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Tips for healthy heart

A heart attack is a serious medical condition (myocardial infarction) where the supply of blood is suddenly blocked by a blood clot. Lack of blood to heart would damage the heart muscle seriously and that’s a life threatening.

Symptoms of heart attack:

  • Pain or discomfort in chest: Most attacks involve discomfort in centre of chest which just lasts more than a few minutes. It feels like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing or fullness or pain.
  • Nausea or vomiting or light-headedness
  • Jaw, neck or back pain (this is rare)
  • Discomfort or pain in arm or shoulder
  • Shortness of breath

If you feel these symptoms to someone near you, please share and for safe side go for the tests done like – lipid profile, ECG, 2d Echo and consult a cardiologist as soon as possible.

Function of the heart:  Human heart is an organ which pumps blood all over the body through the circulatory system. It also supplies nutrients and oxygen to tissues and removes carbon-di-oxide and other wastes. If heart fails to do the function, the tissues begin to die.

Common heart ailments:

Coronary artery disease: Blood vessels carry oxygenated blood to heart and get blocked due to deposition of plaque and it forces the heart to pump harder. This is because of high blood cholesterol levels.
Myocardial infraction: It’s commonly known as heart attack and it’s fatal.
Congestive heart failure: It’s a heart disease that develops as a result of CAD or MI. The heart of the patient supplies insufficient oxygenated blood to body. This causes fatigue and shortness of breath.
Risk factors which lead to heart disorders:

Age: the cardiac muscles start losing the tensile strength by age.

Gender: usually men are at greater risk of heart disease.

Family history : of course, family history of heart disease increases your risk of cad but in today’s generation due to sedentary lifestyle, people usually suffering with heart disease or diabetes or sudden death due to attack.

High blood pressure: uncontrolled high BP results in thickening of arteries.

High lipid profile: high triglycerides or cholesterol levels increases the risk of artery blockage.

Diabetes: it increases the probability of heart disease.

Obesity: obese person or overweight is one the reason.

Physical inactivity: if you are not active physically that increases your cholesterol levels and makes you lethargic.

Stress: stress may damage the arteries and lead to allowance of free radicals.

Smoking: nicotine in cigarettes constricts the blood vessels whereas the carbon mono oxide damages their inner lining.

Preventive tips for heart attack and healthy heart:

Smokers should quit smoking.35% heart related deaths are related directly to smoking.
Have a compulsory full body check-up twice yearly..
Lost weight if you are obese or overweight , maintain  a BMI in normal range
Stick to a regular physical activity; get out of the sedentary lifestyle. – try to walk at least for 30 minutes every day, include climbing stairs, gardening etc. This cuts risk of heart attack by half. Exercise reduces chances of heart attack. Regular physical activity strengthens the heart muscles.
Stressful jobs are responsible for heart attack. Choose a work place which is stress-free.
Eat a low fat, high fiber and moderate protein diet which include whole grain, fresh veggies and fruits. Eat in moderation. Combination of fruits and veggies in your diet gives you antioxidants which make your body free from toxins and free radicals. Tomatoes, lemon, spinach, carrots, broccoli, onions, garlic reduce cholesterol and fights free radical damage. You can include fish as it contains omega fatty acid which is good for heart.
Control alcohol consumption.
Assume your body as a train coach and engine as your heart. The train coaches are like our body parts (kidney, liver, brain etc). So the engine which takes the coaches along is our heart. As without engine, the train cannot run, the same way without our heart our body cannot. So take care of your heart and body.

Tips for healthy heart:

Consume healthy fat: Try avoiding saturated fats and Tran’s fat. High fat contain products like bakery products, fried foods, red meat. Use healthy oils like mustard, olive. Include fish like salmon, sardines and tuna. Veg sources of omega 3 fatty acids are flaxseeds, sunflower seeds, olive oil, almonds, and walnuts.
Restrict salt intake: Don’t add extra table salt in your diet as extra salt increases blood pressure. Cut down on processed and canned foods. Avoid high salt crackers and snacks. Use pink rock salt.
Include traditional foods in diet: Traditional foods like whole grains which are good source of fibre, minerals and vitamins. It helps to regulate blood pressure. Include millets, cereals, quinoa, oats and bran.
Consume fruits and vegetables:  fruits and vegetables have some antioxidant which reduces stress, decreases cholesterol and controls plaque formation. It improves one’s immunity. You can eat raw vegetables, can make a soup of veggies or juice but do not strain them as the fiber content in them vanishes.
Limit alcohol and sugar intake: Alcohol reduces good cholesterol. It affects your heart rate and causes weight gain. Excess sugar is converted into fat and gets stored in body. So limit the intake of sugar, have in moderation.
Control portion size: Use small plates or tsps. While you dine out, order only the amount as to which your body can accept. Stop binge eating.
Physical activity:  As said above, include 30 minutes of walk everyday as a routine which is necessary for the heat to function properly or do cardio workout every day for 30 minutes and its proven to improve cardiac stamina and capacity. It helps to reduce cholesterol, weight management, reduces stress. Include swimming, dance workouts like aerobics or Zumba or yoga.
Stress and sleep: Sleep for at least 8 hours which allows your body to rejuvenate and helps your skin to glow. Meditate for at least 5 to 10 minutes every day to keep your mind calm. Start an activity which de stresses your mind. Listen to music or dance or any other thing which you like.
Sample diet plan for heart patients:

The diet can be followed by a normal person also who wants to have a healthy heart.

On waking up (empty stomach):  1 glass of warm water with pinch of cinnamon + 2-4 garlic pods

After half an hour: tea / coffee with 1 marie biscuit (optional)

Breakfast: 3 idly / 2 moong dal chilla /2 rawa dosa / daliya 1 cup

Mid-morning – 1 cup green tea with any one seasonal fruit

Lunch:  1 cup rice/ 2 chapati with veggies and dal with salads and buttermilk or curd.

If you are a non-vegetarian then you can include egg whites/ chicken/fish.

Mid evening:  tea or coffee

After half an hour: 1 more fruit + 5 almonds and 2 walnuts with 1 tsp flaxseed

Dinner: 2 ragi roti with veggies and dal or you can repeat breakfast or lunch options

Bed time: 1 cup low fat milk with pinch of turmeric powder.

Take care of your health. Eat smart. Drink 2-3 litres of water everyday as it helps to flush out toxins from your body. It’s your body, you have to live in. Hope these tips would help you now and even in future. Please do share with your family and friends.

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