Heart attacks are often caused by coronary heart disease, a condition where the major blood vessels that supply blood to the heart get clogged up with deposits of cholesterol. When these deposits of choesterol, known as plaques, rupture, they cause a blood clot which then blocks the supply of blood to the heart, triggering a heart attack. Eating a healthy, balanced diet can help prevent the condition, but certain foods in particular have been proven to have heart health boosting properties.
Scientific evidence has confirmed garlic’s benefits for heart health
Garlic has been used as a natural remedy for centuries for a variety of ailments.
More and more scientific evidence recently has confirmed its benefits for heart health.
In one study, taking garlic extract in doses of 600 to 1,500mg daily for 24 weeks was found to be effective at reducing blood pressure – as effective as a common prescription drug.
High blood pressure can lead to a heart attack, as it causes the coronary arteries which serve the heart to become narrower and clogged with choelsterol.
A review which looked at the results of 39 studies found garlic can reduce total choelsterol by an average of 17mg/dL and ‘bad’ cholesterol by 9mg/dL in those with high cholesterol.
The presence of a compound called allicin in garlic is believed to give it its health benefits.
When it comes to what foods to eat garlic with, the NHS recommends reducing your saturated fat intake.
It advises: “Avoid foods contianing high levels of saturated fat, as they increase levels of bad cholesterol in your blood.”
Foods high in saturated fat include:
- Meat pies
- Sausages and fatty cuts of meat
- Ghee (a type of butter often used in Inidan cooking)
- Hard cheese
- Cakes and biscuits
- Foods that contain coconut or palm oil
As part of a healthy, balanced diet, the health body says people should try to:
- Eat at least five portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day
- Base meals on higher fibre starchy foods like potatoes, bread rice or pasta
- Have some dairy or dairy alternative (such as soya drinks)
- Eat some beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat and other protein
- Choose unsaturated oils and spreads, and eat them in small amounts
- Drink plenty of fluids (at least six to eight glasses a day)
Chest pain is one of the main symptoms of a heart attack, but where the pain is felt in the chest can help distinguish the condition from any other.
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