If you already have angina, making lifestyle changes also helps prevent your symptoms getting worse and reduces your risk of having a heart attack or stroke.
The best way to achieve this is to eat a healthy, balanced diet, try to keep your blood pressure at a healthy level, and avoid smoking. This will lower your blood pressure, reduce your cholesterol levels and strengthen your heart.
An unhealthy diet high in saturated fat and salt increases your risk of developing angina, and increases your risk of a heart attack or stroke.
A diet that includes plenty of fruit and vegetables and lots of fibre, such as wholegrain rice, bread and pasta, can help reduce this risk.
Fruit and vegetables are full of vitamins, minerals and fibre, and help keep your body in good condition. You should aim to eat five 80g portions of fruit and vegetables every day.
Eating high-fat foods can cause fatty plaques to build up in your arteries. You can help prevent this by avoiding foods that contain saturated fats.
Foods high in saturated fat include:
Eating a small amount of unsaturated fat increases the level of good cholesterol and helps reduce any blockage in your arteries. Foods high in unsaturated fat include:
You should also cut down on the amount of salt in your food, as it can raise your blood pressure.
You should aim to eat less than 6g (0.2oz) of salt a day, which is about a teaspoonful.
Smoking can significantly increase your risk of both heart attacks and strokes, as it causes your arteries to narrow and raises your blood pressure.
If you decide to stop smoking, your GP can refer you to the NHS Smokefree service, which provides you with dedicated help and advice about the best ways to give up smoking.
You can also call the Smokefree National Helpline on 0300 123 1044. The specially trained helpline staff will offer you free expert advice and encouragement.
If you’re committed to giving up smoking but don’t want to be referred to a stop smoking service, your GP should be able to prescribe medical treatment to help with any withdrawal symptoms you may experience after giving up.
Regularly drinking alcohol above the maximum recommended limits can raise your blood pressure.
Alcohol is also high in calories, so you’ll gain weight if you drink regularly, which can further increase your blood pressure.
Staying within the recommended levels is the best way to reduce your risk of developing high blood pressure:
Being overweight forces your heart to work harder to pump blood around your body, which can raise your blood pressure. Find out if you need to lose weight with the BMI healthy weight calculator.
If you do need to lose weight, it’s worth remembering that just losing a few pounds will make a big difference to your blood pressure and overall health.
Being active and taking regular exercise helps keep your heart and blood vessels in good condition. Regular exercise can also help you lose weight and lower your blood pressure.
Starting an exercise programme when you have angina can be challenging as physical activity may trigger the symptoms of an angina attack. But the more you exercise, the less likely it is you’ll have an angina attack.
Low-impact activities, such as walking, swimming and cycling, are recommended, whereas more strenuous activities, such as playing football and squash, should be avoided.
Read More ON:
Symptoms of a Heart Attack
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Causes of a Heart Attack
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Diagnosing Heart Failure
Causes of Heart Failure
Treating Heart Failure
Preventing Heart Failure
Symptoms of Angina
Causes of Angina
Source: NHS UK