James Martin’s horrific ‘heart attack’ experience was a wake-up call

Mawi’s Andrew Klymenko discusses silent heart attacks

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British chef James Martin presented Saturday Kitchen for 10 years, from 2006 to 2016. Then a startling incident occurred, which led him to take time out for himself. “I was in Dubai for a food festival about six months before I left Saturday Kitchen,” he began. “There were 2,000 people in the room. I sat talking to this wonderful guy, same age as me, same kind of story about starting from nothing.

“Only, he’d gone to Dubai and set up one of the biggest publishing houses in the Emirates.”

James continued: “He stood up to introduce the show, but while he was on stage, that was it.

“I saw him black out, hit the deck. Heart attack. He’d gone before he hit the floor.”

In the interview with Mail Online, James added: “You get to an age in your life where friends of yours are dying.

“You go, Woah! You spend your entire life at work, work, work, with no time for yourself and the people around you. So I made a decision to look at the way I lived my life.”

When James did leave Saturday Kitchen, he admitted he “wasn’t very well”, he had to have a “few operations”.

Witnessing a heart attack happening right in front of him, in addition to losing friends to other health conditions, really made James re-evaluate his priorities.

Without having good health, your life is on the line – so how can you make sure you minimise your risk of disease?

The NHS points towards numerous factors that influence a person’s longevity.

Longevity factors include maintaining a healthy weight, exercising frequently, getting good quality sleep, and eating well.

Unhealthy habits, such as drinking alcohol, smoking, and leading a sedentary lifestyle are likely to lead to disease.

How to eat healthier

Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables every day is key to receiving minerals and vitamins that your body requires.

You could sneak in more fruit, for example, by adding berries and bananas to your breakfast cereal.

Already that would mean you have eaten two of your five-a-day target.

A healthy diet is also low in salt and fat, which means minimising sweet treats such as chocolate and crisps.

There can be sugar hidden in everyday foods, too, such as the breakfast cereal you choose.

The health body recommends “plain porridge, plain wholewheat cereal biscuits, [or] plan shredded wholegrain pillows”.

“Swapping a bowl of sugary breakfast cereal for plain cereal could cut out 70g of sugar (up to 22 sugar cubes) from your diet over a week,” the NHS adds.

“Porridge oats are cheap and contain vitamins, minerals and fibre. Make porridge with semi-skimmed, one percent or skimmed milk, or water.”

James Martin’s Saturday Morning is on ITV for Saturday, October 1 at 9:25am.

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