In the long run, learning to make better food choices for preventing and managing Atrial Fibrillation will be a lot more enjoyable than taking a handful of medications and being home-bound.
One of the central principles is to avoid foods that raise your blood pressure and heart rate.
Sources include coffee, tea, soft drinks or high-energy drinks.
- Caffeine is known to stimulate the body and may act as a trigger for fast and/or irregular heartbeats (in some people), such as Atrial Fibrillation.
For women especially, alcohol may trigger an episode of Atrial Fibrillation. If you’ve been diagnosed with Atrial Fibrillation, limit your alcohol intake to no more than one drink a day.
- Even moderate drinking can trigger an episode of Atrial Fibrillation in people who have been diagnosed with Heart Disease or Diabetes.
Normally, leafy green vegetables are encouraged on any healthy diet.
However, healthy vegetables such as broccoli, kale, spinach, asparagus and others have high levels of vitamin K present which interfere with the way blood thinners (often prescribed to treat abnormal heart rhythms) work.
Your physician will give you specifics on how much, if any, of these types of vegetables you may eat if you’re taking blood thinners such as Warfarin (Coumadin).
Please follow his/her instructions carefully when you’re first learning to make better food choices for preventing and managing Atrial Fibrillation
Salt raises your blood pressure, and high blood pressure increases your risk of atrial fibrillation.
If you’ve been diagnosed with high blood pressure (Hypertension), The American Heart Association recommends an intake of no more than 1,500 milligrams of sodium a day
Foods such as bacon or other cured meats, aged cheeses, fermented cabbage and fava beans, contain high levels of tyramine.
- According to a recent study published in the British Heart Journal, these types of foods may raise your blood pressure and the risk of Atrial Fibrillation.
Animal-based foods are high in saturated fats so it’s best to avoid or cut way down on foods like butter, milk, cheese, ice cream, and fatty meats.
- Just by reducing the number of Trans-fats (as found in margarine) and Saturated fats (such as butter, cheeses, and foods high in cholesterol) in your diet by 10% you’ll be lowering your risk factors for Atrial Fibrillation.
People living with Atrial Fibrillation should add foods that are high in potassium to their diets.
- Low potassium levels have been associated with the onset of some irregular heart rhythms.
Grapefruit juice has a chemical called naringenin, which can interfere with the effectiveness of drugs for preventing irregular heart rhythms.
IF you’re taking blood thinners such as Warfarin (Coumadin), be aware that the dose may need to be adjusted if you’re taking Multivitamins. You need to discuss this with your doctor.
Atrial Fibrillation is a potentially dangerous disturbance of the normal rhythm of your heart. Making better food choices for preventing and managing Atrial Fibrillation is a win-win situation for your heart health.