Recently Discovered Benefits of Chewing

As you ate your breakfast this morning, did you give any thought as to how long or how thoroughly you chewed? The answer is most likely not. We often are so excited to eat or are in such a rush to eat that we do not properly chew our food. We usually take a few bites and then swallow, eagerly anticipating the next bite, but the chewing process is actually extremely important for keeping healthy. It serves as the very first step in the digestive process, turning food into fuel for our bodies.

There are many benefits for properly chewing food:

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National Atrial Fibrillation Awareness Month

Atrial Fibrillation (AFib) is a serious condition that often goes unnoticed and untreated. Though on its own the condition’s symptoms may not seem dangerous, the complications and risks associated with the condition are the reasons it is so dangerous.
AFib can present itself in a few ways, but some of the most identifiable symptoms include:


·       Racing, pounding heartbeat, that happens for no reason
·       Shortness of breath following light physical activity
·       Lightheadedness and dizziness
·       Unusual or unexplained fatigue


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Treating Hypertension on Long Island

Have you ever heard of hypertension? If not, maybe you’ve heard of high blood pressure, which is the non-medical term for hypertension. Dr. Druz, Long Island Cardiologist, explains hypertension as an abnormally high pressure of the blood that is being pumped through your arteries and veins every time your heart beats. Arterial blood pressure is what is created by the force of the blood against the artery walls. When the pressure of the blood being pumped is too forceful or high it is known as hypertension or high blood pressure.

Treating hypertension on Long Island is important because if the force of the blood against the artery walls is high enough, it can create serious heart problems like heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. Often times patients go without realizing they have high blood pressure because you can have high blood pressure for years without experiencing any of the symptoms. Luckily, hypertension can be easily detected by doctors through a blood pressure reading. Treating hypertension when it is discovered is especially important in order for the patient to avoid heart complications as well as symptoms. Some of the symptoms that people with hypertension may experience are:

  • Headaches
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nosebleeds

There are many ways that Dr. Druz recommends treating hypertension. Typically treatment plans will continue to evolve until the blood pressure control is achieved and the patient has lower blood pressure. Often times the first thing that is suggested is some simple lifestyle changes to lower blood pressure as well as medications that can treat the disease. Some of these healthy lifestyle changes that can lower blood pressure and treat hypertension on Long Island include:

  • Healthy eating and limiting sodium and salt
  • Being physically active
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Limiting alcohol intake
  • Managing and coping with stress

If you or anyone you know is suffering from high blood pressure or needs to treat hypertension on Long Island, schedule an appointment with Dr. Druz at 516-746-1103 or visit our website for more information.

Is Coffee Linked To Hypertension?

It is common for people to strive off a cup or two of coffee in the morning to prevent them from falling asleep on their desk at work. Is it possible that this delicious cup that provides energy is eligible of causing Hypertension? Possibly. To explain, hypertension is a condition in which one’s blood pressure is abnormally high which can ultimately lead to heart disease or stroke. Caffeine, the main ingredient in coffee that gives us that energy boost, can cause a short, but dramatic increase in your blood pressure. If you have any concerns in regards to your blood pressure, our team at Integrative Cardiology Center of Long Island, located in Mineola, is happy to assess your concerns and will provide you with information on how to prevent hypertension.

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Endothelial Dysfunction

At just one cell thick,  the inner lining of your blood vessels, known as the endothelium, plays a crucial role as a regulator of all vascular health. Involved in both blood clotting and inflammation, the endothelium is the surface upon which many biochemical reactions occur daily. The Endothelium is the largest organ of the body, covering about a size of a tennis court by area. Endothelial dysfunction,  a condition of impaired endothelial function, results in damage due to inflammation, oxidative stress, and immune mediators. Endothelial dysfunction is a key factor, occurring early in the development of coronary artery disease, hypertension, and driving all vascular atherosclerotic processes.

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Should you be using adaptogens?

Today many people on Long Island are consciously trying to find natural substances instead of pharmaceuticals for healing. This is where adaptogens come in. First off, what are adaptogens? They are nontoxic, natural substances that work with a person’s body to help them adapt, mostly known for a reduction in stress. In addition, recent data suggests adaptogens may be helpful for balancing neurotransmitters, and exerting an antioxidant response. The reason adaptogens work so well for dealing with stress and fatigue is because they influence the balance of important hormones, such as DHEA, cortisol, and insulin as well as sex steroids (estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone).

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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!