Home cooking for better heart health

Preparing home-cooked, plant-based meals is simpler than most people realize. A simple recipe formula features legumes (such as lentils or beans) combined with cooked whole grains (such as bulgur wheat or brown rice) and raw or cooked vegetables, served hot, warm, or cold. To save time, people can prepare large amounts of dried beans and whole grains. Flavor enhancers include olive oil, lemon juice, and dried or fresh fruits, as well as spices and fresh herbs. (Locked) More »

What is sick sinus syndrome?

Sick sinus syndrome refers to various heartbeat irregularities that can cause fainting, weakness, palpitations, or shortness of breath. Most cases are due to age-related changes in the heart muscle that disrupt the heart’s electrical system. (Locked) More »

Taming stubbornly high blood pressure

As many as one in seven people being treated for high blood pressure doesn’t have the condition under control. Many cases of this problem, known as resistant hypertension, occur because people don’t take their medications as directed, usually because of side effects. Sometimes, habits such as consuming too much sodium, which counteracts the effects of certain blood pressure drugs, are to blame. In other cases, other medical problems such as renal artery stenosis or obstructive sleep apnea may contribute to the problem. More »

Understanding aneurysms

Aneurysms are bulges or balloon-like pouches that form at a weak spot along an artery. The most common—and most dangerous—are in the brain or the aorta, the body’s largest blood vessel. The weakened areas may be acquired or inherited, and both the causes and consequences vary with the location of the artery. Understanding the underlying causes can help people prevent them and know whether to undergo screening tests to detect aneurysms. (Locked) More »

Add stretches to your exercise routine

Stretching—the deliberate lengthening of a muscle or group of muscles to increase flexibility and range of motion—may encourage people to maintain an exercise routine. But there is no proof that stretching before working out helps prevent exercise-related injuries. Doing static stretches (in which you adopt and hold a position) when your muscles aren’t warmed up may even cause an injury. Instead, gentle movements to stretch your muscles and loosen your joints, known as dynamic stretching, is a better choice before a workout. (Locked) More »

Recovering from heart surgery

Open-heart surgery leaves people with a long chest incision and a lengthy recovery. Most of the precautions people must follow during the first four to six weeks after surgery are to allow the breastbone to heal. For example, people should not drive, nor should they push, pull, or lift anything heavier than 10 pounds. They should also learn to use their legs rather than their arms to push up to standing from a chair or bed. Getting out of the house and walking every day, gradually going a little farther each day, is encouraged. (Locked) More »

Legume of the month

To cook dried beans, soak beans overnight in cold water, drain and rinse, then cook in fresh water until tender. Preparing large batches of a pound or so and freezing recipe-sized containers of cooked beans can simplify dinner preparations. More »

E-cigarettes boost the risk of heart attack

Daily use of electronic cigarettes may nearly double a person’s risk of a heart attack. Using these products in addition to regular cigarettes (which is a common use pattern) may increase the risk of heart attack fivefold. More »

Monitoring a narrowed, stiff aortic valve

For people with moderate to severe aortic valve stenosis who have no symptoms, deciding when to replace the faulty valve has been unclear. But a watchful waiting approach appears to be safe for most people. More »