Heart attack: Eating this fermented food could prevent the life-threatening condition
Heart attack risk is often increased through poor lifestyle choices, for example eating a high-fat diet can increase the risk of coronary heart disease, a leading cause of heart attacks, so making changes to the food you eat is very important.
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Experts recommends eating a low-fat, high-fibre diet which includes plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables and while grains is recommended to keep the heart healthy.
Salt intake should also be limited to keep blood pressure in check and avoiding food containing saturated fats can keep cholesterol levels healthy.
While these are general rules to follow, individual food and drink have also been found to have a positive impact on heart health.
Sauerkraut, finely cut raw cabbage that has been fermented by various lactic acid bacteria, may contribute to a healthier heart.
This is because it contains a good amount of fibre and probiotics, both of which may help reduce cholesterol levels.
Probiotics, such as those found in sauerkraut, may also help lower blood pressure slightly. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25047574)
Sauerkraut also contains vitamin K2 which is believed to help reduce heart disease by preventing calcium deposits from accumulating in the arteries.
In one study, regular intake of vitamin K2-rich foods was linked to a 57 percent lower risk of dying from heart disease over the seven to 10 year study period.
Another study found women reduced their risk of heart disease by 9 percent for every 10mcg of vitamin K2 they consumed per day.
Obesity is another risk factor for coronary heart disease. Sauerkraut has also been shown to help people lose weight.
Sauerkraut, like many vegetables, is low in calories and high in fibre.
High fibre diets help keep people fuller for longer, naturally helping reduce the number of calories you eat each day.
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Sauerkraut’s probiotic content has also been shown to help people lose weight.
A study found purposely overfed participants given probiotics again about 50 percent less body fat than overfed participants given a placebo.
This suggested a probiotic-rich diet may even help prevent weight gain.
Other ways to prevent a heart attack
Alongside eating a healthy diet it’s important to exercise.
The NHS explains: “Being active and taking regular exercise will lower your blood pressure by keeping your heart and blood vessels in good condition. Regular exercise can also help you lose weight, which will help lower your blood pressure.
“Low-impact activities such as walking, swimming and cycling are recommended. More strenuous activities, such as playing football and squash, may not be recommended. Check with the doctor in charge of your care.”
Smoking is a major risk factor for heart attacks, so stopping smoking is strongly advised.
Making sure you keep within the recommended limits of alcohol is also important, as regular drinking alcohol can raise blood pressure, increasing the risk of a heart attack happening.
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