The Doctor’s Kitchen Podcast: #30: The Fresh Heart Project with Dr Zarrin Shaikh

Today on the podcast I am speaking to Dr Zarrin Shaikh, a Consultant Cardiologist who specialised in Cardiac Imaging, specifically advanced echocardiography and cardiac MRI, following her PhD
in Sleep at Imperial College London and the Royal Brompton Hospital.

We’ll be talking about her exciting new project called Fresh Heart Project, which stands for food, relaxation, exercise, sleep and happiness and how these lifestyle features can help us overcome blood pressure issues, atherosclerosis and look after our hearts.

We’ll be talking about her personal experience of lifestyle medicine, the cardiologists from America who inspired her journey and a particular focus on Atrial fibrillation something that I personally suffered with and why we may be seeing more of it in clinic.

Some of the points that we talked about that I think are really important to consider are below – and don’t forget to check out the show notes here too for the papers that Dr Zarrin discusses:

  • Looking at the news in the morning and being aware of what impact that has on your stress levels
  • The connection between happiness and cardiovascular disease
  • I’ll link to the studies that Dr Zarrin mentioned in the notes below
  • The nutrition principles that Dr Zarrin stands by – whole grains, quality fats, largely whole and lots of plant based foods
  • How lifestyle is an adjunct to therapy – something that we use alongside the current tools that we have

Click here to listen to the podcast episode



‘I’ll never forget a morning I went in to the coronary care unit – it was a Sunday morning – and I looked around at the male bay and I thought – gosh, they’re quite young.  I talked to them, and they didn’t really have many risk factors.  But they key thing that they spoke about was having this period of stress, that then led to this central crushing chest pain that brought them in.  It’s so important now for us as a society to think about how we can tackle this’

Dr Zarrin Shaikh


I’m sure that you found this episode as interesting as I did – and must thank Dr Zarrin for being so open with us and sharing her personal story.

Don’t forget to check out Dr Zarrin’s new Fresh Heart Project – I honestly think this is going to be game changing for the NHS and I can’t wait to be able to send people her way who want to look after their hearts more effectively using lifestyle alongside medicines.


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