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Angina Diet

Angina is a chest pain that occurs when the heart does not get sufficient amount of oxygen-rich blood. You feel a kind of pressure in your chest and the pain might even be felt in the shoulders, arms, neck, jaw, or back. Angina is a symptom of a heart disease and not a condition by itself. Visit the doctor in case you experience such pain so that the underlying problem is diagnosed and treated immediately. Doctors give specific dietary guidelines for cardiovascular diseases.

These guidelines are the basic principles on which a diet for angina is based. Here’s what you should consider:

  • Consume at least five portions of a variety of fruits and vegetables a day. Two portions of vegetables and three portions of fruit are ideal. Eat pineapples, grapes, oranges, and apples as they are high in vitamin C, which helps lower cholesterol levels. Choose fruits high in soluble fiber like pears and apples. Include parsley in your diet, it is known to be a good remedy for Angina.
  • Since Angina is caused by the narrowing of the coronary arteries, it is important that you avoid fatty foods which are high in cholesterol. Try to use low fat alternatives of processed foods such as margarine and low fat mayonnaise. Choose healthier cuts of lean meats and avoid hydrogenated fats. Choose poultry and white meats over red meats.
  • Fish is a very healthy food for your heart because they are rich in heart healthy omega 3 fatty acids. Consume at least three portions of fish every week and choose fish such as herring, kippers, fresh salmon, fresh tuna, sardines, and mackerel.
  • Avoid using hydrogenated and animal fat for frying; instead use vegetable oils like sunflower and olive oil.
  • Reduce the amount of salt that you consume in each of your meals. Sodium is not good for the heart. Increase the consumption of foods rich in potassium. Potatoes, bananas, kiwis, peaches and tomatoes are some of the foods rich in potassium.

You can ask your health practitioner to recommend a list of foods to eat for the treatment of angina and other cardiovascular diseases. Some of these foods include whole cereals and fibrous fruits like pineapple, cantaloupe, orange and berries. Also consume green leafy vegetables, wheat bran, oats, barley, nuts, brown rice, and beans.

Your doctor may also recommend a list of foods to avoid. These foods should be altogether avoided or consumed very sparingly as they can worsen your symptoms and cause other, more severe cardiovascular disorders. Limit your intake of simple carbohydrates such as rice, potatoes and yams. Instead, consume complex carbohydrates. Discuss your iron intake with your doctor. Some doctors strongly feel that decreasing iron intake can help improve cardiovascular symptoms as high iron consumption may lead to atherosclerosis.

Angina Nutrition

Good nutrition is extremely important for your health. It is also important for you to keep your weight in check by instituting healthy lifestyle practices. If you are overweight, start a healthy exercise routine and avoid dieting. Doctors also discourage using fad diets to lose weight as these diets could cause nutritional deficiencies and may worsen your angina symptoms.

All vitamins and minerals are important for maintaining good health, but vitamin B complex is ideal for those who suffer from angina or any other heart conditions. Calcium, phosphorus, and zinc are also important so include mineral-rich foods in your diet.

Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables throughout the day as they are rich in both minerals and vitamins. If you feel hungry between meals, snack on fruits instead of fried or junk foods. If you do not have access to fresh fruits and vegetables, consider asking your healthcare practitioner for suitable supplements.

Additional Info


Some of the most common causes of angina include:

  • Coronary heart disease
  • Excessive smoking
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Atherosclerosis
  • High blood sugar due to insulin resistance
  • Plaque buildup due to damaged arteries


  • Chest pain and discomfort
  • Tightness and burning sensation that may radiate towards the arms and sides
  • Fatigue, nausea, dizziness, breathlessness and weakness may also be observed


There are several tests used for the diagnosis of angina. The doctor first takes a detailed medical history, performs a physical test, and then recommends one. Some of the tests are:

  • EKG (Electrocardiogram)
  • Stress Testing
  • Chest X Ray
  • Computed Tomography Angiography
  • Blood Tests


It is important to institute certain lifestyle changes in order to treat angina. Your doctor may prescribe medications for improving cardiovascular health. Some medical procedures may be necessary for cardiac rehabilitation. These procedures are usually required in advanced cases where the patient has developed some cardiovascular disease. The main goal of most treatments is to improve symptoms and prevent cardiovascular disease.


Making healthy lifestyle changes is one of the simplest ways to prevent angina. You can start by giving up habits like smoking and drinking. Improve your diet, cut off junk and fried foods, and start an exercise regimen. Maintain a healthy weight and learn relaxation techniques to manage stress. All of these will help you get healthier and keep cardiovascular problems at bay.


M. Gabriel Khan, Chapter 8 - Angina, Encyclopedia of Heart Diseases, Academic Press, Burlington, 2006, Pages 35-56, ISBN 9780124060616, 10.1016/B978-012406061-6/50010-2.

Submitted on June 12, 2012