The diet that makes your heart beat: longevity is also on the plate
To protect the heart health, nutrition plays a key role. A balanced and healthy diet can prevent cardiovascular diseases such as high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke. Fruits and vegetables are the main foods to include in the cardioprotective diet. They are rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
In particular, citrus fruits, berries, pomegranates, broccoli, tomatoes and carrots are the ones that bring the greatest benefits. Whole grains, such as brown rice, quinoa, oats and spelt, are also important for lowering bad cholesterol in the blood. Lean proteins, such as those found in fish, chicken, lean meat and legumes, are essential: it is better to avoid fatty meats and limit the intake of saturated and trans fats such as butter, fatty cheeses, fatty red meat, fried snacks and industrial bakery products. Salt and added sugars are also bad for the heart.
How to understand how the heart is
Blood tests can reveal important information about heart health. For example, cholesterol, blood sugar and triglyceride levels can indicate the risk of cardiovascular disease. The electrocardiogram is a non-invasive test that records the electrical activity of the organ: it can be used to detect arrhythmias, myocardial infarction or ventricular hypertrophy. The echocardiogram, on the other hand, uses ultrasound to create images of the heart by detecting heart failure, defective heart valves or congenital heart defects.
Exercise testing is a test that evaluates the heart’s response to exercise. The patient walks or runs on a treadmill while doctors monitor heart rate, blood pressure, and electrical activity. Holter monitoring records the electrical activity of the heart over a period of 24 hours or more. while computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance (MR) provide detailed images highlighting heart attack, congenital malformations, valve problems or heart tumors.
What characteristics should a healthy heart have?
Beats regularly and consistently, without rhythm abnormalities such as atrial fibrillation or tachycardia. A healthy heart must have blood pressure around 120/80 mmHg and adequate levels of HDL (“good”) cholesterol. Blood must be pumped efficiently through the circulatory system, delivering oxygen and nutrients to body tissues.
This is why the heart valves are important as they guarantee the correct blood flow without presenting stenosis, insufficiency or other anomalies. The heart muscle is responsible for pumping blood through the body: in a healthy heart, these functions are performed without problems. And above all, there must be no clinical history that has previously recorded cardiovascular pathologies such as myocardial infarction, heart failure or hypertension.
Read also: What are the signs of a heart attack?