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 unusual heartbeats 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 saturated fat, added salt, smoking, stress, excess caffeine or alcohol, certain drugs, and medications. Lifestyle choices that you can include 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 teas all have caffeine with around half the caffeine content to 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 of the vitamin magnesium. Magnesium helps your heart to relax after calcium stimulates your heart to contract.
- Fruits and vegetables. These are rich in antioxidants and phytochemicals which help your heart to pump as it should.
Seafood may also promote a regular heartbeat as a rich source of essential omega-3 fat. 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. Omega-3 fat does this by stopping the ion channels which signal this to happen and as a result help to regulate your heartbeat. Seafood provides quality, ethically sourced seafood choices that are long life and are easy to take with you in your lunchbox. Including enough seafood each day does not need to be difficult. Safcol has created a range of quality products to suit your taste preferences.
Take home message
There is no one secret ingredient to a healthy heart rhythm or a healthy heart. 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 removed to promote your 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.