Atrial fibrillation results in arrhythmia and it affects over 2.5 million Americans. This is when fluctuations in the heartbeat occur due to the heart electrical system is off balance. Symptoms vary– ranging from exhaustion to dizziness and if it isn’t treated it can cause heart failure or even stroke.
According to the American College of Cardiology, atrial fibrillation, which results in racing heartbeats or ones that are arrhythmic, affects over 2.5 million Americans. Also referred to as “AFib, ” the fluctuations in heartbeat occur when the heart’s electrical system is essentially thrown off, sending signals to the body that it must pump more blood. (1)
Symptoms vary, ranging from exhaustion to dizziness, and unfortunately, if not treated, blood clots, heart failure and stroke can occur.
However, a heart healthy diet can help greatly with AFib. Here’s what to avoid…and what to eat more of to help you get on the right track!
Heart Unhealthy Foods for AFib
Coffee disrupts the heart’s electrical system and can trigger AFib.
Less is more when it comes to salt or sodium-rich foods. The American Heart Association recommends that people with high blood pressure consume less than 1, 500 mg of sodium a day.
Recent research has uncovered that cured meats contain the compound tyramine, linked to elevated blood pressure and Arrythmia.
Like any other health concern, there are heart healthy diets that can help keep your arrythmia or AFib regulated. It’s a good choice to cut back on the foods previously mentioned, but there’s a ton of good stuff you can add!
Best Foods for a Heart Healthy Diet
Bananas and avocados
Potassium- an essential mineral that helps regulate heart function, is an ideal food in the fight against high blood pressure. Bananas, citrus, avocados and potatoes are all potassium rich foods and should be incorporated into a heart healthy diet.
Arjuna is a tree bark used by Ayurvedic practitioners to treat heart problems. It’s been considered one of the premier heart tonics, brimming with hearth-healthy antioxidants, compounds, and minerals that help regulate heart beat.
Walnuts are rich in an omega-3 fatty acid that has heart-healthy benefits and experts recommend eating them regularly. You can receive the same benefit from eating flaxseed and these are great for smoothies or other drinks, sprinkled over salad or other heart healthy foods.