Heart healthy tips

Learn about heart disease and the prevention measures you can take to stay heart healthy.

Take care of your heart

According to the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. Every year, heart diseases cause one in four deaths. Now is the time to take care of your heart.

Exercise regularly and eat heart-healthy foods
Exercising and eating heart-healthy foods is one of the best preventive measures you can take. Staying active helps you stay in shape and gets your blood flowing. Experts say exercising at least three times per week for about 30 minutes can help your circulation and make it easier for blood to flow to your heart. Incorporating this change to your daily routine will help you become more heart-healthy.
You can also add these heart-healthy foods to your diet:
      • Fatty fish and fish oil (salmon, sardines, tuna and other healthy seafood rich in omega-3 fatty acids)
      • Walnuts
      • Beans
      • Dark Chocolate
      • Leafy green vegetables (kale, collard greens, spinach, etc.)
      • Whole grains (oats, rye, brown rice, wild rice)
      • Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries
      • Avocados

Schedule preventive care services
Preventive care services can help you detect heart problems before it's too late. Be sure to take advantage of Ascension Personalized Care benefits by scheduling an annual exam or preventive screenings. Ascension Personalized Care pays for 100% of certain preventive care services with an Ascension Network Clinician.

Is your heart in trouble?
It is important to know the signs of a heart attack so you can seek medical attention if you experience symptoms. A heart is when the blood flow that brings oxygen to the heart is critically reduced or severely cut off. According to the American Heart Association, this happens because coronary arteries become narrowed from a buildup of fat, cholesterol or other substances that together are called plaque. The signs of a heart attack can be different for men and women.

Heart attack symptoms for men
      • Chest discomfort that mostly occurs in the center of the chest and lasts for more than a few minutes. It can go away and return. The   
         discomfort can feel like pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.
       • Discomfort in other areas of the upper body, including pain or discomfort in one or both arms, back, neck, jaw or stomach.
       • Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.
       • Other signs like cold sweats, nausea or lightheadedness.

Heart attack symptoms for women
Women's most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. Women are more likely than men to experience other symptoms like shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting, and back or jaw pain.
       • Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing or pain in the center of the chest. It can last for a few minutes or go away and come back.
       • Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, back, neck, jaw or stomach.
       • Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.
       • Other signs like cold sweats, nausea or lightheadedness.

If you experience these symptoms, please seek medical attention immediately. Adopting healthier lifestyle habits is the best way you can improve your heart health. 

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