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Sports Fans at Heart Attack Risk

Sports Fans at Heart Attack Risk

Did LeBron James’ return to the Cleveland Cavaliers put some loyal supporters at risk for a heart attack? For a lot of fans (the word does come from fanatics) the answer is yes. The same is true for football fans in Seattle; baseball fans around the Chesapeake Bay; and soccer fans in Germany. A 2006 Munich study found that hospitals reported twice as many cardiac emergencies as usual on days when Germany played World Cup matches. And among those with diagnosed heart problems, the rate was up to four times higher than the norm. Sports fans most at risk are those who have heart disease but don’t know it. When blood pressure soars (excitement, anxiety and stress can do that), so does your chance of a heart attack or stroke. 

So, to keep your blood pressure down, through the World Series and beyond, make sure you add these tasty foods to your diet.

  • Arugula is high in blood-pressure lowering nitrates. (The green’s vitamin C keeps your body from converting nitrites into nitrates—so these naturally-occurring phytochemicals are much better for you than those added to processed meats!)
  • Celery is good for snacking. Celery seed extracts lowered high blood pressure in lab studies as effectively as standard meds.
  • Olive oil, when substituted for saturated and trans fats in your diet, may reduce your need for HBP medication by 50%.
  • Spinach, loaded with magnesium and calcium, also helps regulate blood pressure.

Even when adding these heart-healthy foods, do NOT stop taking your blood pressure medications without talking to your doctor first.