Last month, my mother told me she was having heart trouble. She noticed her heart was beating too hard and she had a frightening experience where she felt her heart skip (to the point that she thought she was about to die).
To give you some background, my mom (a respiratory therapist) has always been the 'health nut' of our family. She has always maintained her weight, been very active, and careful to eat healthy foods.
Unfortunately, she was a heavy smoker from the time she was 14 to the time of her quitting at the age of 49 (13 years ago). She quit many times in her adult life, but always fell back into the habit.
There's no way to know for sure what caused Mom's artery blockages, but I suspect smoking is the major culprit. It certainly isn't a stretch to imagine the damage smoking did to her heart.
After Mom's scary 'heart skipping' experience, did she go to the hospital? No, she didn't! Instead, she waited until she went to work the next day and ran an EKG on herself. Once she saw the results of the EKG, she called and made an appointment with her doctor.
At her appointment, the doctor ran another EKG but wasn't too concerned, due to the results of the test. My mom asked the doctor if he would like to see the EKG she ran after her 'heart episode', and he said he would. Once the doctor saw the results of her initial EKG, he became quite alarmed and referred Mom to a cardiologist to have an angiogram done.
The angiogram showed Mom had an 80% blockage in her right artery and a 75% blockage in her left artery. The cardiologist then arranged for Mom to undergo a heart stent procedure.
My aunt and I took Mom to the hospital last Thursday, to have the procedure done. It took all of 45 minutes and was very successful. Mom's surgeon showed my aunt and I the before and after photos of Mom's heart. It was fascinating! I told Mom she's going to feel at least ten years younger!
So back to my New Year's resolutions... When someone you love goes through a health challenge, it really gets you to thinking. What does my heart look like? It's very concerning to tell you the truth.
I came across this article today, called "The Seed That Staves Off Heart Disease".
Apparently, eating sesame seeds can help your heart by bringing down cholesterol and boosting blood levels of heart-cell-protective antioxidants.
Out with the Bad, In with the GoodDid you know hummus is made with tahini paste (made from sesame seeds)? I have always wanted to try it. I love Mediterranean food so something tells me I'm going to love it!
In a study, postmenopausal women who took 50 grams (a little more than 3 tablespoons) of sesame seed powder daily for 5 days reduced their total and bad (LDL) cholesterol. But that's not all. The women also had lower blood levels of substances linked to lipid peroxidation and oxidative stress (both of which cause cell damage) and higher levels of heart-protective vitamin E.
As part of my New Year's resolutions, I want to start eating more vegetables. Ideally, I want to make those vegetable servings raw. Supposedly, hummus makes a great veggie dip. If interested, watch this YouTube video of a lady making hummus dip.
I'm going to do something good for my heart and make sesame seeds a regular part of my diet. How about you?
Thanks for reading!
My 5 New Year's Resolutions
Top 10 New Year's Resolutions
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