Angina is one of those alarming health conditions that affect millions of people worldwide. While every millennial’s standard of living has bettered, the quality of diet and lifestyle, especially in the urban area, has somehow deteriorated. Imbalanced diet has led to several cardiac issues, including angina. Therefore, it has become very important to work on the diet and ensure that all the heart-friendly components are present in optimum quantity.
Angina is a health condition associated with left side chest pain often felt as squeezing, heaviness, tightness or fullness in the chest area. It is due to coronary artery disease whereby the excess accumulation of fatty materials (known as Plaques) on the inner walls of the coronary arteries causes them to narrow, leading to restricted blood flow to the heart. So, when the body engages in physical exertions, the increased oxygen demand is not met due to the narrowed arteries leading to episodes of chest pain clinically known as angina. Sedentary lifestyle, unhealthy diet, high blood pressure and cholesterol level, obesity, stress, anxiety, etc. are some of the major risk factors.
What are the recommended heart-healthy food habits for angina patients?
Following are some clinically proven diet tips that can help keep angina at bay:
1. Include Fresh Fruits & Vegetables in Your Diet
Try adding as many vegetables and fruits to your diet as possible. They are rich sources of essential vitamins and minerals. While low in calories, vegetables and fruits have optimum dietary fibre.
Always remember to thoroughly wash your vegetables before cutting and preserving them in the refrigerator. It ensures the elimination of harmful germs and keeps items fresh and hygienic.
2. Go for Whole Grains
Whole grains are rich sources of fibre that help in regulating blood pressure and keep other cardiac issues at bay. It is beneficial to replace refined grain products with whole grains or go for new whole grains like quinoa, barley, etc.
3. Put Restrictions on Unhealthy Fat
Limiting saturated and trans fat intake plays a vital role in regulating blood cholesterol level. It also reduces the chances of coronary artery disease. Since high blood cholesterol can lead to the accumulation of plaques (fatty deposits) in the coronary arteries, it is very important to ensure arterial health, thus safeguarding against cardiac issues.
The American Heart Association recommends everyone to abide by the following:
When having meat, it is advisable to trim off the extra fat or go for lean meat items with less than 10% fat. When using fat items, you should go for monounsaturated fats like olive oil or canola oil. Certain fish, avocados, nut and seeds are also rich in polyunsaturated fats which are considered extremely beneficial for the heart.
4. Go for Low-fat Protein
When going for protein-rich items like lean meat, fish, poultry, dairy products, etc., always choose low-fat options like skimmed milk, skinless chicken breasts, etc. Fishes rich in omega-three fatty acids is a good recommendation as they help in lowering triglyceride levels. Vegetarian sources include walnuts, flaxseeds, soybeans, etc.
5. Minimize Dietary Sodium
Unregulated sodium intake is one of the primary causes of high blood pressure and other cardiovascular issues. The American Heart Association recommends that a healthy adult should limit their sodium intake at 2300mg/day.
Remember to create daily menus when going for the above dietary recommendations. Ensure that the daily requirements are properly met and ensure that your diet contains a healthy balance of all the essential components mentioned above.