Angina is a heart condition generally induced by other heart diseases. Blocked, restricted, or spasming arteries limit oxygen rich blood supply to the heart, which can damage the heart muscles. Pain or discomfort in the chest that often spreads to surrounding body parts, along with dizziness, nausea, sweating, fatigue, and other autonomic symptoms are key signs. Since angina can be indicative of an impending heart attack, preventing angina is similar to preventing many other heart diseases.
Make Healthy Choices
Healthy eating can help your body stay in better shape all around, but choosing a diet that is particularly good for the heart is the best option for preventing angina. Choose foods that are low in saturated and trans fat and cholesterol. Foods that are good for the heart include whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. For protein sources, opt for fish, poultry, and nuts. Keep sugar and sugar substitutes at a minimum.
Start an exercise plan that will get you moving, active, and in shape. If you are already on the verge of heart disease, talk to a doctor about healthy options for exercise that won’t trigger an angina attack. Physical activity makes the heart stronger to move blood and oxygen around the rest of the body better. In addition, the combination of a healthy diet and regular exercise can help prevent obesity which is another key factor not only for angina, but also for conditions like diabetes that can make you more likely to develop heart problems. Diet and exercise can also help control blood pressure and cholesterol, which contribute to angina through other heart diseases as well.
Kick Bad Habits
According to the American Heart Association, cigarette smoking is one of the leading preventable factors not only of heart disease but also of death in the United States. The act itself increases the buildup of plaque (a waxy substance made up of fat, cholesterol, calcium, and other bits) that hardens in the arteries, a condition called atherosclerosis. In turn, this causes coronary heart disease, which is a major cause of angina. It also contributes to high cholesterol by reducing the amount of good cholesterol in the body. Even secondhand smoke can be a contributing factor.
Manage Your Stress
Although managing the contributing physical aspects of angina is important, they aren’t the only things. Managing psychological stress and anxiety can be just as important. Studies show chronic stress exposes the body to unhealthy levels of certain hormones. It also affects the way blood clots, which is a major contributing factor to unstable angina. High blood pressure is another result of unmanaged stress. Find techniques like meditation that can help keep unnecessary stress under control. If you find yourself constantly overwhelmed, consider consulting a doctor or psychologist.