How does Potassium Rich Diet Lowers the Blood Pressure?

potassium hypertension

Foods that are rich in potassium are important in controlling high blood pressure or hypertension because potassium diminishes the effects of sodium in the body. The more potassium you eat, the more sodium is excreted in urine. Potassium also aids to decrease the tension in the walls of stiff blood vessels, which helps further to lower the blood pressure.

Supplementing potassium through daily diet is suggested for adults with blood pressure above 120/80 mmHg who are otherwise healthy. But be aware Potassium can be dangerous for patients with chronic kidney disease, it is a condition that affects the ability of the body to handle potassium. People who take prescription medications should also consult their physician before supplementing potassium to their diet.

The prescribed potassium consumption for an average adult is 4,700 milligrams (mg) per day. Many of the elements of the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet — fruits, fresh vegetables, dairy products and fish — are rich and natural sources of potassium. For example, a medium-sized banana has about 400 mg of potassium and half a cup of mashed sweet potatoes has 470 mg.

Here is a list of other potassium-rich foods include:

• Apricot Juice or Whole Apricots
• Honeydew melon and Cantaloupe
• Avocados
• Milk and Other Dairy Products
• Fat-free yogurt
• Grapefruit or Grapefruit juice (Grapefruit Juice can interact with cholesterol Lowering Drugs)
• Green Vegetables
• Halibut
• Lima beans
• Molasses
• Mushrooms
• Orange Juice and Whole Oranges
• Potatoes
• Peas
• Prunes
• Dates and Raisins
• Spinach
• Tomatoes
• Tuna Fish
Potassium-rich diet is one of the components of the Blood pressure lowering plan. Even though potassium can balance out the blood pressure-raising effects of sodium, eating more potassium should be combined with your efforts to get rid of that excess salt in your meals and develop other heart-healthy eating and lifestyle habits.

Is it possible to have high levels of potassium?

Excess potassium can be harmful to people with kidney disorders. As weak kidneys are unable able to remove excess potassium from the blood, and because of this, too much potassium may build up in the body.

Often, like hypertension, there are not many symptoms of high potassium levels in the blood (hyperkalemia). A person with high levels of potassium in the blood can have pain abdomen, weak or irregular pulse and can even faint in some instances.

One should always consult with a healthcare professional before buying any over-the-counter potassium supplement. You should also ask your cardiologist before trying any salt substitutes, Such substitutes can raise potassium in people with certain health conditions as discussed above.

3 Tips to Create a Heart Healthy Workplace – Infographic

Heart health just isn’t about one factor. Take exercise, for example. You can workout every day of the week, but unless you also eat well, your heart may not be able to reap the full benefits of that sweat time. And the same with eating: If you rely on lean meat and salads and fruit, that’s great. But without a strong muscle (your heart), your body will be lacking.

And heart health doesn’t stop being a concern for certain hours of the day. While what you do at home for your heart health is important, what you do while you’re at work is important, too. If you’re completely sedentary at work, that impacts your heart. If you indulge in donuts and sugary drinks at work, that works against your heart health. If you experience severe stress at work, that impacts your heart too. What else should you be concerned about for your heart health at work? This graphic explains it.

Keep Your Heart Healthy at the Office

Recommended Reads

12 Steps To Lower Blood Pressure Naturally Without Drugs
Top 3 Breathing Exercises for lowering High Blood Pressure
Top Foods and Supplements for Reversing High Blood Pressure [Video]

Top Foods and Supplements for Reversing High Blood Pressure [Video]

Today I will be sharing with you, supplements and foods for treating high blood pressure. Blood pressure can be easily balanced out if you follow the steps mentioned below. High blood pressure is usually caused by excess consumption of sodium, everyday stress, poor nutrition and lack of exercise.

There are three particular nutrients you want to get in your food if you have high blood pressure:
1. Potassium
2. Antioxidants
3. Omega-3 fatty acids
4. Magnesium
Foods you should avoid :
1. Excess of sodium
2. Processed sugar
The best supplements to naturally treat high blood pressure:
1. Fish oil
2. Coenzyme Q 10
3. Magnesium
4. Garlic
Essential oils to use are:
1. Lavender essential oil
Lastly, a person suffering from high blood pressure should exercise 20-30 minutes, three times per week. By following these suggestions, you will be on the right path to naturally lower your blood pressure. For more information on blood pressure, you can check out the following video by Dr. Josh Axe.

Vegetarian and Mediterranean Diets: Both Equally Beneficial for Cardiovascular Health

Diet and nutrition have been long proven to be an important factor that changes the condition of cardiovascular health. Different kinds of diets require consumption of various foods that alter the health of your body. For a long time, the Mediterranean diets have been hailed as the healthiest eating style for the prevention of cardiovascular diseases. The diet requires regular consumption of fresh produce, nuts, olive oil, whole grains and lean meat. While cutting down on the use of fatty red meat, sugars, and processed foods. The elimination of processed food makes the diet automatically a better way of life for the people suffering from heart conditions.

However, a new study published in the Circulation journal concluded in showing that a vegetarian or more specifically, a Lacto-Ovo vegetarian diet, to be equally as beneficial for maintaining cardiovascular health as a Mediterranean diet.

The study was conducted by four Italian researchers from University of Florence and Careggi University Hospital, to observe how both diets compare to each other in terms of influencing heart health. The researchers recruited 118 clinically healthy adults between the ages of 18-75, with low-to-moderate cardiovascular risk profiles.

Half of the group was directed to follow a traditional Mediterranean diet, while the other half started a Lacto-ovo vegetarian diet, which required the elimination of all kinds of meat and fish, but included dairy and eggs. Each group followed the diet for three months.

The study was a cross-over comparison study, which meant that the participants switched to the other diets for another 3 months after the following the first one. During the study participants were regularly counseled and advised on the diets they were following.

This included detailed meal plans and a list of foods to include and exclude. During both phases of the study, the participants were screened regularly. For both diets, the researchers advised participants to consume 50-55 percent of their calories from carbohydrates, 20-30 percent from fats and 15-20 percent from lean protein.

The findings of the study showed that participants on both diets had lost 4 pounds overall. Also, both the diets were capable of significantly improving the overall cardiovascular health of the participants.

The results of the study are not as shocking because both diets overlapped in many areas, requiring consumption of the same food groups. Both diets allowed the consumption of dairy, eggs, whole grains, produce and nuts; only eliminating meat and fish products.

The vegetarian diet was observed to be significantly more effective in reducing the low-density lipoprotein (LDL) i.e. the bad cholesterol that accelerates plaque buildup in arteries. The Mediterranean diet however reduced triglycerides that increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.

The researchers concluded the study with a statement from Professor Francesco Sofi (M.D., Ph.D.) who said that “the take-home message from our study is that a low-calorie Lacto-ovo vegetarian diet can help reduce cardiovascular risk about the same as a low-calorie Mediterranean diet.”

The team of the researchers suggests that, even though the study has provided persuasive evidence regarding dietary patterns and cardiovascular health, there is a need for more studies. These studies should study and compare how these two diets affect the cardiovascular risk in patients with a higher heart disease. This would help physicians in the future to better guide their patients about maintaining a healthy lifestyle that benefits their cardiovascular health.

Cardiovascular Diseases in Young Women

Cardiovascular diseases or in the common mans’ language, heart diseases are commonly associated with older people. But according to cardiologists, young people suffer from heart diseases more than people realize. More specifically heart problems were associated with older men more than women. But a study in 1984 determined that women suffered and died because of cardiovascular problems more often than men.

To spread more awareness, on February 3rd women all around America don red apparel to commemorate the National Wear Red Day. The American Heart Association has marked this day to raise awareness for the diseases which claim the lives of 500,000 women each year around the world. Cardiovascular diseases are still to this day, the number one cause of death in women of all ages. Although older women are more likely to develop a heart attack, 15,000 young women under the age of 50 die from them.

Many young women, who believe in the misconception stated above, tend to ignore the right actions which help prevent heart diseases. Although there is much more awareness now because of survivors, like Rosie O’Donnell, speaking up about their experiences many young women still remain unaware. This becomes a problem when this unawareness leads to them ignoring signs of heart diseases.

According to a survey done by cardiologists at the American Heart Association, women tend to be unaware of the symptoms when they are having a heart attack and ignore it thinking it might be indigestion or heartburn. This may be due to the fact that many women experience different symptoms than men. If you are unaware and seem to experience any of the following symptoms then you might need a heart specialist immediately:

· Pain in Shoulder or Neck

Like many others who experience excruciating pain in their chest, young women especially with no prior health conditions experience pain in the neck, left arm and shoulder rather than the chest. Few women who suffered reported that they did not even experience extreme pain, instead they experience only discomfort. In the case of extreme discomfort get immediate attention from a heart specialist.

· Shortness of Breath

While shortness of breath might be associated with being winded, intense shortness of breath might be an indicator of an incoming heart attack. An extreme shortness of breath indicates a heart issue when it is accompanied with chest pains. Get a cardiologist to investigate if you are experiencing this symptom.

· Fatigue

Although a little bit of fatigue after a long day is very normal, extended experiences of fatigue can be a sign of the insufficient amount of oxygen on your blood, which is an indicator of a heart disease.

· Racing Heartbeat

A racing heartbeat is normal after rigorous exercise which eventually subsides in a few minutes. In younger women especially a fast heartbeat without any heavy exercise is abnormal and shouldn’t be ignored.

Indigestion, dizziness, nausea and constant sweating might also be indicators of an underlying heart condition needing urgent attention. And if any of the symptoms go ignored, it may lead to a more complicated problem.

As per the saying, prevention is the cure, taking precaution is a smarter way to save you from any bigger issues later on in life. Especially when routines are more hectic and there is more stress, a yearly checkup with a cardiologist very important. Whether or not you are experiencing one or more symptoms, getting a full work up from a heart expert will rule out any possible heart disease and save you any distress later.

5 Greatest Cholesterol Myths You Shouldn’t Believe

In a recent study conducted by the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a huge majority of Americans (75 %) stated that they had their cholesterol levels monitored at least once in the last five years.

Despite the popularity of the cholesterol investigations among the patients, many individuals are not aware of the proper interpretation of the results. The saddest part is that most of them aren’t even choosing the right cholesterol tests at all.

A complete cholesterol test, for example, shows you nearly nothing about your health condition. What you actually need to comprehend is how much high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) you have and, beyond that, the size of the LDL particles.

If you are confused, it’s not your mistake. Cholesterol has been widely promoted as a causative agent of ischemic heart diseases for decades, and countless have diligently removed all cholesterol-rich foods (which are usually also nutrient-dense food items) from their nutrition as a result.

Others have decided to go for cholesterol-lowering statin medications at the direction of their physicians. More than one in four Americans over the age of 45 years take them, despite their endless list of side effects and questionable effectiveness.

But the genuine question is this: do you really need to be anxious about your deranged cholesterol levels?

Is cholesterol the real culprit that it’s portrayed to be, silently attacking the coronary arteries and putting you at high risk of heart attack? The answer is no, for most of the individuals. So let’s expose some of the most widely circulated cholesterol myths.

Top Cholesterol Myths Busted!

Myth no 1: Cholesterol Is a Bad Entity

Cholesterol is not essentially bad. If it were, your liver wouldn’t produce it (liver makes about 3/4 or more of your body’s cholesterol—that’s how valuable it is).

Many of the nutrient-dense foods are rich in saturated fats and cholesterol, yet cholesterol has been demonized since the early 1950s following the popularization of Ancel Keys’ flawed research.

In fact, cholesterol has many health benefits. It plays an important role in coordinating protein pathways involved in cell signaling and also regulate other cellular processes, for instance.

It’s already known that cholesterol plays an important role in building cell membranes, latest research also suggests that cholesterol also communicates with proteins inside the cells, adding even more importance. Your body is formed of trillions of cells that need to communicate with each other.

Cholesterol is the molecule that allows for these interactions to take place. For instance, it is the precursor for the formation of bile acids, so without adequate amounts of cholesterol, your digestive system can be negatively affected.

It also plays a crucial role in your brain, which comprises of about 25 percent of the cholesterol in your body. It is also essential for formation synapses. Synapses are the connections between the neurons, that enable you to think, learn new things, and form new memories.

Myth no 2: Cholesterol levels are dependent on your daily diet

This statement is false. The significant factor that influences the level of cholesterol is not the diet but heredity or Genetics. Your liver is meant to eliminate excess cholesterol from the body, but heredity plays a large part to determine your liver’s capacity to manage cholesterol to a normal level.

Take, for example, people with hereditary familial hypercholesterolemia. This is an ailment characterized by abnormally raised cholesterol, which tends to be resistant to lowering with lifestyle changes like diet and exercise.

Furthermore, eating nutrient dense cholesterol-rich foods is not something you should feel guilty about; they’re safe for you and will not derange your cholesterol levels as you may have been told. It’s calculated that only 20% of your blood cholesterol levels come from your diet.

One study of South Carolina adults discovered no association of blood cholesterol levels with the so-called “bad” dietary habits, such as eating red meat, animal fats, butter, egg yolks, whole milk, bacon, and cheese.

If you’re still concerned about the cholesterol in your diet, take a look at the recently released 2015 U.S. Dietary Guidelines. As recently as 2010, U.S. dietary guidelines outlined cholesterol-rich foods as “foods and food components to reduce.” They urged people to consume less than 300 milligrams (mg) of cholesterol per day, despite enough evidence that dietary cholesterol has very little to do with cholesterol levels in your body.

The modified guidelines have eventually removed this misguided suggestion, and they even added egg yolks to the list of recommended sources of protein.

The long-overdue change came at the advice of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC), which acknowledged what the science shows, which is that “cholesterol is not considered as a nutrient of concern for overconsumption.”

Myth No. 3: Everyone’s Cholesterol Level Should Be Identical

What is a normal cholesterol level? That depends. Despite what your physician may tell you, no hard and fast rule says everyone’s total cholesterol should be less than 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) and LDL less than 100 mg/dL.

Furthermore, this will tell you very little about your risk of heart disease. If your physician says that your cholesterol is high based on the conventional lipid profile, obtaining a complete picture is crucial—particularly if you have a family history of heart condition or other risk factors.

For starters, you can request for an NMR LipoProfile, which shows you the particle sizes of LDL cholesterol.

Large LDL particles are not dangerous. Only small dense LDL particles can potentially cause a problem, as they can squeeze through the lining of the heart vessels. If they oxidize, they can cause inflammation and damage.

Reputed organizations, such as the National Lipid Association (NLA), are beginning to shift their focus toward LDL particle number instead of total and LDL cholesterol to better calculate the heart disease risk in an individual. But it still has not hit the mainstream medicine.

Also, the following tests can provide you a far better evaluation of your heart disease risk than your total cholesterol alone:

HDL/Cholesterol ratio: HDL percentage is a very potent heart disease risk factor. Just divide HDL level by your total cholesterol. That percentage you get should ideally be more than 24 percent.

Triglyceride/HDL ratios: You can also do the same calculation with your triglycerides and HDL ratio. That percentage should ideally be less than

Fasting insulin level: Any meal or snack rich in carbohydrates like fructose and refined grains generates a rapid spike in blood glucose level and then insulin to counterbalance the rise in blood sugar.The insulin released by eating too many carbs boosts fat accumulation and makes it more challenging for your body to shed excess weight. Excess fat, especially around your belly, is one of the major contributors to heart disease.

Fasting blood sugar level: Studies have shown that people with a fasting blood sugar level of 100-125 mg/dl have nearly 300% increased the risk of having coronary heart disease than people with a level below 80 mg/dl.

Iron levels in blood: Iron can act as strong oxidative stress, so excess iron levels can damage your blood vessels and increase the risk of heart disease. Ideally, you should watch your ferritin levels and make sure they are not much more than 80 ng/ml.The easiest way to reduce iron stores if they are elevated is to donate blood. If that is not possible, you can have a therapeutic phlebotomy, and that will completely eliminate the excess iron from your body.

Myth No 4: Kids Cannot Have High Cholesterol

Children too can have high cholesterol levels, which is typically due to a liver disease that makes the liver inefficient to transport excess cholesterol from the body. Lifestyle changes, including exercise, restricting sugar intake and eating real (non-processed) foods, will often help to restore it to healthy levels.

Myth No 5: Margarine Is Better Than Butter for Cholesterol

Butter, particularly raw organic butter from grass-fed cows, is a wealth of nutrition and healthy fats. Studies point to the fact that butter may have both short-term and long-term benefits for your well-being. Swedish researchers came to a conclusion that fat levels in your blood are lower after eating a meal rich in butter than after eating the one rich in canola oil, olive oil or flaxseed oil.

Furthermore, substituting saturated animal fats with omega-6 polyunsaturated vegetable fats (i.e., margarine) is linked to an enhanced risk of death among patients with heart disease, according to a BMJ study. Exchanging margarine for healthy butter is the reverse of what your body needs for healthy heart, and here’s why.

Saturated fats have been proved to raise HDL cholesterol—a benefit—and may also increase LDL.

The latter isn’t necessarily dangerous either, as a study has proved that consuming saturated fats increases levels of large, fluffy LDL particles—the type that does not contribute to heart disease. Furthermore, eating saturated fats may even transform the small and dense LDL in your body into the healthier and fluffy LDL.

On the other hand, margarine is rich in synthetic trans fat, the worst type of man-made fat that raises small, dense LDL—and your risk of heart disease.

Questionable Effectiveness of Statins

In October 2015, pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly stopped a trial for a cholesterol-lowering drug – evacetrapib. Many believed that this drug, will not only lower LDL cholesterol but will also raise HDL. It was believed that this would be the next blockbuster in the management of deranged cholesterol levels.

But it wasn’t until April 2016, when the results of the research were presented at the American College of Cardiology’s yearly gathering, that health specialists discovered just how dismal the study results were. The drug had practically no influence on heart health. As The New York Times reported”Participants taking the drug saw their LDL levels fall to an average of 55 milligrams per deciliter from 85. Their HDL levels improved to an average of 105 milligrams per deciliter from 46. Yet 256 participants had heart attacks, compared with 255 patients in the group who were getting a placebo.

Ninety-two subjects receiving the drug had a stroke, compared with 95 in the placebo group. And 435 people taking the drug died from heart diseases, such as a stroke or a heart attack, compared with 444 members who were receiving a placebo.”

Dr. Steven Nissen of the Cleveland Clinic told The New York Times, “These kinds of investigations are wake-up calls.” Indeed, it’s not the first time a cholesterol-lowering drug has been found to be ineffective, or worse when it comes to heart health.

Statins May worsen your Heart Health

There is a data showing that statins may make your heart health worse and only appear effective due to statistical deception. One report printed by the Expert.

Review of Clinical Pharmacology concluded that statin advocates used a mathematical tool called relative risk reduction (RRR) to increase statins’ trivial beneficial effects.

If you see at absolute risk, statins help just 1% of the people. This indicates that out of 100 individuals treated with the drugs, one person will have one less heart attack. This doesn’t sound impressive, so statin endorses to use a different statistic method known as relative risk. By using this particular method, statins suddenly become useful for 30-50% of the population.

As STATS at George Mason University described, “An essential feature of relative risk is that it tells you nothing about the actual risk.” Furthermore, statins drain your body of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), which is used for energy generation by every cell in your body and is therefore essential for good health, high-energy levels, longevity, and general quality of life.

CoQ10’s reduced form, ubiquinol, is a crucial component of cellular respiration and generation of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP is a coenzyme utilized as an energy transporter in every cell of the body. We know that heart is the most energy-consuming organ of the human body, you can imagine how devastating it can be to waste the body’s main source of cellular energy.

By taking statins, heart patient is actually enhancing the cardiac disease risk by depleting CoQ10. The deficiency of Coenzyme Q10 caused by the statin drugs is the reason why such drugs can increase the risk of acute heart failure.

If someone is taking a statin drug, he should always supplement it with Coenzyme Q10. If you’re over 40 years of age, I would strongly recommend taking ubiquinol (CoQ10’s reduced form) instead of CoQ10, as it’s far more efficiently absorbed by your body.

Top Suggestions to Preserve Heart Health

Are you looking for a non-pharmaceutical approach to maintain your heart health? Here are some of my top suggestions:

  • Start eliminating grains and sugars from your daily diet. It is also important to remove gluten-containing grains and sugars, especially fructose. Consume a considerable part of your food raw.
  • Make sure you are getting lots of high-quality, animal-based omega-3 fats, such as krill oil. Research proves that as little as 500 mg of krill oil per day can balance your total cholesterol and triglycerides and will likely enhance your HDL levels.
  • Replace unhealthy vegetable oils and synthetic trans fats with good fats, such as olive oil, butter, avocado, and pastured eggs.
  • Include fermented foods in your daily diet. This will not only optimize your intestinal microflora; your overall immunity will increase, it also introduces helpful bacteria into your mouth. Inadequate oral health is another strong indicator of raised heart disease risk.
  • Optimize vitamin D levels, ideally through proper sun exposure as this will enable your body also to create vitamin D sulfate—another factor that may perform a crucial role in preventing the accumulation of arterial plaque.
  • Exercise Regularly. One should always include high-intensity interval exercises in his fitness program, which will also enhance the secretion of human growth hormone.
  • Avoid smoking or consuming alcohol excessively.
  • Be sure to get plenty of high-quality, restorative sleep.
  • Practice regular stress-management techniques.

Here is how you can normalize your sky-high cholesterol in 30 days and cleared out 90% clogged arteries by cutting out just one food type that you don’t even know you were consuming…

Skipping Breakfast can lead to Heart Diseases

The new study backs up the old saying that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

This particular study appointed more than four thousand middle-aged adults in Spain. The researchers came to the conclusion that participants those who ate breakfast were less prone to developing artery-blocking plaques (atherosclerosis).

On average, participants who consumed over 2,300 calories per day. almost 3% didn’t eat breakfast, while around 27% ate a healthy breakfast and almost 70% took a light breakfast. Researchers used carotid ultrasound to look into their arteries for early evidence of plaque. About 75% of the breakfast skippers had signs of plaque buildup in their arteries, compared with 57% of those who ate a big breakfast and 64% of those who ate a lighter morning meal.

Breakfast Lovers usually eat more healthfully overall and are less prone to obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes and deranged cholesterol levels. By taking these factors  into account,we can say that skipping breakfast is linked to a higher risk of atherosclerosis.

Triglyceride Levels : Do they really matter? 

Out of the four numbers that you can find in your lipid profile, report, you would have often heard about HDL, LDL and total cholesterol. However, the not often heard lipid- Triglycerides too are a significant piece of the overall picture.

What exactly are triglycerides?

Triglyceride is a type of lipid in your blood. Your liver is the organ that manufactures it. You get triglycerides also through many of the foods that you consume. When you take in more calories than your body demands, those calories are stored in the form of triglycerides.

Whether they come from foods or from the liver, triglycerides are used for one of the two purposes. They can be used up by cells and tissues. TGs are also used for energy needed in between the meals. If not used by body they are usually stored as fat in the body.

How do triglycerides matter?

Triglycerides are necessary for sound health. Without them, your body would run out of energy unless you were replenishing it by eating every hour. If you regularly consume more calories than you burn, particularly carbohydrates and fats, you may have high triglyceride levels (hypertriglyceridemia) Which may be harmful for your heart health and other organs as pancreas.

When triglyceride levels are elevated, it may increase your danger of heart disease and stroke. High triglycerides are often a sign of metabolic syndrome — it is a cluster of conditions that includes elevated blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist and abnormal cholesterol level.

Sometimes high triglycerides are a sign of poorly controlled type 2 diabetes, low levels of thyroid hormones (hypothyroidism), liver or kidney disease, or rare genetic conditions that affect how your body converts fat to energy. High triglycerides could also be a side effect of taking medications such as beta blockers, birth control pills, diuretics or steroids.

How do you know your triglyceride level?

A simple blood test called a lipid profile- the blood test that measures your cholesterol, gauges your triglycerides as well. The test can give the triglyceride ranges, that can disclose whether your triglycerides fall into a normal range or not.

How to lower your triglyceride level?

If your triglyceride level is in the high range, you should make lifestyle changes to reduce those numbers.

The best way to reduce your triglyceride level is to decrease the number of calories you consume each day as those extra calories are converted to triglycerides and stored as fat.

Maintaining a reasonable weight and getting persistent moderate-intensity exercise, at least 35 minutes a day, five days a week, can also to decrease your TG levels.

How to Recover from a Heart Attack

Okay, so you have survived a heart attack. I am truly happy for you. However, for going forward you need to follow some guidelines that will help you to avoid the next episode. By following specific lifestyle and diet suggestions, you will reduce the chance of another heart attack by enhancing your overall health and well-being.

Recovering from a heart attack can take several months, and it’s very important not to rush your rehabilitation.During your recovery period, you’ll receive help and support from a range of healthcare professionals like Consultant Cardiologist, nurses, physical therapists, dietitians and exercise specialists. These healthcare professionals will support you physically and mentally to ensure that your recovery is conducted in a safe manner.

The most important parts of the recovery process are as follows:

Cardiac rehabilitation

Your cardiac rehabilitation program will begin while you’re still in the hospital.  A member of your cardiac rehabilitation team should visit you in the hospital and provide detailed information about your state of health and how the heart attack may have affected it; the type of treatment you received; what medications you’ll need ;when you leave the hospital; what specific risk factors  have contributed to your heart attack; and what lifestyle changes you can make to address those risk factors.

Exercise

Once you return home, it’s usually recommended that you rest and only do light activities, such as walking up and down the stairs a few times a day or taking a short walk. You can gradually increase the amount of activity you do each day over several weeks.

Your rehabilitation program should contain different exercises, depending on your age and ability.

Returning to work

Every person can return to work after a heart attack, but how quickly will depend on your health, the state of your heart and the kind of work you do. If your job involves light duties you may be able to return to work in as little as two weeks. However, if your job involves heavy manual work or your heart is extensively damaged, then it may take several months before you can resume your duties.

Driving

You may be able to drive after one week. However, you should be cleared by your doctor in case there are other conditions or complications that would disqualify you from driving.

Depression

Having a heart attack can be frightening and traumatic, and it’s common to have feelings of anxiety afterward. For many people, the emotional stress can cause them to feel depressed and tearful for the first few weeks after returning home. If feelings of depression persist, speak to your doctor, because you may have a more serious form of depression. It’s important to seek advice because serious types of depression often don’t get better without treatment.

Diet

It’s recommended that you eat two to four portions of oily fish a week. Oily fish contain a type of fatty acid known as omega-3, which can help to lower your cholesterol levels.

Good sources of omega-3 include :

Herring

Sardines

Mackerel

Salmon

Trout

Tuna

It’s also recommended that you eat a Mediterranean-style diet. This means eating more fruit, vegetables and fish,but less meat. Replace butter and cheese with products based on vegetable and plant oil, such as olive oil.

Smoking

If you smoke, it’s strongly recommended that you quit as soon as possible. If you were a smoker, your doctor may be able to offer suggestions on remaining smoke-free for the rest of your life. Your doctor can also recommend and prescribe medication to help you give up cigarettes.

Alcohol

It is wise to limit your overall alcohol intake to allow your body to get strong and recover well. Eventually, some alcohol in moderation is okay.

Weight management

If you’re overweight or obese, it’s recommended that you lose weight and then maintain a healthy weight by using a combination of exercise and diet.

Regular physical activity

Once you’ve made a sufficient physical recovery from the effects of a heart attack, it’s recommended that you engage in physical activity on a regular basis. The level of activity should be strenuous enough to leave you slightly breathless. Start at a level you feel comfortable with (for example, 5-10 minutes of light exercise a day) and gradually increase the duration and intensity as your fitness improves.

6 Tips for sticking to your Recovery Plan

Take it one step at a time

1—Your Action Plan may include some changes to your lifestyle, from diet to exercise to stress reduction. Don’t feel like that you must tackle it all at once. It’s difficult to change too many things at once. Conquer one thing, then move on to the next.

2—Always talk to your doctor before beginning an exercise routine.

3—Be realistic. 

Set achievable goals. If you need to lose weight, don’t think about losing 50 pounds – focus on the first five. If you’re just starting a workout plan, it’s probably not realistic to think you’ll be running miles in weeks. The key is to find what works for you.

4—Plan-ahead.

A heart-healthy lifestyle doesn’t mean you can’t have fun. You can – and should – go out to dinners, attend parties, and take vacations. Just do a little planning ahead. Technology has made it easier than ever. Food Tripping and Map My Walk are two apps that can help.

5—Build a support system.

Don’t feel like you must do it alone. Build a support system of friends, family, and co-workers – they can help you keep going.Of course one of the most important supporters is your Heart Specialist. Be sure to get regular checkups and ask questions. There are also online support groups as well as local support groups. Take advantage of them.

6—Make new (healthy) habits.

Ever wonder why it’s easier to stick to bad habits than good ones? Unhealthy habits normally give you instant gratification. But you pay for it later. Healthy habits, on the other hand, may take longer to pay off – but the rewards are bigger and better.

Getting help

Everyone who experiences a heart attack faces challenges. Any guidance or advice you receive should be tailored to your specific needs.

Take care of your heart—and your heart will take care of you.