Diet & nutrition for svt

legumes image by J-F Perigois from

Supraventricular tachycardia, or SVT, known more commonly as tachycardia, is a heart condition where an irregularly fast heartbeat is caused by an abnormal electrical signal in the lower chambers of the heart. Episodes, although not life threatening, can last for a few seconds or several hours. SVT episodes can be very distressing to their sufferers, and the symptoms are often mistaken as a heart attack. A number of alterations to your diet and nutrition can help you control episodes, in particular, the removal of certain trigger substances such as caffeine.


Caffeine is the most common trigger of SVT. Decrease or remove altogether caffeine-rich substances from your diet, including tea, coffee, chocolate and carbonated soft drinks. Even decaffeinated beverages contain traces of caffeine and should be reduced or removed from your diet if SVT episodes persist. Although known as one of the main triggers of SVT, you do not need to cut caffeine completely from your diet. You can still enjoy the occasional cup of tea or coffee, but should do so in moderation.

Food and Drink to Avoid

A number of other foods have also been attributed to triggering SVT episodes. Decrease or remove your intake of processed carbohydrates to help control instances of SVT. Substances such as potatoes, white bread, sugar-based deserts and soft drinks should be taken in limited amounts, while you may elect to remove them altogether. You should start a food diary and register the different effects caused after consuming certain substances, as each person is affected in different ways.

Food and Drink you Should Consume

Increase your intake of high-fibre complex carbohydrates to help control SVT episodes. Whole grain foods are easily introduced to diets, as, for example, you can replace your regular white rice and spaghetti with the healthier whole grain alternative. Vegetables eaten raw, legumes, fruits and meats all help when combating instances of SVT. Vegetarians can take a satisfactory protein level by consuming upwards of three servings of raw legumes a week. Beans, lentils and pulses are common protein-rich substances in vegetarian diets.

Other Substances you Should Consume

Magnesium-rich foods can also help with SVT. These include almonds and other nuts, spinach, lentils, onions, peaches, oranges, peas, beans and cucumbers, among others. If you find that you are not able to introduce enough magnesium to your diet, you should consider taking magnesium supplements. As with any other dietary alterations, keep a note of how you react to different substances.

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