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It's never to late to improve your heart health. Coronary heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States.

That's why it's so important to reduce your risk factors, know the warning signs, and know how to respond quickly and properly if warning signs occur.

Know The Warning Signs of Heart Attack

The American Heart Association (AHA) states that some heart attacks are sudden and intense, but most heart attacks start slowly, with mild pain or discomfort.

Most of the time, people aren't sure what's going on and wait too long before getting help.

According to the AHA, the following signs can mean a heart attack is happening:

  • Chest discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.
  •  Discomfort in other areas of the upper body. Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
  • Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort. Other signs may include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or light headedness.

Chest pain or discomfort is the most common symptom among both men and women. However, women are somewhat more likely to experience some of the other common symptoms, like shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting, and back or jaw pain.

The AMA warns: Learn the signs, but remember this, even if you're not sure it's a heart attack, have it checked out (tell a doctor about your symptoms). Minutes matter! Fast action can save lives — maybe your own. Don’t wait more than five minutes to call 9-1-1.

Develop A Heart Healthy Lifestyle

Don't be a victim of heart disease, strive to make healthier choices in the following areas:

Health Experts are recommending plant sterols, polyphenols and resveratrol for improving your cholesterol and heart health.

What Are Plant Sterols?

Many plants include some substances known as plant sterols, phytochemical compounds found in the fatty tissues of plants.

Wheat germ, sesame oil, wheat bran, and brussels sprouts are rich in plant sterols.

When plant sterols are consumed, they compete with cholesterol for absorption in the body.

However, it is difficult to consume enough of these foods on a daily basis to derive enough plant sterols to maintain healthy cholesterol levels.

Promising studies have shown that, foods containing at least 0.4 grams per serving of plant sterols, eaten twice a day with meals for a daily total intake of at lest 0.8 grams and as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease.

What Are Polyphenols?

polyphenols for heart health

Polyphenols are a class of powerful antioxidants.  They are thought to be responsible for the French Paradox.

The French have a diet relatively high in fat, yet have a decreased incidence of heart disease.

It is believed this is due to the amount of polyphenols present in the grapes used to make French wines.

Products containing a powerful variety of polyphenols, including anthocyanins will help promote a healthy cardiovascular system.

What Is Resveratrol?

Resveratrol is produced from grapes and various other plants.

It's a powerful antioxidant that supports the cardiovascular system by helping to protect healthy blood vessels.

If you are concerned with cholesterol or heart health, look for products containing, plant sterols, resveratrol and polyphenols.


Heart Health Additional Resources

Cardiovascular Health

Statistics about Heart Disease

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Learn more about cardiac disease, diabetes and other diabetes complications.

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