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FAQ (Health)

 Dr. George Jacob
Heart Infocenter


Heart Attack (Myocardial Infarction)

Diet/Nutrition for Heart Attack

Diet/Nutrition is the key ingredient of a cardiac rehabilitation program. A carefully designed diet/nutrition plan can prevent a heart attack and/or to avoid its recurrence. The key is to eat whole foods and a predominantly vegetarian diet, consisting mostly of fresh vegetables and fruits, whole grains and nuts and seeds.

Eat vegetables and fruits in raw or minimally cooked condition to preserve the enzymes. Whole grains should be soaked first to break down the phytic acid.

During the first week following a heart attack, take several small meals low in salt. Avoid cold fluids. Cauliflower, asparagus and carrots are good. They are easily tolerated, low in salt and provide important vitamins, minerals and trace elements.

The essential fatty acids found in unrefined, cold-pressed nut and seed oils such as flax seed oil are useful to keep the arteries clear. Use flax seed oil daily as a dressing on salads, mixed into mashed potatoes, or in any other dish that does not require heating. (Use extra virgin cold pressed flax seed oil.) The essential fatty acids omega 3 alpha-linolenic acid and omega 6 linoleic acid are known to reduce blood cholesterol.

Avoid red meat, shortening, margarine and commercially processed foods. Red meats contain saturated fats. Shortening, margarine and commercially processed foods are rich in trans-fatty acids. Saturated fats and trans-fatty acids are found to be the major cause of heart disease. Get your protein from fish or from vegetable products such as soy. Fish contains unsaturated omega-3 fatty acids that reduce blood cholesterol.

Eat plenty of magnesium rich foods such as tofu, wheat germ, broccoli, potatoes, spinach and chard to help regulate heart activity.

Garlic lowers cholesterol and triglycerides, prevents thrombus formation and lowers blood pressure. Eat three fresh cloves daily. You can add it to your salad.

Include almonds, brewer's yeast, grains, and sesame seeds in your diet.

Enjoy onions frequently. Onions (especially red onions) contain valuable antioxidants. Chop them and allow them to stand for ten minutes before cooking for optimal benefit.

Add kelp and sea vegetables to your diet for necessary minerals. Drink fresh vegetable juices.

Cayenne pepper lowers cholesterol, dilates arteries, increases blood flow to the coronary circulation, and inhibits blood platelets from collecting. One teaspoon of cayenne in a cup of water at the onset of a heart attack will help relieve it. Incorporate it in your cooking.

Walnuts: Researchers have found that eating just an ounce of walnuts a day (about seven nuts) may reduce the risk of a heart attack by 8 to 10 percent.

To strengthen the heart, take one teaspoon of honey, dissolved slowly on the tongue, three times daily for a few weeks. (Skip this if you are a diabetic.)

See Also:

See Also: 

Food/Diet Therapy for Hypertension

The Healthier Eating Plan

Vitamin/Nutrition Therapy for hypertension

Herbal Medicine for hypertension

Diet and Nutrition Therapy for Cardiovascular Health

Nutrition Infocenter in Holisticonline.com

Nutrition/Diet for Stroke

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