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Last Updated Wednesday April 19 2017 09:53 PM IST

Want to know the secrets behind the healthy heart? Read this

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A prudent revision in your lifestyle can do more good to the health of your health than medicines. It also helps to reduce the intensity of illness among cardiac patients. It is of paramount importance to revise your food habits in a way that is beneficial for the health of your heart. Let us see how to rearrange your diet so as to build a healthy heart:

What the heart needs

We derive starch mainly from grains. But, take care to choose grains that are low in Glycemic Index. Grains such as unpeeled wheat, unpeeled rice, bajra, finger millet, flax seed and oats have low Glycemic Index. Whereas peeled rice, peeled wheat, maida, potato and tapioca have high GI. So, reduce their intake.

Good cholesterol is derived from oils. If you are using only one kind of oil, you will not get all kinds of fatty acids. So, always use two or more oils mixed together.

These are the recommended combinations:

» Ground nut / bran oil / cottonseed oil + mustard / soya / canola oil

» Sunflower + mustard / olive / bran / peanut oil.

» When preparing bakery items, use coconut oil or palm oil. Because these do not contain trans fat.

» Avoid Vanaspati and margarine.

For gaining fat from sources other than oil, use wheat, pulses and leafy vegetables.

Reduce the intake of meat. 75 grams of peeled chicken a day is permissible; but should cook it with less amount of oil and coconut. You may eat plenty of fish. Heart patients can take 100-200 grams (4- 6 pieces) of fish in a week. Oil rich fishes like Mackerel and Sardine are good. Cook them with less amount of oil and coconut.

For protein, you may eat egg white, fish and chicken. Omega 3 fatty acid is beneficial for the health of the heart. Sea fish like Sardine and Mackerel are rich in omega 3 fatty acid. If you are a vegetarian, you may take pulses, soya bean, grains, less fatty milk and milk products.

Remember to take vegetables and fruits at least once in a day: 400-500 grams a day. You may eat vegetables thrice a day and fruits twice a day. Deeply colored vegetables and fruits are the most ideal ones, as they are rich in micro-nutrients.

Instead of Kuruma dishes which contain coconut milk, go for tandoori or grilled items. Avoid deep fried food stuffs like samosa and pakoda. Instead eat steam cooked homely snacks.

Nuts: Almonds and walnuts are very good for the heart. They are rich in vitamin E, magnesium and zinc, which are good for healthy heart; they also lift up your spirits. You may take a quarter cup or a handful of nuts a day. Vitamin B and magnesium control serotonin. Vitamin E destroys free radicals which are the result of tension.


Unsaturated cholesterol contained in nuts helps to reduce the bad cholesterol in the body. A heart patient can eat 6-8 nuts a day.

Dates: They are rich in minerals like fiber, zinc and magnesium; vitamins and anti-oxidants like carotenoid. But, diabetic patients must eat it prudently.


Gooseberry: Gooseberry, a typical Indian food, is a storehouse of Vitamin C. 100 grams of gooseberry contain 445 milligrams of Vitamin C. It is also a great anti-oxidant.


Oats: Oats contain plenty of soluble fiber. Glycemic Index is low in non-processed oatmeal. Moderately processed ground oatmeal is better than instant oats.

Sweet potato: Sweet potato is rich in anti oxidants that are very good for heart. It can be taken steam cooked or roasted in microwave oven or even as curry along with rice.

Disease info - Heart disease

Prime heart disease is heart attack. Chest pain and heart attack occur when the heart muscles struggle to get blood due to fat accumulated in the arteries. A change of eating habits will help to relieve this condition. Symptoms like valve disorder, inflammation in the heart muscles, arthritis related heart disease, heart beat disorders, lump, inflammation in the outer wall of the heart etc are also observed. Each disease must be treated differently.

Best food: Garlic


Studies prove that garlic juice prevents plaque building up in arteries. This prevents worsening of heart disease. It was observed that the rate of plaque building up was slower among those who took 2400 milligrams of garlic juice daily for a year. This even enabled those who were in the beginning stage of heart disease to recover completely.

The opinions expressed here do not reflect the views of Manorama. The responsibility of opinions expressed here lies solely with the author. According to the IT Act, derogatory statements towards an individual, community, religion and country as well as the use of obscene words are punishable offenses. Legal action will be taken against such practices.
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