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Know The Signs Of A Heart Attack

February 1, 2011, 5:25 PM by Kelli Grant

The statistics are startling. In 2010, an estimated 785,000 Americans had their first heart attack. About 470,000 had a recurrent attack. Every 25 seconds, an American will have some kind of heart problem, and every minute someone will die from one.

So what can you do? Know the signs and symptoms. Some heart attacks are sudden, but surprisingly

Most start slowly, with mild chest pain or discomfort. That discomfort usually is in the center of the chest and lasts more than a few minutes, or it can go away and come back.

It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain.

You can also experience discomfort in other areas like both arms, the back, neck, stomach, even your jaw.

You may experience shortness of breath with or without chest pain. You could also break out in a cold sweat, feel nauseas or lightheaded.

To prevent heart disease exercise and eat foods high in omega-3 fatty acids like salmon and tuna. Pomegranates, which are packed with antioxidants, are also good for the heart. Red wine has also been shown to improve "good" cholesterol. And for dessert, try a piece of dark chocolate.

"The dark chocolate has the highest level of flavanoids of any other food. And that has been shown through research that it helps lighten the blood vessels and helps them to expand a little more, which helps your blood pressure." Dietitian Julia Zumpano said.

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