A heart attack is one of the most common ailments affecting the global population and is generally caused due to a poor lifestyle and unhealthy eating habits. In fact, a majority of people suffering from heart disease can easily avoid the problems by simple changes in their everyday living and diet. Contrary to the popular belief, maintaining heart health is not as complicated as it is made to believe. However, in order to ensure the same, it is important to first understand the reasons and symptoms of this ailment.
What Causes Heart Attacks
The most common cause of heart attack is known to be coronary heart disease, which in turn results from the clogging of coronary arteries by fatty calcified plaques. In case a part of the plaque breaks inside artery it results in the formation of a blood clot that causes damage and death to the heart muscle by preventing the supply of oxygen-rich blood to it. This specific condition is often referred to as congestive heart failure and if not treated immediately can lead to the death of an individual.
Symptoms Of Heart Attack
In order to ensure timely heart disease treatment, it is important for the patients to have a clear understanding of its various symptoms. A severe pain or pressure in the chest is one of the most common symptoms of heart disease. However, the patients might also experience one or more of the following symptoms.
- Pain, fullness, and/or squeezing sensation in the chest
- Jaw pain, toothache, headache
- Shortness of breath and sweating
- Nausea, vomiting, and/or general discomfort in upper middle abdomen
- Heartburn and/or indigestion
- Arm pain more commonly felt in the left arm, but maybe in either arm
- Upper back pain
- A generally vague feeling of illness
What is more threatening is that some patients might not actually experience any symptoms, in which case the heart attack is considered to be silent. Silent heart attacks are especially common amongst patients with diabetes mellitus. In addition, the signs of heart attack in men might be completely different and varied from the signs of heart attack in women.
Saving The Heart With The Right Diet
Rather than spending a fortune on heart failure treatment, it is advisable for an individual to ensure the safety of their heart by focusing on the food they eat. By making the below mentioned heart-healthy foods an integral part of their everyday diet, such individuals can minimize the risk of developing a heart disease by a significant margin.
Fatty fishes such as salmon, sardines and mackerel are considered to be the superstars when it comes to choosing foods that keep the heart healthy. These fishes are a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids which are known to reduce the risk of irregular heartbeat and plaque build-up in the arteries. Eating such fatty fish at least twice a week can go a long way in maintaining the heart health.
Nuts such as almonds, pistachios, walnuts and peanuts form an integral part of any heart-healthy diet. They not only contain large quantities of fibre that is good for the heart but are also a rich source of vitamin E, which helps in fighting bad cholesterol. Walnuts are also a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids which help in lowering the risk of heart problems considerably. Consuming a handful of various nuts on a daily basis is one of the best foods to be consumed for keeping the heart healthy.
Red wine contains high quantities of resveratrol, a compound having antioxidant properties. It is known to help reduce cholesterol and enhance arterial health which is the key to keeping the heart healthy. Consuming a 4-ounce glass of red wine each day can prove extremely beneficial in maintaining the fitness and well-being of the heart. However, it is important to understand that excessive consumption of the beverage can have negative consequences.
For most people, oatmeal is one of the best foods good for the heart as it is high in soluble fibre and helps in reducing cholesterol. However, in order to gain the best benefits of this heart-healthy food, it is important to consume it in its plain, non-processed form. The processed variants of oatmeal are often known to have high quantities of sugar which negate the natural health benefits of this food.
Be its strawberries, blueberries or any other type of berries, consuming them on a regular basis can help enhance heart health in a significant manner. This is because the berries are a rich source of resveratrol and flavonoids along with various other antioxidants, which help in reducing the risk of coronary heart disease. Creating heart-healthy meals is as simple as adding a handful of berries to a bowl of oatmeal, yoghurt or even a glass of smoothie.