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Understanding Heart Attack: Diagnosis and Treatment

What Is the Outlook After a Heart Attack? continued...

Mind/Body Medicine

Stress may be one of the risk factors you can control to help prevent heart attack and aid in recovery. Many techniques -- such as meditation, biofeedback, and yoga -- work by training the mind and body to relax. Relaxation has also been shown to provide relief from pain, which may be encountered during the recovery period.

Attitude is another consideration in heart attack recovery. People with a positive attitude about recovery tend to do much better. You may find that a particular mind-body technique helps you to focus on positive thoughts. You may also find, as many others have, that sharing thoughts and emotions with a support group is extremely beneficial.

Nutrition and Diet

The basic goals of a heart-healthy diet are to keep salt, sugar, and trans fats to a minimum to reduce cholesterol, control blood pressure, and control weight. Eating healthy foods like nuts, beans, bran, fish, and dark-green vegetables may help prevent future heart attacks.

Much evidence shows that unstable chemical compounds known as free radicals make the body more vulnerable to heart attack by promoting atherosclerosis in the coronary arteries. Free radicals may be neutralized by antioxidants such as vitamins A, C, and E, which are present in fruits, vegetables, and grains. However, taking these nutrients in supplement form has not been shown to improve heart health.

 

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WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by James Beckerman, MD, FACC on March 26, 2014

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