CPR First Aid

What Food is Best for the Heart?

What Food is Best for the Heart

The Heart Foundation, a peak body that works to improve heart disease prevention in Australia, identifies which food is best for the heart. It mentions vegetables, fruits, whole grains, protein-rich food, dairy, sources of healthy fat, herbs, and spices. These contain nutrients that help protect your heart especially if you choose the healthiest options. Maintaining a good diet may help prevent common heart problems such as stroke, vascular disease, and others. While first aid and hospital treatments are available for these, it may be best to avoid them by adding the following food to your daily meals. 

What Food is Best for the Heart?

It is ideal to add the following food for a healthy heart to your daily meals.

It is ideal to add the following food for a healthy heart to your daily meals.

Vegetables, Fruits, and Whole Grains

Such food contains a variety of vitamins, minerals, fibre, and antioxidants which are good for the heart. The nutrients help minimise the buildup of plaque in the lining of the arteries from cholesterol and other substances.

Whole grains such as brown rice, wholemeal pasta, grainy bread, and oats contain fibre which also helps improve cholesterol levels.

It is why these are known to help prevent heart issues such as cardiac arrest, atherosclerosis, stroke, and even type 2 diabetes.

Protein-Rich Food

The Heart Foundation considers plant-based varieties as the best sources of protein which include beans, chickpeas, lentils, nuts, and seeds. Fish, seafood, eggs, poultry, and red meat also contribute to heart-healthy eating patterns but it’s best to limit them.

Protein is a good source of energy which the heart needs for its functions. Studies also show that this food group helps lower your risk of heart disease. 

Dairy

Unflavored versions of milk, yoghurt, and cheese are the healthiest options because there is no sugar. These may be good additional sources of calcium, protein, and other minerals that help the heart and overall health. However, research suggests they have a neutral effect on the heart’s health, and do not increase or decrease your risk of heart disease.

Such products contain unhealthy fats so it is ideal to follow the Australian Dietary Guidelines of 2-4 servings per day to get enough calcium.

Sources of Healthy Fat

Avocados, olives, nuts, seeds, and healthy oils (olive, canola, sunflower, peanut, and soybean oil) are good healthy fat sources. It helps protect your heart and lower your cholesterol levels.

Herbs and Spices

Herbs and spices are a better option to add flavour to your meals instead of using salt. Too much of it may lead to high blood pressure which is a risk factor for heart diseases.

It’s also good to read the labels and nutritional facts of food products to find which have the least amount of salt.

Why Eat Food for a Healthy Heart?

As mentioned above, eating foods that are best for the heart lowers your cholesterol levels and reduces your risk of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. A healthy heart may mean you prevent yourself from being one of the Australians who suffer from heart problems. 

As mentioned above, eating foods that are best for the heart lowers your cholesterol levels and reduces your risk of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. A healthy heart may mean you prevent yourself from being one of the Australians who suffer from heart problems. 

What is the Statistics about Heart Problems in Australia?

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) reports the following data on its website.

  • 6.2% of adults (1.2 million) had 1 or more conditions related to heart, stroke, or vascular disease from 2017 to 2018
  • There were 56,700 acute coronary events (heart attack or unstable angina) that occurred in 2020 (around 155 every day)
  • There were 39,500 stroke events in 2020 (more than 100 every day)

The same government agency states that cardiovascular diseases are the underlying cause of 42,700 deaths in 2021.

What are the Common Heart Problems in Australia?

The AIHW outlines the following causes of cardiovascular disease hospitalisations from 2020 to 2021.

  • Coronary heart disease 
  • Heart failure and cardiomyopathy
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Stroke
  • Peripheral arterial disease
  • Congenital heart disease
  • Rheumatic heart disease
  • Hypertensive disease

The Australian Genetic Heart Disease and Registry also states that sudden cardiac arrest is one of Australia’s biggest causes of death and disability.

What are the Symptoms of Heart Problems?

Sources from across the web mention the following warning signs.

  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Heartburn or indigestion
  • Palpitations
  • Sweating
  • Nausea
  • Chest pain
  • Fainting
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Pain in one or both arms

A person having a heart problem may also suffer from jaw and neck pain.

What is the First Aid for Heart Problems?

Call 000 for an ambulance in case of emergency such as sudden cardiac arrest. Performing CPR may help while waiting for medical assistance. This is a life-saving skill you may learn 

in registered training organisations such as CPR First Aid (RTO NO 21903). A health professional may then provide additional treatments and advice.

What Other Lifestyle Changes Help the Heart?

Aside from maintaining a good diet for the heart, the application of the following lifestyle changes is also important for better health.

  • Do regular physical activity
  • Find ways to be less sedentary
  • Quit smoking

It’s also helpful to see a doctor for a Heart Health Check to learn about your current health status, possible risks, and prevention.

Aside from maintaining a good diet for the heart, the application of the following lifestyle changes is also important for better health.

Conclusion

The foods that are best for the heart include vegetables, fruits, whole grains, protein sources, dairy, healthy fats, herbs, and spices. Adding these to your daily diet may help lower your cholesterol levels and reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. Applying such dietary changes may help prevent common heart problems, cardiac arrest, and heart attacks that cause death and disability. However, it’s also important to make other healthy lifestyle choices such as regular physical activity, being less sedentary, and quitting smoking.

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