Is Intermittent Fasting Safe?

Mineola Cardiologist

Recently, there has been an endorsement of increased consumption of healthy fats as well as re-emergence of ketogenic diet for weight loss and management of chronic degenerative diseases. Among these, intermittent fasting (ITF) is the easiest and probably the oldest method used by novices and professionals, and is often included as part of a comprehensive ketogenic diet regimen.

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Is Apple Cider Vinegar Beneficial?

Is apple cider vinegar actually beneficial?

New studies show that drinking apple cider vinegar in water with honey or even just drinking the apple cider vinegar alone can provide detox, weight loss, healing power, or anti- aging. The reason this can help create a healthier lifestyle is that vinegar consists of enzymes that help a person digest starch. When starch does not completely digest, your body receives a smaller blood sugar response.

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Fruits and Vegetables and Your Heart Health: Recent Study

It is well-known that a diet heavy in fruits and vegetables can carry many health benefits, as they are low in fat and high in antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. More importantly, fruits and vegetables greatly benefit your heart by lowering blood pressure and decreasing the risk of heart disease, stroke, and heart attack. With so many wonderful health benefits, the crucial role that fruits and vegetables play in our diet is clear, with recent research pointing to just how much we should be consuming.

Various resources can provide people with recommendations for combined daily intake of fruits and vegetables. For example, the American Heart Association recommends consuming up to eight or more servings daily, while the current food pyramid provided by the USDA recommends anywhere from 3-6 servings of vegetables and 2-4 servings of fruit. Interestingly enough, an important finding has shown that we should consume even greater amounts of fruits and vegetables when possible! The findings (combined results from 95 different studies conducted around the world) showed that increasing fruit and vegetable servings up to 10 servings a day can lower risk of cardiovascular disease by 28% and premature death by 31%!

The types of veggies and fruits consumed are very important. Green leafy  vegetables, such as spinach, kale, and some red vegetables such as beets, are excellent sources of inorganic nitrates. When eaten in their natural form, mixing with saliva and stomach acid releases nitrates from these foods. Further processing in the intestines converts the nitrates into nitrites, an important sources of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide, or NO, is a potent vasodilator, and a key natural substance in maintaining our vascular health. A very simple test carried out in our office allows patients to measure their nitrate intake level, and  adjust their nutritional effort to increase their production of NO. This has helped many patients to achieve sustainable blood pressure reductions through lifestyle effort.

While it may seem like a no-brainer, many people still do not consume anywhere near the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that roughly half of the US population has less than 1 cup of fruit and 1.5 cups of vegetables every day! Therefore, it’s crucial to raise awareness about how significant increased fruit and vegetable intake can be for our health – more specifically heart health!

If you are concerned about your heart’s health or simply want to take preventative measures to improve and protect it, contact the Integrative Cardiology Center of Long Island today. Dr. Druz and her dedicated staff offer expert care through their vast skills, experience, knowledge, and passion to help patients achieve their cardiovascular health goals.

Is Your Heart Healthier In The Jungle?

You may have heard about inflammation- and the holistic approaches to help reduce it- but do you really know what inflammation truly is? In the simplest way: inflammation is your body’s natural reaction to infections, stress, or toxic chemicals. To help protect your body from foreign substances, chemicals from the body’s white blood cells are released into the blood or affected tissues and flow to the area of injury or infection. This process usually brings about the familiar result of redness and warmth.

It is important to understand the risks of inflammation and how it can affect your heart. While inflammation is thought to be a sign of cardiovascular disease, it is still not proven. Researchers do know that it is closely linked with stroke and heart disease patients, and can also be associated with atherosclerosis- a chronic process that starts at birth and over time causes deleterious changes in blood vessels, leading to heart attacks, peripheral artery disease, and strokes.

 

 

Figure Courtesy of Circulation: Cardiovascular Imaging

Atherosclerosis can be defined as the narrowing and hardening of the arteries which supply blood to the heart muscle and makes it essential for the heart to function properly. Developing over decades, atherosclerosis is a diffuse process damaging blood vessels. While there is a genetic predisposition, traditional risk factors, such as smoking, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, mental stress, and physical inactivity are all contributing. Lifestyle plays a major role in atherosclerosis since approximately 80% of it may be preventable through healthy nutrition, exercise, and stress control.

In experimental models, atheroslcerosis involves deterioration of the endothelium, an inner lining of the artery that is only one cell thick. Inflammation, oxidative stress and autoimmunity play key roles in causing endothelial dysfunction, an early and most important event in atheroslerosis.  Lifestyle effort reduces or prevents inflammation, and although this research is still in development, the evidence is strong. A recently published report on the role of ancestral diets and physical activity evaluated Tsimane tribes of the Bolivian Amazon. The researchers found a very low percentage of individuals, including those of the advanced age, with evidence of CT calcium deposits in the arteries by coronary artery scan.

At Integrative Cardiology Center of Long Island, we focus on multipronged approach to reduce inflammation, oxidative stress and autoimmunity by evaluating genetic and metabolic factors as well as measuring how healthy your endothelium is through an easy office-based test called VENDYS. Our Cardiogenomic, Hormone Balance, and Fit In Your Genes Programs have reduces inflammation and improved endothelial function in many patients. To start experiencing the benefits of our unique holistic approach towards treating atherosclerosis and cardiac dysrytthmias, schedule an appointment to visit our Mineola, New York office today!

Oxidative Stress

Oxidative stress occurs when the amount of free radicals in the body outnumbers the amount of antioxidants in the body.

During cellular metabolism, cells use up oxygen to help convert food into energy, producing free radicals as a byproduct. Free radicals are highly reactive, destabilized molecules that can  interact with the body’s cell components like DNA, stealing their electrons to stabilize. By removing their electron, the free radical destabilizes the cell component, which in turn looks to stabilize by taking an electron from another molecule, triggering a chain effect. The end result is cellular damage, manifested as premature aging and emergence of chronic diseases.

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Integrative Cardiac Care for High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is rather common in the United States and on Long Island. It affects about one-third of all adults living in the according to the CDC.  A concerning part of high blood pressure is its ability to have serious effects on the body with no obvious symptoms. For this reason, high blood pressure is often referred to as the “silent killer”.  About one out of every five adults are unaware they are even suffering high blood pressure!

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The Science Behind Positive Habit Building

When we start to form good habits, it can be very daunting and easily defeating as we often set wildly impossible goals for ourselves. Most times we ignore the reality of what it will take to reach our goals and we become frustrated when we realize that it is harder than we think. Specifically, eating and exercise habits are among the most popular areas where we encounter these personal obstacles. Dr. Regina Druz knows the difficulties of habit building, and helps her patients establish a good foundation so that they can achieve their goals with long-lasting results.

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Macronutrients and Metabolism

Best Nutrition Counseling in Nassau County

Many health and nutrition experts discuss the importance of macronutrients.  However, what exactly are macronutrients?  Its pretty simple actually.  Macronutrients, or “macros” are any carbohydrates, proteins, and fats that make up your diet.  In general, any nutrient consumed in large amount in the human diet is a macronutrient while “a chemical element or substance (such as calcium or vitamin C) that is essential in minute amounts to the growth and health of a living organism” is considered a  micronutrient . Macronutrients are used for caloric intake, and provide  energy for the human body.  Macronutrients also impact the taste, texture, and overall appearance of food.  This helps the human diet in general. When you are looking to have , for example, 60% fat in your daily diet, you are describing a proportion of macronutrient (in this case, fat) and how it compares to the other two major macronutrients, proteins and carbohydrates. The total always sums up to 100%.

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