EXCLUSIVE: Heart attack symptoms and 4 ways to keep your heart healthy

Healthy heart: A healthy heart is equal to a healthy body but due to a sedentary lifestyle, unhealthy eating habits and various addictions, the heart has become weaker and is more prone to heart attacks at a very young age. This particular issue came to light with the recent demise of celebrities like singer KK and comedian Raju Srivastav who lost their life due to heart attacks. People who survived a heart attack too experience wide-range difficulties including shortness of breath after a small walk and what they should eat to keep their heart healthy.

It is important to identify signs and symptoms of a heart attack as early as possible to stop any long-term disability or even death. Dr Prashant Pawar – Senior Consultant Interventional cardiologist at Fortis Hospital, Navi Mumbai talks about the early symptoms of a heart attack and dietary tips to keep your heart healthy.

Heart attack: Symptoms

1. Chest discomfort- Uneasiness in the centre of the chest where it may feel like a painful pressure, squeezing, fullness, or uncomfortable pressure.

2. Discomfort in other areas of the upper body- Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw, or stomach

3. Shortness of breath- For no specific reason.

4. Other concerns- cold sweats, nausea, or lightheadedness.

The most common heart attack symptom in women is chest pain (angina), just like in men. However, some of the other classic symptoms, including shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting, and back or jaw discomfort, are slightly more prevalent in women than in men, says Dr Pawar.


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Foods for a healthy heart

An expert in interventional cardiology, heart failure and preventive cardiology Dr Prashant Pawar mentions treating a 22-year-old heart attack patient with a history of smoking and abusive drinking who had collapsed while working out at the gym like TV actor Siddharth Shukla, Siddhaanth Vir and comedian Raju Srivastav.

Dr Pawar suggests that we must quit smoking and drinking immediately and stop over-exerting ourselves at the gym to compensate for our bad habits in our day-to-day lifestyle. Here are a few important dietary tips to follow, as suggested by Dr Prashant Pawar:

1) Prefer whole grains

Better supplies of fibre and other essential elements like B vitamins, iron, folate, selenium, potassium, and magnesium can be found in whole grains. Barley, quinoa, oats, brown rice, whole-grain pasta, bread and cereals are some whole-grain foods. 

2) Green leafy vegetables

All leafy greens are packed with vitamins, have high mineral content, rich in dietary fibres and have a low-fat content. A wide variety of green leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, mustard greens (sarso), cabbage (patta gobi), coriander leaves, fenugreek leaves (methi), moringa leaves (drumsticks leaves), amaranth leaves, etc. are available for consumption in different forms.

3) Fresh fruits

Fruits reduce inflammation, ward off chronic disease, support a healthy gut, boost healthy skin, help you stay hydrated and aid in weight loss. Fruits like apples, bananas, oranges, mango, lychee, watermelon and other seasonal fruits must be consumed every day.

4) Stick to home-cooked meals

When you eat food which is cooked at home you eat mindfully without rushing and have control over the portion size and it also improves your mental health as home-cooked food is very comforting. Plus you get also to control exactly how much salt, fat, sugar, and additives you add to your food which is extremely essential for a healthy heart.


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Tips to prevent heart attack

Quit smoking and abusive drinking habits.

– Do not overexert at the gym. A simple 30- minute walk or cycling outside is enough.

– Consume home-cooked meals high in protein and reduce your fat and carbohydrate intake.

– Stay away from red meat; chicken, fish and eggs can be consumed.

Manage stress with yoga and meditation.

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