds up, narrows the arteries and makes them stiffer. This makes it harder for blood to flow through them. Clots may form in these narrowed arteries and block blood flow
Changes to your diet which prevents atherosclerosis
Eating more fish
Fish oil stimulates blood circulation, increases the breakdown of fibrin, a compound involved in clot and scar formation, and additionally has been shown to reduce blood pressure. There is strong scientific evidence that omega fatty acids reduce blood triglyceride levels and regular intake reduces the risk of heart attack. Healthy women who said they ate fish five times a week or more had a 45% lower risk of dying of heart disease over the next 16 years than healthy women who ate fish less than once a month, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association. An editorial in the May 15, 2000 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology claimed the time had come to add fish and fish oil supplements to the list of standard treatments of coronary heart disease.
Reduce fatty foods
Keep Trans fats to a minimum and ensure no more than 7% to 10% of your calorie intake comes from saturated fats. This includes fats found in butter, hard margarine, salad dressing, fried foods, snack foods, sweets, and desserts. When using fats as a food additive or for frying (bear in mind grilling is healthier than frying), use fats high in monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats, for example, olive oil or peanut oil.What is BPro Cardio Screen Service?
Whelehans now has a cardiovascular health check called BPro Cardio Screen. This test measures the stiffness of your arteries to help identify risk of blockages and your risk of cardiovascular disease and circulation problems. BPRo is placed like a watch on your wrist and is completely pain free. It is now €35 (was €50); it only takes about 15 minutes to get checked. The next clinic this week (Thursday January 31st) from 9am to 6pm at Whelehans Pearse St. Book by calling Whelehans at 04493 34591.
Disclaimer: Bpro Cardio screen is not meant as a substitute for medical assessment with your doctor
For comprehensive and free health advice and information call in to Whelehans Pharmacies, log on to www.whelehans.ie or dial 04493 34591 (Pearse St) or 04493 10266 (Clonmore).