Heart attack: Best drink to prevent the life-threatening condition
Heart attack happens when a blockage in a person’s coronary artery causes part of their heart muscle to be starved of blood and oxygen. One of the biggest risk factors associated with heart attacks is high LDL cholesterol – a waxy substance found in a person’s blood. High levels of LDL cholesterol can cause fatty deposits to develop in blood vessels, a mechanism that can lead to heart attacks.
Free radicals are thought to cause damage to blood vessels
Drinking green tea has been shown to lower LDL cholesterol, helping to keep the risk of having a heart attack at bay. Researchers attribute the cholesterol-lowering properties to compounds found in green tea – polyphenols and catechins.
Polyphenols and catechins are natural compounds that act as anxtioxidants.
As the NHS explained: “Antioxidants are compounds that are thought to play a role in protecting against heart disease by interfering with molecules known as ‘free radicals’.”
Free radicals are thought to cause damage to blood vessels, which can disrupt the flow of blood to the heart – a dangerous precursor to heart disease.
According to one review of 20 studies, a higher intake of green tea catechins was associated with significantly lower levels of LDL and total cholesterol.
Furthermore, an analysis including 1,367 people showed that green tea decreased both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
Systolic blood pressure measures the pressure in a person’s blood vessels when their heart beats. Diastolic blood pressure measures the pressure in a person’s blood vessels when their heart rests between beats.
A consistently high blood pressure significantly raises the risk of having a heart attack.
Olive oil, another rich source of antioxidants, has also been shown to protect against heart disease. One study in 7,216 adults at high risk for heart disease showed that those who consumed the most olive oil had a 35 percent lower risk of developing heart disease.
Furthermore, a higher intake of olive oil was associated with a 48 percent lower risk of dying from heart disease.
In addition, another large study also showed that a higher intake of olive oil was associated with lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
What are the symptoms of a heart attack?
According to the NHS, symptoms of a heart attack can include:
- Chest pain – a sensation of pressure, tightness or squeezing in the centre of a person’s chest
- Pain in other parts of the body – it can feel as if the pain is travelling from the chest to the arms (usually the left arm is affected, but it can affect both arms), jaw, neck, back and abdomen
- Feeling lightheaded or dizzy
- Shortness of breath
- Feeling sick (nausea) or being sick (vomiting)
- An overwhelming sense of anxiety (similar to having a panic attack)
- Coughing or wheezing
“It’s the overall pattern of symptoms that helps to determine whether you are having a heart attack,” explained the health site.
Find out the sign in a person’s mouth that could signal the deadly condition.
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