We can go above and beyond to keep our heart beating and keep ourselves free from cardiac ailments. And the traditional steps would include scheduling regular checkups, exercising every day, quitting smoking and reducing steps. These would definitely ensure a healthy heart in the long run. But the most impactful way to give your heart a 'happily ever after' therapy would be to check on what you eat.
You would be shocked to know that nearly six million people are living with heart failure and almost half of them would die within the next five years. Sudden Cardiac Arrest is majorly responsible for causality where the heart stops beating or doesn't beat sufficiently to maintain perfusion and life.
Now if you want to keep your heart beating the right way and stay away from heart ailments, I would suggest starting to make changes in your diet. It's not about leaving everything, rather eating it right.
To begin with, we have to reduce the intake of foods high in fat, cholesterol, or sodium and increase eating vitamins, minerals, good cholesterol and trace elements to keep it balanced.
India is a land of lentils or as we love calling them dals. There are more than 100 varieties of dal available in India. Start adding dals to your meal everyday. can all significantly reduce levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or "bad cholesterol." Loaded with fibre, protein, and antioxidant polyphenols, dal is a superfood to be added to your diet.
Fish is one of the major sources of omega-3 fatty acids and protein. Omega-3 fatty acids help in keeping the heart healthy. We often recommend people to increase their intake of Omega-3s by eating fish. It decreases the risk of abnormal heartbeats and slows the growth of plaque in the arteries. If you believe in research, you should be eating 100 grams of fish daily. While salmon, mackerel, herring, trout and sardines are the best, there is no harm in eating fresh river fish that is readily available in Indian markets.
Nobody has heard of Poppeye suffering a cardiac arrest. That's because he had added spinach in his daily diet. Being rich in magnesium, spinach helps to keep heart rhythm healthy. We call it one of the best sources of dietary magnesium with great health benefits.
Chia seeds and flaxseeds
Now available readily in the market, Chia seeds and flaxseeds are superfoods. These are some of the major sources of plant-based omega-3 fatty acids viz. alpha-linolenic acid. Taking chia seeds regularly will help to lower levels of triglycerides, LDL, and total cholesterol. Omega-3s decrease the risk of irregularities in the system that can lead to heart attack, such as thrombosis and arrhythmias.
The sweet and juicy citrus fruits make Indian winter worth the wait. But did you know oranges can also help in keeping heart attacks away? True that. Oranges are rich in cholesterol-fighting fibre pectin. These also contain potassium, which keeps blood pressure on check. Study reveals, two cups of fresh orange juice daily boosts blood vessel health.
About Author: The author of the article is Dr Debabrata Roy, Honorary General Secretary of Cardiological Society of India (CSI) and a Senior Consulting Interventional Cardiologist. Dr Roy is a part of an initiative by CSI to make people aware of Sudden Cardiac Arrest amongst the masses.
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.