Ways to Help Keep a Healthy Heart RhythmPosted on : January 11, 2022
by Ashleigh Feltham Accredited Practising Dietitian and Accredited Nutritionist
Having a heart that works well is important for life. Having an unusual heartbeat within your regular heartbeat pattern which are faster or slower is called arrhythmia. Arrhythmia can lead to poor health outcomes such as stroke and heart failure. Your lifestyle choices play a major role in your risk of developing arrhythmia. Lifestyle choices that increase your risk include a high intake of saturated fat, too much salt, smoking, high levels of stress, excessive caffeine or alcohol intake, drugs and medication. Lifestyle choices that you can make to help reduce your risk include:
- Coffee in moderation. The recommended amount for most people is 400mg a day or four regular cups of coffee.
- Including tea in your diet. Black, green and white tea all contain around half the caffeine content of one cup of regular coffee. Moderation in these varieties is also important, but the antioxidant properties found in tea may promote a healthy heart rhythm.
- One of the many reasons nuts are cardioprotective is because they contain the mineral magnesium. Magnesium helps your heart to relax, balancing the effect of calcium, which stimulates the heart to contract.
- Fruits and vegetables. These are rich in antioxidants and phytochemicals, which help your heart to pump as it should.
Seafood is a rich source of essential omega-3 oils, and therefor may also promote a regular heartbeat. This type of fat plays a role in inhibiting arrhythmia by reducing the excitability of the heart muscle. In addition to this, the resting phase of a heart’s regular contraction or refractory period is lowered. Ion channels signal the occurrence of this refractory period, and omega-3 fats stop this signal, and as a result help to regulate your heartbeat. Safcol provides quality, ethically sourced seafood choices with a long shelf life and super easy to take with you in your lunchbox. Safcol makes it easy to include enough seafood in your diet each day, with a range of quality products to suit every taste preference.
Take home message
There is no one secret to a healthy heart and heart rhythm. Your whole lifestyle influences the function and health of this essential organ. If you can see a lifestyle choice that is missing or needs to be improved to promote better heart health, then now is the time to take action to look after your heart for a healthy life.
- Voskoboinik A, Prabhu S, Sugumar H, Kistler PM. Effect of Dietary Factors on Cardiac Rhythm. Am J Cardiol. 2018 Oct 1;122(7):1265-1271. doi: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2018.06.019. Epub 2018 Jul 4. PMID: 30075892.
- Kang JX. Reduction of heart rate by omega-3 fatty acids and the potential underlying mechanisms. Front Physiol. 2012 Oct 30;3:416. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2012.00416. PMID: 23115552; PMCID: PMC3483717.