A lot of studies have shown that Dark chocolate is good for the heart. This is because they contain lots of flavinoids – antioxidants which helps to reduce the oxidative damage to our body. (For knowing more about the benefits of dark chocolate, read my earlier post – A dark chocolate a day keeps the cardiologist away!)
But the truth is that dark chocolate need not necessarily contain flavinoids. As flavinoids taste bitter, some companies remove the flavinoids from dark chocolate to make them taste better. All that remains is fat and sugar and there is no health benefit whatsoever. Most companies do not reveal the content of flavinoids in their products and we have no way for finding out whether they are heart healthy or not. (Unless ofcourse you send them for analysis in a lab!) So the bottom line is, if you cant find a label describing the amount of flavinoids in the chocolate, you better stick to the traditional heart healthy diet – a balanced diet low in sugar, salt and fat, with lots of fruits and vetgetables.
In recent years, more and more is understood about the health benefits of walking. Nowadays more advanced pedometers are available which can calculate the distance walked and even the calories you have spent. So lets walk towards a healthier life.
A recent study published in ‘Circulation’ suggests that eating dark chocolate can decrease your risk for heart attack.
Doctors from John Hopkins University have confirmed that the news of the sudden death of a loved one or similar shocking news can really cause a broken heart. ‘Broken Heart Syndrome’ as they call it – is real, reversible and yet potentially deadly. Its a condition in which sudden severe emotional stress can cause extreme heart muscle weakness and heart attack like symptoms like chest pain and shortness of breath.
What causes it?
When we hear a shocking news, our endocrine system kicks in and a lot of adrenaline and other proteins are produced. These help us to cope better with the stressful condition. But sometimes adrenaline surge can temporarily damage the hearts of some people. The exact reason for it is not yet known. It is believed to be caused by the decrease in blood supply to the heart due to narrowing of blood vessels. In the weakened state of the heart muscle, a temporary bulging of the apex of the heart occurs and hence its also called stress cardiomyopathy (disease of the cardiac muscle caused by stress).
Is it dangerous?
Broken heart syndrome can be life threatening in certain cases. It differs from the ‘classic heart attack’ in that most of the damage that occurs is reversible. A typical heart attack is caused by blockage in the blood vessels supplying the heart whereas broken heart syndrome is due to temporary narrowing of the blood vessels. With proper and timely medical medical care, most people recover within a few days. Rarely, it can even be fatal.
I have to face a lot of stress everyday. Am I at risk?
Broken heart syndrome is not caused by everyday stresses. It occurs due to a sudden severe emotional trauma. Moreover, most of the people who had this had no prior history of heart disease. It’s interesting to note that women are at greater risk for this than men, the exact cause for which is unknown.
Can people have Broken Heart Syndrome a second time?
Though it’s rare, there is a 10% chance for recurrence. But most people after suffering from an episode of broken heart syndrome went on to lead a healthy and happy life.
To learn more about keeping your heart healthy, read 5 steps towards a healthier heart
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‘I love my heart’ is a blog dedicated to enabling people to lead a heart healthy life. Its a conversation that revolves around the topic of keeping our heart healthy. It aims to serve as a portal for people to understand all about our heart, its functioning, its wonders and how to keep it healthy.
Often, it’s those little descisions that bring about everlasting changes in our life. So lets make one little descision today, right now – one that is going to change the way we live life for ever – lets decide to live a heart healthy life.
To learn more about using this website, read Your guide to making the most of ‘I love my heart’
About the author
Hi, I’m Bijoy Johnson. I’m currently doing my medical studies in Calicut Medical College, Kerala, India. My passions are cardiology (healthcare for the heart), computers and blogging. You can contact me at: bijoyjohnson (at) gmail (dot) com.