The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is certainly causing a lot of panic among people all over the world, due to the rapid pace at which the SARS-CoV-2 virus is spreading from an infected person to a healthy individual. Needless to say, those with pre-existing health complications such as diabetes and heart disease need to take extra care to keep this deadly infectious ailment at bay, as it could even prove to be fatal to them.
The new coronavirus is a respiratory disease, which mostly affects the lungs. But when the lungs aren’t working at full steam, the heart must work harder to pump oxygen-rich blood around the body. This additional stress can be dangerous for people with heart disease.
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COVID-19 poses a greater risk to people who have underlying conditions, including:
- Coronary heart disease.
- High blood pressure.
- Previous stroke.
People with these comorbid conditions are definitely at higher risk of catching COVID-19. They are also more likely to develop severe symptoms like infected lungs and pneumonia if they get sick.
Older adults with heart disease may be particularly vulnerable. But for those with heart disease at any age, it is important to be aware of the possible risks from COVID-19 and follow preventive measures to steer clear of the same. Also Read: Coronavirus: Effective Ways To Prevent The Transmission Of This Deadly Virus
Useful Diet Tips For Heart Wellness In Times Of COVID-19 Lockdown:
Cut-Out Trans Fats, Limit Saturated Fats
Eat more healthy fats. Eating foods rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat can improve blood cholesterol levels and lower your risk of heart disease. Eat omega 3 fatty acids every day, from fatty fish such as salmon, trout, or herring, or from flaxseed, kale, spinach, or walnuts. Other sources of healthy fats include olive oil, avocados, nuts, and nut butters.
Control The Intake Of Sugar And Refined Carbs
Instead of sugary soft drinks, white bread, pasta and processed foods like pizza, opt for unrefined whole grains like whole-wheat or multigrain bread, brown rice, barley, quinoa, bran cereal, oatmeal, and non-starchy vegetables.
Include High-Fiber Foods In Diet
A diet high in fiber can lower bad LDL cholesterol and provide nutrients that help protect against heart disease. It also helps to lose weight. Since fiber stays in the stomach longer than other foods, the feeling of fullness will stay with you much longer, helping you eat less. Fiber also moves fat through your digestive system quicker so less of it is absorbed. Insoluble fiber is found in whole grains, wheat cereals, and vegetables such as carrots, celery, and tomatoes. Soluble fiber sources include barley, oatmeal, beans, nuts, and fruits such as apples, berries, citrus fruits, and pears. Also Check Out: Amazing Foods To Reduce LDL Cholesterol - Infographic
Stop The Intake Of Processed Foods
Processed foods like frozen meats, packaged chips and cookies tend to contain a very high salt content. Salt, in the form of sodium can be very dangerous for those with heart ailments, as it leads to a sudden rise in blood pressure, straining the heart vessels, namely the arteries, veins, and capillaries. Hence, to maintain heart health and control blood pressure, it is vital to lower salt intake significantly by curbing the consumption of processed food items.
Substitute For Salt By Using Aromatic Spices
True that salt adds flavor to all dishes. However, it is not recommended for heart patients due to fluctuating blood pressure levels in their system. Use fresh herbs and spices like coriander leaves, cumin, garlic for added flavour to foods.
Guidelines To Follow For Cardiac Patients In Times of Lockdown:
- Eat meals on time.
- Monitor blood pressure levels often.
- Keep a check on blood glucose parameters in the body.
- Get sufficient rest at night, at least 8 hours of sleep.
- Steer clear of smoking and alcohol
- Stay physically fit by exercising at home for at least 20 minutes every day.
- Keep your mind active by reading, solving crossword puzzles to ensure optimal mental wellness.