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Heart is undoubtedly the most important part of our body, and believe it or not, our everyday activities have a direct impact on our heart health. A sudden increase in heart patients have been seen in the recent past, and shockingly, the heart diseases is spreading in the younger generation as well. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in both men and women. With over 30 million heart patients in India, more than 50% people who died of heart diseases were men. However, the heart problems are increasing tremendously in women as well. Out of the 30 million people, 14 million reside in urban areas, while the other 16 million in rural areas. The disease is usually seen in 45 year old, however, people in their late twenties and early thirties are also facing the same problems.

Along with the increasing patients, the increases in the treatment options have also been seen. The healthcare industry has become more dedicated to reduce this increasing number. This World Heart Day, you must know what can put you to a heart risk, and how to avoid it. Here are some things to keep in mind if you want a healthy heart.

Most of the people develop heart disease at an early age because of their unhealthy eating habits. Dr. Amar Singhal, Senior Interventional Cardiologist and Head Department of Cardiology, Sri Balaji Action Medical Institute says “Now a days heart disease has escalated more among the younger generation with a significant risk in both genders. More and more number of young populations is suffering from coronary artery disease, and if this continues the future looks even more dangerous. Five years ago, we hardly saw young patients with heart problems. But now, we get many cases where people in the 25-35 age groups are diagnosed with heart disease. According to a study over 70 per cent of the urban Indian population is at a risk of being diagnosed with some or the other heart disease. This is mainly due to unhealthy eating habits, lack of physical activity and stress.”

Food however is one of the main reasons why people develop heart problems. Foods that cause digestion problems should be avoided. There are people who frequently over eat, this doesn’t only take them to obesity, but also causes heart problems in the long run. The easy availability of junk food is making people lazy, and taking them towards heart diseases. One must always try to find the healthier alternative to the junk food for a healthier heart. Here are some things you can add or remove from your daily diet for a healthier heart.

You must avoid: 

–       Fried Food

–       Milk Products

–       Acidic Foods

–       Cold/Frozen Food

–       White Flour

–       Red Meat


You must Eat:

–       Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables

–       Whole meal Bread

–       Salad

–       Sprouts

–       Buttermilk

–       Cottage Cheese

–       Indian Gooseberry or Amla

Another major reason behind cardiac diseases is Stress. Stress can have a direct and significant effect on the heart and can cause severe heart diseases in the long run. It is one of the most common causes, and one should indulge into some activity or the other to control stress. The busy life schedules of the people have brought them close to unnecessary stress, some start considering smoking a let out to stress, some using pills to relax or consuming alcohol but instead of reducing stress, these are silently affecting their body adversely. Yoga is the most proven methods to control stress. Meditation has also been scientifically proven to prevent heart diseases and calms your body and de-stresses you completely. Playing some sport, jogging, reading etc. are some other ways to release stress. You must note that suppressed stress for a long period of time weakens the heart, and makes it prone to several heart problems in the long run” says Dr. Viveka Kumar, Sr. Consultant – Interventional Cardiology & Electrophysiology, Max Super Speciality Hospital

People who smoke regularly are most likely to have heart problems as compared to non-smokers. Smoking is getting really popular these days, even among the younger generation, and they do not realize the harmful effect of the same.  Smoking slowly and gradually affects the heart and leads to blockage and strokes. Heavy and regular drinkers are also vulnerable to heart diseases. Smoking and drinking weakens the liver and the entire digestive system, which ama, a toxic material that causes heart problems. Many doctors and experts even suggest limiting the intake of tea or coffee. Tea and Coffee is highly consumed these days, and people start their day with it. However, there are some who consume multiple cups of tea/coffee, which has a direct impact on the blood pressure. Limiting the consumption of the same keeps the heart problems at bay. You can make tea with Terminalia Arjuna- it’s a scientifically proven herb, easily available these days. You can also powder it and consume it directly. Also you should keep water in a copper pot overnight and then drink for a stronger heart. Wearing Rudraksha Seeds has also been proved to benefit the heart.” says Ayurvedacharya Dr. Partap Chauhan, Director Jiva Ayurveda

There are a lot of people who are diagnosed with heart problems which they have had since years. The disease which could have been cured remains undiagnosed and increases over the years. This puts the patients at a heavy risk of heart attacks and strokes. One must get a complete body checkup every 6-12 months to avoid the possibility of any serious disease. Regular checkups also tell you if you are deficient in any nutrition. You can have supplements, or add things to your diet to maintain the nutritional balance. Nutritional deficiencies often put your heart at a risk of stroke.

If your family history puts you to a risk of heart disease, you must be careful from the very beginning. Doing small lifestyle changes and stopping unhealthy eating habits can help you in avoiding heart problems. Apart from this, being physically active is very important. “I have seen so many patients, who have developed heart problems just because of lack of physical activity. People prefer easy life avoid exercise and continue taking high fat and high carbohydrate diet. That results in excess fat deposition all over the body including arteries supplying the heart muscles. Mental stress and hectic life style with little relaxation further add on to heart problems.” says Dr. Rakesh Kumar Tandon, Medical Director at Pushpawati Singhania Research Institute (PSRI), Delhi.

You must contribute to protecting your heart health at all times. Your heart plays a very important role in keeping you up and running, any problem with the heart can put to a life risk. This Heart Day, cross your heart to healthy lifestyle, for a healthy heart.

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