Coronary artery disease is one of the most common cause of death in the world. There are around 30 million heart patients in India and every year approximately two lakhs of open heart surgery is being performed in India itself. India will be ahead of all other countries in cardiovascular disease cases by the end of 2020, if the current lifestyle continues which includes lack of proper physical activity and diet.
Understanding of coronary artery disease and its root cause
Let us assume that you and your friend wanted to dine out and you guys have decided to order one large thin crust pizza, a plate of french fries and chicken wings along with two regular diet coke or two big jars of oreo milkshake. Now let me stop you over here for a while and inform you what happens if one eats this kind of food. After eating the above mentioned foods all the cellular elements of the blood becomes sticky that is the low density lipoproteins, cholesterol, white blood cells, platelets all become sticky. Thus, the blood is not flowing smoothly. Now, these sticky low density lipoproteins passes through the endothelial cells and enters the sub-endothelial space where they are oxidised because of the free radicals which came from the fast-food diet. Now, our protectors that is, the white blood cells come and gobbles up these oxidised cholesterol and forms foam cell. This is the starting point of atherosclerosis. These foam cells produces chemicals which make our arteries thin and also interrupts with the functioning of our endothelial cells of producing nitric oxide which a potent dilator. Many foam cells comes together to form plaques. If this plaque ruptures, our platelets which is responsible for blood clotting gets activated and forms blood clots. This blood clot blocks the arteries and leads to heart attack or stroke. All this does not happen at one go, but surely plaques are increasing with the number of times we are consuming the fast food. So now, will you still order one large thin crust pizza, a plate of french fries, a plate of chicken wings and two regular diet coke or two big jars of oreo milkshake? I am sure you won’t. Rather you would order food which is light and healthy for your heart.
Present therapy for coronary artery disease does not cure the disease
Drugs, stents, bypass, angioplasty are the therapies available for coronary artery disease. Stents, angioplasty are not permanent solution for treating the heart disease as they just treat a small part of the artery while the disease is still ongoing. Though these are life saving but they don’t cure the disease completely neither they increase our life both quantitatively and qualitatively. Moreover, they are extremely expensive procedures and invasive too. The drugs target hypertension, diabetes and high cholesterol which is actually not helping in curing the disease. The root cause is the damaged endothelial cells caused by the modern western diet. Physicians don’t give their patients the advice of changing their diet because they think they will not follow, moreover it’s time consuming. So the patient’s remain unaware of the power of plant based & nutrition dense diet.
Changing your diet will not only prevent but also reverse the coronary artery disease
A plant based & nutrition dense diet consisting of leafy green vegetables, fruits, seeds, nuts, whole grains, legumes, lentils are rich in antioxidants, phytochemicals, minerals and since they are anti-inflammatory in nature they help in lowering the inflammation and removes the plaque caused by the animal, dairy products and processed foods. This diet helps in maintaining proper blood flow and all the cells and tissues get enough nutrients and oxygen for their proper functioning. Along with diet, exercise is equally important for healthy living. This technique is cost-effective, healthier and non-invasive.
Take home message