Ask Dr. Nandi: Coffee habit helps after a heart attack

Posted at 5:59 PM, Aug 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-15 17:59:59-04

This sounds like more news for coffee drinkers. British researchers at York University tracked over 3,700 heart-attack survivors and their coffee-drinking habits.

They found patients who regularly drank at least one cup of coffee a day had a 20 percent reduced risk of death from heart damage compared with those who never drank coffee. And heavy drinkers, those who consumed two or more cups a day were nearly half as likely to die prematurely.  Why these findings are important is because once you have a heart attack, you’re at high risk for another heart attack or for developing heart failure.

What’s in the coffee that makes gives it a protective effect?

It’s not entirely clear how coffee can protect the heart and this studydoesn’t account for the effects of other areas of the participant’s diet.  But coffee contains potentially beneficial plant chemicals called flavonoids which is a class of micronutrients.  It can reduce the build-up of fatty deposits in artery walls and studies suggests that flavonoids can play a role in vascular function and blood pressure.

Are flavonoids in other foods too?

Fruits and vegetables are the main dietary sources of flavonoids.  There also found in whole grains, tea and wine.

What are your prescriptions?

It’s very crucial for heart attack survivors to maintain a healthy lifestyle to keep the heart as healthy as possible.  AND for everyone to prevent heart disease to begin with.  So here are my prescriptions:

Partha’s RX:

1. Don’t Smoke
It affects nearly every organ of your body. Quitting has immediate and long-term benefits.

2. Maintain a healthy Weight
To prevent the pounds from creeping on, keep an eye on the scale.

3.Eat a healthy diet
It’s not about short-term dietary changes.  Make a healthy lifestyle change you can stick to all year round.

4. Exercise Regularly
It improves your overall health and fitness and can reduce your risk for many diseases.

Who’s at risk for heart disease?

Anyone including children can develop heart disease as it occurs when plaque builds up in the arteries.  Right now more than 600,000 American die of heart disease every year. Those with high cholesterol, high blood pressure or diabetes are at an increased risk. As I always say, be your own health hero. Take charge of your health and make a healthy lifestyle change today.