The Doctor’s Kitchen Podcast: #20: Eat for Your Heart with Dr Ayan Panja

On this episode, I invite fellow doctor and friend Dr Ayan Panja, General Practitioner, super generalist, lifestyle medicine enthusiast and co-founder of Lobe Medical back to the podcast to talk about eating and lifestyle for our heart health.

Eating for your heart as a concept, is not about food like a pill – but diet is an important consideration for protecting and promoting our heart health and it’s why I ultimately believe that nutrition training is vital for all medics to grasp an understanding of, as well as the general public.

Listen up because it’s not just people in their 50’s and 60’s that need to be listening to this episode – it’s actually relevant for all generations – because looking after your heart is a life long process.

You can listen to the podcast here

In this episode we talked about the following:

  • Defined narrow inflamed arteries
  • Why inflammation is important and what balances inflammation
  • Why a mediterranean focused diet is important
  • How changing areas of your lifestyle such as sleep, stress and movement – can benefit your heart health
  • Minimising excess sugar and refined, processed foods in the diet
  • Ornish lifestyle programme



A quote from my conversation with Dr Ayan:

‘We’ve talked about inflammation a lot – and I hear that word a lot on your podcasts – because as we know that drives a lot of conditions.  Cardiovascular disease is definitely partly inflammatory – we know that.  And the thinking is, that this sort of reaction that your vessel wall has – to try and heal itself from this injury – creates this inflammatory cascade, and rather than just having local inflammation, triggers systemic inflammation in your whole cardiovascular system.  And that can put your blood pressure up, and cause narrowing of arteries elsewhere in the body as well – in other arteries, not just the ones around your heart’.  

Dr Ayan Panja

As Dr Ayan mentions on the podcast – unfortunately someone has a heart attack around every 7 minutes in the UK.   Wouldn’t it be great if we could reduce that number by making one or two little changes in our lifestyle – such as eating more nuts, eating more fish, exercising a bit more, relaxing a bit more, reducing stress levels.

I’m sure you found the conversation with Dr Ayan as interesting as I did – it’s amazing the difference that some small lifestyle changes that we talked about can make to your overall heart health.

And if we look at the Ornish Lifestyle programme  – we can see here the incredible results and reductions in heart disease that Dr Dean Ornish has achieved with patients over the last 30 years.  Do visit the website and read about the programme – I’m sure you’ll find it incredibly interesting.

Looking after your heart is a lifelong process, and as always, be sure to work with your own practitioner at every step of the way, to make sure that any lifestyle changes you want to make are relevant, tailored and safe – especially in terms of any current medication.

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