When the blood supply to the heart is stopped or slows down given a blockage in the heart, is when a heart attack takes place. More than 90% of heart attacks caused are due to build of plaque in the arteries, also known as Atherosclerosis. A heart attack can also occur when a coronary artery contract or goes into a spasm, which is sever temporarily. This leads to shutting down of blood flow to the heart. The amount of time that the blood flow to the heart is cut down will determine how much the damage has been caused to the heart.
Given the stressful lives we lead today coupled with the lifestyle habits that most of us follow, heart attacks and other coronary diseases have become commonplace. It is important that all of us are aware of the warning signs and that we take measures to keep our heart healthy. Thousands of people all over the world die of a heart attack because they do not receive medical help in time.
Understanding the warning signs can not only help you save yourself, but may also help you save the life of a loved one. It is important to react quickly and therefore knowing the warning signs is imperative. While warning signs may vary from one person to another, chest pain and discomfort in the chest are the most common signs in both women and in men. While some may experience severe chest pain, others may only have some discomfort in the chest, while there are others who may have a combination of many symptoms.
A few red flags are listed include: Chest discomfort in the form of squeezing, fullness or pain, chest pressure, heaviness or burning. Discomfort in one’s back, arms, neck, jaw or shoulders. Sweating, shortness of breath, nausea and lightheadedness.
Adhering to heart health is important and including some foods that can help you keep your heart strong are discussed below:
Include oranges in your diet to reduce cholesterol, blood pressure and heart failure. The soluble fiber called pectin in oranges works well like a sponge. It works towards soaking up all the cholesterol in food. Potassium content in oranges helps keep blood pressure under control and also works towards counterbalancing salt. In fact it is also known that citrus pectin found in oranges can neutralize galectin-3, a protein that is known to scar heart tissue, which could lead to congestive heart failure. The pith and the pulp contain high amounts of pectin.
Kale helps prevent build of plaque in the arteries and therefore prevent Atherosclerosis. Kale has everything you need to keep your heart healthy. Folate, potassium, fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E and antioxidants content in kale are indeed good for your heart. It also contains a compound known as glucoraphanin that allows for the formation of a protective protein known as Nrf2, which prevent the build up of plaque.
Garlichelps reduce plaque build up and blood pressure. Garlic works towards ratcheting down an enzyme known as angiotensin, which causes the blood vessels to narrow. It also has an impact on prevent plaque build up.
Red wine helps increase good cholesterol or HDL and it also helps reduce unwanted clotting. While any alcohol helps move HDL up a few notches that can help prevent plaque, red wine has more benefits. Polyphenols hold the key to this benefit. However, consuming more than one glass a day can have some adverse effects on women like increasing the chances of breast cancer and damage to the heart as well.
Dark chocolate helps reduce blood pressure. Cocoa is rich in flavanols that helps improve flexibility of blood vessels. A few squares a day can do great good. Dark chocolate is better as the content of cocoa is higher.
Sardines are known to raise levels of HDL or good cholesterol and reduce triglycerides. Omega-3 Fatty Acid content found in cold water fish is beneficial for heart health. These are good fats that have a lowering effect on triglycerides and help in increasing the levels of HDL. They also help reduce fatal heart arrhythmias and also keep inflammation to a minimum. Inflammation is the main reason that plaque is destabilized, and leads to it rupturing and inducing a clot that could lead to a heart attack. While you can gain omega 3 fatty acids form plants sources such as flaxseeds as well, the ones found in fish are more powerful.
Lentils help reduce blood pressure. Lentils are good for the heart as they consume heart health boosting benefits that come from lean vegetable protein, folate, potassium, magnesium and fiber.
Almonds should be included in one’s diet to boost heart health as it helps keep arrhythmias in check and also helps lower bad cholesterol of LDL.
Including these heart health boosting foods are indeed a great addition to one’s diet. Speak with a Registered Holistic Nutritionist to learn how you can include more foods that will help you keep your heart strong. In fact, alternate health routes such as Homeopathy too can do you heart a world of a difference and for that you must visit a Homeopathic center in your neighborhood.