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Heart-mind connection

Dr. Anjali Mukerjee is a nutritionist and founder of Health Total, a nutrition counselling centre.

health and fitness Updated: Aug 28, 2011 17:09 IST

Q: I’m a 50-year-old businessman with high blood cholesterol and blood pressure. I take my pills regularly and try to follow a heart-friendly diet. My only problem is that I tend to lose my cool very easily which makes me restless, anxious and out of breath. I know that I should calm my mind for the sake of my heart but I simply don’t know how. Can you please help?

A: Your problem is not a unique one. The stressors of urban living force us to live on the edge, whereby our inner anxieties often express themselves as temper outbursts and tantrums. In the long run, this hyperactive nature of ours lands us in trouble making us prone to heart disease.

Calming the mind:
Control your diet by avoiding oily and greasy foods, caffeine, alcohol, refined flour and sugar to conserve vital nutrients and reducing heart strain.
Whole grains have a calming effect on the mind.
Fruits and fruit juices work as liver cleansers
Magnesium helps overcome neuromuscular tension of the heart. Magnesium-rich foods include dals, nuts, seafood, whole grains, wheat grass juice or any green juice.
Regular use of chamomile tea helps to relax the body and calm the mind.
Ayurvedic herbs like brahmi, shanka pushpi, jatamansi and tagar helps to reduce stress and anxiety.
Learn to calm your nerves through meditation, pranayam, yoga and speech control, which raise our level of awareness and strengthen heart muscles.

Q: I’m a 25-year-old management trainee. From the time I’ve started working, I’ve put on weight near my tummy and thighs. I barely have any time to exercise, so I try to eat healthy. However, it seems I’m a slave of my taste buds and therefore tend to give in to my temptations easily. Can you please suggest how I can stick to my diet?

A: Everyone desires to be healthy, but many lack the willpower to do so. However, if your cravings begin to rule your life, your energy levels and your health, then you desperately need to develop willpower to overcome your addictions.

Here are tips
Becoming aware of the potential damage that such cravings can cause to your health. This may sufficiently motivate you to give them up.
Write down exactly what you desire and keep that paper in your wallet. When you write this down and read it, you subconsciously begin the process of searching for answers.
Focus on your new regime, and begin practising it. You may find yourself going back, but don’t let that hinder your progress. Reread your motivation, bounce right back and once again you will find the road to better health.

(Dr Anjali Mukerjee is a nutritionist and founder of Health Total, a nutrition counselling centre)

First Published: Aug 11, 2011 15:21 IST