What not to eat when you are diagnosed with AFib.
Atrial Fibrillation (AFib) is a heart rhythm disorder which is prevalent in more than 2.5 million Americans and 4.5 million Europeans. The disorder causes a person’s heart beat to go awry and pump blood in disorganized patterns that causes breathe shortness, heart palpitations, chronic fatigue and confusion. The condition essentially causes the chambers of the heart to work in disorder so that blood is not filtered properly and is not accurately pumped through the arteries.
Some people affected with the condition have experienced their heart beating over 200 times per minute. The condition can have a negative impact on a person’s quality of living and many side effects can be experienced which can eventually lead to serious heart conditions and other fatal disorders, if not taken care of immediately. Although restoring normal cardiac rhythm is possible through minor surgical procedures, adapting healthy lifestyle changes like including more fresh produce of fruits and vegetables and lesser fats and sodium is recommended. There are some foods that should not be consumed to avoid AFib which are discussed in this article.
Drinking even a few alcoholic beverages while you are out with your buddies can increase your risk of experiencing an AFib episode if you are diagnosed with the condition. Most doctors would recommend a glass of red wine every day with a meal because when used in moderation, alcohol can be beneficial for heart health. However, a study conducted by the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that even moderate drinking can pose a risk of Atrial Fibrillation. Surprisingly, their studies showed that AFib inception was prevalent in wine and liquor drinkers and not beer drinkers.
Heavy drinkers who have more than three drinks every day have an additional 8% chance of being diagnosed with AFib. Similarly, binge drinkers who have more than five drinks in a day also have a higher chance of developing irregular heart patterns. All these studies only conclude that alcohol is a no-no if you want to keep AFib at bay and have a healthy heart. However, if you can’t keep off the bottle, limit your drinking to 2-3 drinks per day and try to take a few days off a week to keep the system alcohol-free. Keep in mind that alcohol raises your risk of bleeding if you are taking heart medication like blood thinners. Also, vitamin k antagonists mixed with alcohol can be harmful in that it reduces the body’s ability to clot blood while bleeding.
Coffee and tea contain caffeine which is a stimulant that increases the heart rate temporarily.
Coffee is widely used to keep awake during times of stress because of it’s stimulant property which invigorates the central nervous system and tricks you to believe you are not sleepy. However, moderate coffee might not directly affect your AFib condition, so be mindful when you drink some next time around and see what it does for your body before deciding to kick it out of your lifestyle. Consumption of caffeine inducing foods can also leave the body dehydrated which can increase the chances of an AFib incident. Shifts in dehydration levels can also cause disruptions in the body’s normal functions so keeping well hydrated is essential especially when involved in any kind of heavy physical or sport activities.
Like coffee and tea, chocolate also acts as a stimulant and increases the heart’s rate temporarily immediately after consumption. This spike in heart beat is caused by a chemical called phenethylamine, which can upset the system to trigger Atrial Fibrillation. However, this mostly applies to chocolate eaten in large doses and applies to individuals who suffer from acute AFib.
So, stick to small doses of chocolate and substitute your regular chocolate for dark chocolate which contains lesser sugar and cacao which is great to promote healthier cardiovascular systems and boost blood circulation whilst lowering cholesterol levels and blood pressure.
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