You will have heard about hypertension or high blood pressure, but have you heard of ‘masked’ hypertension?
Before you get your superhero mode going, let me tell you that masked hypertension is a serious concern to both doctors and patients.
You will know that some patients who visit a doctor have high blood pressure in their clinic.
This is called ‘white coat hypertension’.
There is however a condition where the blood pressure is normal in the clinic but high at home.
This is called masked hypertension and is often missed.
Here are some facts you need to know about masked hypertension –
- 13% of the population of Karnataka (my state) have masked hypertension, according to the India Heart Study.
- Hypertension is a silent killer, and masked hypertension is possibly its worst kind.
- Patients with masked hypertension are relatively younger and are male.
- Masked hypertension is associated with an increased risk of heart disease-related complications such as heart attacks and stroke.
- The best way to diagnose masked hypertension is to undergo an ambulatory blood pressure monitoring test.
- Treating patients with this condition can prevent complications and prolong life.
Hypertension is a problem, and data in India shows that a lot of patients have this form of hidden hypertension.
I was recently a coordinator of a national study that looked at this aspect of blood pressure. Surprisingly, this found nearly 13% of the population in Karnataka state (where I hail from) have masked hypertension.
I will be discussing different forms of hypertension in a guide soon!
I recently had the pleasure of traveling to Thailand with my family. Apart from the sweltering heat of the summer months, I had the privilege of enjoying local cuisine, especially street food. I have been a fan of Thai food for years, and the experience I had was certainly a memorable
One spice I noted that they add in almost everything was lemongrass. Apart from its pungent smell and remarkable taste, lemongrass has a number of health benefits, especially as a tea.
Lemongrass tea is a common drink available in Bangkok. The compounds released by lemongrass into warm water include chlorogenic acid, isoorientin, and swertiajaponin – 3 elements that have powerful anti-inflammatory properties and the capability of fighting free radicals that harm our vital organs.
In one study, drinking lemongrass tea was found to reduce levels of anxiety and stress. The extract of lemongrass has been shown in some animal studies to lower cholesterol levels.
It may help boost immunity, particularly in fighting fungal infections. Chewing on lemongrass stalks is believed to improve dental health and keep the mouth clean. This is because the compounds can inhibit bacterial overgrowth in the mouth. Regular consumption of lemongrass tea can increase your hemoglobin levels and can be used as a treatment for anemia.
Lemongrass may have a ‘diuretic effect’, meaning it pushes the kidneys to produce more urine.
Lemongrass is readily available in India, so why not give lemongrass tea a go today?
As a child, I wasn’t really a fan of cauliflower. The whole shape and texture were a real put off.
However, over the years, probably due to lack of choice, I have begun to enjoy this veggie thoroughly, and I am glad I have. It has so many health benefits, and I thought I would list them here today.
Firstly, cauliflower is packed with nutrients. Not only does it contain a good quantity of fibre; it also is
rich in minerals such as potassium, manganese and phosphorus. It is a good source of B complex vitamins and folic acid as well.
One serving of cauliflower contains around 3 grams of fibre, which can help maintain healthy bowels and a healthy heart. The fibre also helps lower cholesterol and has a role in cancer prevention as well.
As with most vegetables, cauliflower is a good source of powerful antioxidants – a group of compounds that can fight harmful free radicals that are responsible for numerous medical conditions and even premature ageing.
Given that over 90% of cauliflower is water, it becomes a low calorie yet highly nutritious food source that can help you lose weight.
Most importantly, cauliflower has choline – a nutrient that is essential in synthesis of DNA. Choline has a role in maintaining healthy brain function and has been found to help lower the risk of heart disease, liver disease and even memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease.
Make sure you get your weekly portion of cauliflower as a part of your healthy diet!