vagus nerve

The vagus nerve, the tenth cranial nerve or cranial nerve X, is one of 12 cranial nerves, and the longest of them. It goes from the brainstem to the abdomen, forming part of the involuntary nervous system. It sends unconscious commands to various parts of the body including the heart, esophagus, and lungs, supporting functions such as heart rate and food digestion.

variant angina

Variant angina can also be called, Prinzmetal angina, Prinzmetal's variant angina, angina inversa. Unlike typical angina – which is often triggered by exertion or emotional stress - Prinzmetal’s angina almost always occurs when a person is at rest, usually between midnight and early morning. These attacks can be very painful. The pain from variant angina is caused by a spasm in the coronary arteries (which supply blood to the heart muscle).

The spasms tend to come in cycles – appearing for a time, then going away. After six to 12 months of treatment, doctors may gradually reduce the medication.


Vasodilators, also called blood vessel dilators, are drugs that cause the blood vessels (especially the arterioles) to expand in an effort to lower blood pressure and reduce the heart's workload. ACE inhibitors and nitrates are types of vasodilators.

vegetables and fruits

Vegetables and fruits are an important part of a healthy eating plan. They are high in vitamins, minerals and fiber and low in fat and calories. Eating a variety of vegetables and fruits may help you control your weight and blood pressure. The American Heart Association recommends eating eight or more fruit and vegetable servings every day. An average adult consuming 2,000 calories daily should aim for 4.5 cups of fruits and vegetables a day.

vegetarian diets

Most vegetarian diets are low in or devoid of animal products and are usually lower than non-vegetarian diets in total fat, saturated fat and cholesterol. Studies have shown that vegetarians seem to have a lower risk of obesity, coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes mellitus and some forms of cancer. The American Heart Association recommends a vegetarian diet should include a wide variety of foods and enough calories to meet energy needs. Choose whole or unrefined grain products. Use a variety of fruits and vegetables, including foods that are good sources of vitamins A and C. If you use dairy products, choose fat-free/nonfat and low-fat varieties. Keep intake of sweets and fatty foods to a minimum.

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