Diet for Heart Attack Prevention

A couple of years ago, my father who was so energetic that he never caught a cold or the flu, suddenly collapsed due to a heart attack. 

Up until then, he enjoyed eating and drinking whatever he liked, but perhaps due to temporary overwork and stress on his blood vessels, he suddenly collapsed.


My father loves eating, so even now he eats and drinks his favorite things. However, he has also started trying foods that he previously disliked, as long as they are good for his health. 


Over the past few days, I've written about how crucial blood, the circulatory system, and the heart are.

Today, I want to focus specifically on heart attacks and consider what can be done through diet to prevent them.



The following is a list of vegetables that can help prevent heart attacks:


1. Green Leafy Vegetables:

   * Spinach, kale, broccoli and other green leafy veggies are rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that support heart health. Vitamin K, in particular, is important for maintaining healthy arteries.  

2. Berries:  

   * Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries etc. contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties that can help lower blood pressure and reduce cholesterol levels.

3. Avocados:

   * Avocados are rich in monounsaturated fats that can help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and raise HDL (good) cholesterol levels.

4. Tomatoes:

   * Tomatoes contain the antioxidant lycopene which can improve blood vessel health and reduce the risk of heart disease.

5. Nuts: 

   * Almonds, walnuts, pistachios etc. are high in heart-healthy fats and fiber which contribute to cardiovascular health.  

6. Olive Oil:

   * Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fats that are good for the heart, reduce inflammation and improve artery health.

7. Legumes:

   * Lentils, chickpeas, black beans etc. are high in fiber and protein which can help lower cholesterol and manage blood sugar levels.


Recently, I made a lentil and kale salad. Here's the recipe



[Other Dietary Tips]


1. Balanced Diet

Eat a variety of foods: Aim for a balanced diet including fruits, veggies, whole grains, low-fat dairy, fish, nuts, and legumes.


2. Increase Certain Foods

Green Leafy Veggies: Spinach, kale, broccoli etc. are high in vitamin K and antioxidants.

Berries: Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries etc. are high in antioxidants beneficial for heart health.

Fatty Fish: Salmon, tuna, mackerel etc. are high in omega-3s which support heart health.


3. Choose Healthy Fats  

Monounsaturated & Polyunsaturated Fats: Avocados, nuts, olive oil etc. contain healthy unsaturated fats.

Limit Saturated & Trans Fats: Avoid unhealthy fats found in red meat, processed foods, fried foods etc.


4. Reduce Sodium Intake

Choose Low-Sodium Foods: Processed and restaurant foods are often high in salt, so cook at home and select low-sodium options.  


5. Limit Added Sugars

Reduce Sugar-Sweetened Beverages & Sweets: Avoid foods/drinks high in added sugars and choose fruits or other naturally sweet foods instead.


6. Moderate Alcohol Intake  

Drink in Moderation: Moderate alcohol may benefit heart health, but excessive intake should be avoided. General advice is up to 2 drinks/day for men, 1 drink/day for women.


7. Eat Regularly

Have Meals at Regular Times: Eating regularly can help manage blood sugar and weight.


8. Stay Hydrated

Drink Plenty of Fluids: Proper hydration helps promote healthy blood flow.


9. Combine with Exercise

Exercise Regularly: A healthy diet combined with regular exercise under a doctor's guidance is effective for preventing heart attacks.


I also looked into how psychological factors can impact heart attacks:


The influence of psychological and mental factors on heart attacks is an important medical research topic.


1. Stress

Chronic Stress puts a major strain on the cardiovascular system. Prolonged stress elevates blood pressure, promotes artery hardening. Excess stress hormones like cortisol increase heart rate and blood pressure, overtaxing the heart.  

Acute Stress is also dangerous. Extreme tension, shock or emotional trauma can trigger a heart attack. Major life events like a death in the family are known to sharply raise heart attack risk.


2. Depression

Clinical Depression increases heart attack risk. Depressed individuals often have unhealthy diets, lack exercise which impacts cardiovascular health.

Neurological Changes: Depression disrupts the autonomic nervous system balance regulating heart rate and blood pressure.  


3. Anxiety

Chronic Anxiety elevates heart attack risk by chronically raising heart rate and blood pressure, promoting artery hardening.

Acute Anxiety Attacks rapidly increase heart rate, overworking the heart.


4. Social Isolation & Lack of Support

Social Isolation & Support Deficiency are linked to higher heart attack risk. Lack of social ties and support worsens stress/depression impacting cardiovascular health.  

Having Emotional Support reduces stress and heart attack risk.


5. Self-Management & Psychological Interventions

Self-Management is crucial. Stress management and mental healthcare are vital for heart attack prevention. Relaxation techniques (deep breathing, meditation, yoga) and counseling reduce mental stress protecting the cardiovascular system.

Psychological Interventions like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and mindfulness effectively manage stress/anxiety promoting heart health.


Holistic care for body and mind is key for maintaining overall health. Being mindful about our daily dietary habits is important for cardiovascular well-being.




American Heart Association 

Harvard Medical School - The Nutrition Source

Journal of the American College of Cardiology - Depression and Cardiovascular Disease


British Medical Journal - Social isolation and cardiovascular disease