All Posts tagged american heart month

Are You at Risk for Heart Disease? Quiz

Are You at Risk for Heart Disease? Quiz

Did you know that over 1.5 million heart attacks and stroke happen every year in the US? What’s even more startling, one in four women and one in five men who suffer a heart attack will die within a year. While there are some cases of heart attack and heart disease that cannot be prevented, most of the cases in the United States are easily preventable. In fact, by reducing certain risk factors, you can lower your chances of having a heart attack by 80 percent.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for all adults in the United States, so it’s important to stay vigilant in the fight against it. Even if you think you are moderately healthy, your heart could still be in danger. Many people who suffer heart attacks have no prior signs or symptoms. That’s why it’s so important to do all you can to lower your risk factors.

Even if you only have one risk factor, it is still important to talk to your doctor. He or she can recommend changes in diet, exercise, or other lifestyle changes that can greatly reduce the chances of you having a heart attack.

To see precisely how many risk factors for heart disease you have, take our quiz below. 

Are you at risk for heart disease?

About 610,000 people die of heart disease every year in the United States, accounting for one in four deaths. Take this test to see if you are at risk for the disease.

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7 Heart Healthy Recipes, Part 3

7 Heart Healthy Recipes, Part 3

Last year, we shared some heart healthy recipes in celebration of American Heart Month. This year, we’d like to continue the tradition!

Everyone knows they should eat healthy, but sometimes bad food just taste soooo good. The following recipes might not be as satisfying as a Big Mac… but they at least have some of the flavors you crave. For once, both your heart and your tongue can be happy at the same time!

1. Red Beans and Rice with Corn on the Cob

heart healthy recipes heart month

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Kick it up a notch with authentic Southern flavors encapsulated by the Cajun seasoning. The beans and rice mix goes perfect as a main dish or a side for something else.

2. Sweet Potato Nachos

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Who could say no to nachos? This healthier version of your favorite snack is scrumptiously delicious and cheesy. The sweet potatoes become crispy bites slathered in a variety of tasty toppings.

3. Chicken and Quinoa Soup

heart healthy recipes for heart month

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This warm soup will fill your belly and satiate your tongue. The chicken, vegetables, and quinoa all combine for a delicious flavor that is surprisingly nutritious.

4. Spicy Asian Salad Cups

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If you’re tired of eating the same boring salad… try this. It’s a unique take on a basic essential. The spicy chicken mixture inside the leaf will make the lettuce worthwhile.

5. Calzones with Creamy Caesar Salad

heart healthy recipes for heart month

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Yes, you read that right. Calzones can be heart healthy! Filled with ground sirloin, corn, cheese, and marinara sauce, you can make this on a night you’re craving greasy pizza.

6. Cheese and Vegetable Frittata with Fruit Salad

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This meal has so many tasty elements! All of your favorite vegetables tossed and fried inside a mountain of eggs… plus the sweet nectar of several different berries, grapes, and oranges.

7. Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan with Eggplant and Angel Hair Pasta

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A meld of two favorite dishes – eggplant and chicken parmesan, all rolled into one. See, you can have it all while still being heart healthy!


Today is Wear Red Day!

Today is Wear Red Day!

All across the United States, heart-conscious people are wearing the color red. Why? It’s a part of the Go Red For Women campaign to raise awareness about heart disease!

It started over 10 years ago when a startling fact was realized – more women die from heart disease than men. In fact, one in three women die each year from heart disease or stroke. The good news is that 80 percent of cardiac events can be prevented with education and lifestyle changes.

Here are a few more facts for you to review. If you’d like to learn more on how to keep your heart healthy, how to determine your risk of developing heart problems, and how to prevent strokes, then please visit the National Wear Red Day website!

FACT 1: Cardiovascular diseases cause one in three women’s deaths each year, killing approximately one woman every minute.

  • An estimated 43 million women in the U.S. are affected by cardiovascular diseases.
  • 90% of women have one or more risk factors for heart disease or stroke.
  • 80% of heart disease and stroke events could be prevented.

FACT 2: Since 1984, more women than men have died each year from heart disease & stroke.

  • Fewer women than men survive their first heart attack
  • The symptoms of heart attack can be different in women vs. men, and are often misunderstood – even by some physicians.
  • Women have a higher lifetime risk of stroke than men.
  • Each year, about 55,000 more women than men have a stroke.

FACT 3: Heart disease and stroke affect women of all ethnicities.

  • Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death for African-American women, killing nearly 50,000 annually.
  • Only 43% of African American women and 44% of Hispanic women know that heart disease is their greatest health risk, compared with 60% of Caucasian women.
  • Of African-American women ages 20 and older, 48.9% have cardiovascular disease. Yet, only 20% believe they are at risk.
  • Only 50% of African-American women are aware of the signs and symptoms of a heart attack.
  • Hispanic women are likely to develop heart disease 10 years earlier than Caucasian women.
  • Only 3 in 10 Hispanic women say they have been informed that they are at a higher risk.
  • Only 1 in 4 Hispanic women is aware of treatment options.

FACT 4: When you get involved in supporting Go Red For Women by advocating, fundraising and sharing your story, more lives are saved.

  • Today, nearly 300 fewer women die from heart disease and stroke each day
  • Death in women has decreased by more than 30 percent over the past 10 years.

Heart Healthy Recipes, Part 2

As American Heart Month draws to a close, it is important to keep going with the changes you made in your life. One way to do that is to keep on eating healthy! We provided you with a few “red” recipes for Valentine’s Day, but here are some more heart healthy recipes to keep you going the rest of the year!


Heart Healthy RecipesChicken Saute with Mango Sauce

This yummy chicken has a bit of spicy and sweet going on. The combination of jalapeno peppers, garlic, brown sugar, and mango may sound a bit daunting, but your taste buds will be anything but disappointed.

Seared Scallops with Crispy Leeks

Leeks are a power food that will help more than just your heart. And thinking of lightly seared scallops fresh from the sea sounds so mouth-watering already, doesn’t it?

Chicken and White Bean Salad

Salads get boring after a while, but only if you let them. This salad will invigorate your taste for greens and act as a nice change of pace from the standard lettuce dish.

Pizza Roll-Up

Pizza is… healthy? It is with this recipe! By using a whole-wheat flour tortilla and part-skim mozzarella, you cut down on calories and fat.

Heart Healthy RecipesPork Chop Suey

Asian food is one of those things that you know are bad for you, but you simply can’t resist. Luckily, here is a healthy alternative that will taste just as good!

Braised Beef Steaks with Zesty Sauce

This meal helps you tackle your craving for steak without going overboard. By cutting out the fat and using almonds and cranberry sauce, you’ll have a tasty alternative to a traditional steak.


Check out the American Heart Association for additional heart healthy recipes, or try concocting a meal of your own by reading labels and making healthy decisions!


9 Heart Healthy Red Foods for Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. If you’re currently on a heart healthy diet, a holiday usually filled with chocolates and candies may not excite you. Luckily, there are ways to celebrate without giving in to your cravings and putting your health at risk!

Try one of these “red” recipes to celebrate the day. Each one is festively vibrant while also good for your heart.


Red Strawberries Heart Health

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Red Berry Squares

Make strawberry-flavored gelatin mixed with fresh strawberries and
raspberries. Cut into squares before serving.

Frozen Watermelon Bites

Alternate frozen cubes of watermelon and mint leaves on a skewer and
serve cold.

Ravin’ Red Smoothie

Blend 1 cup low-fat yogurt, ½ cup frozen strawberries, ½ cup frozen
raspberries and 1 frozen banana.

Heart Healthy Pasta

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Red Pasta

Cook whole-wheat spaghetti and top with low-sodium marinara sauce,
diced tomatoes and sun-dried tomatoes.

Baked Red Apple Dessert

Fill 1 whole red apple (cored) with ¼ cup chopped almonds, ¼ cup
dried cranberries, 1 tsp. honey and 1 tsp. brown sugar. Bake for 15
minutes at 350° or until sugar bubbles.

Perfect Polenta

Cook polenta and mix with roasted cherry tomatoes, roasted red bell
pepper and sun-dried tomato.

Stuffed Red Peppers

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Stuffed Red Bell Peppers

Stuff 1 red bell pepper (cored) with ½ cup cooked brown rice, ¼ diced
red onion, ¼ cup ground turkey (browned), 1 tbsp. parsley, salt and
pepper. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes or until pepper is heated through.

Red Bean Salsa

Combine 2 cups red beans, ½ cup diced red onions, 1 cup diced red
tomato, ¼ cup diced jalapeño (remove seeds), ¼ cup chopped parsley,
2 tbsp. lemon juice, salt and pepper.

Roasted Red Cabbage Salad

In a large bowl, combine 2 cups chopped red cabbage (roasted), ½ cup
red onion (thinly sliced


Check out this handy PDF from the American Heart Association for a printable version of these recipes.


7 Exercises to Promote Heart Health

February is American Heart Month, which means there is no better time than now to start taking care of your heart. In addition to a healthy diet, your heart also needs a good serving of exercise to keep it strong. Generally, you should try to exercise at least two to three times per week, with one day of rest between each session. As you get stronger and your heart is more capable, you may increase the intensity and duration.

For these exercises, begin with one set of 15 to 18 repetitions. Bump it up to two to three sets over the next two to four weeks. Remember to rest for 30 to 60 second in between each set so that you do not get too tired too quickly. This workout works your whole body, so you may feel sore or tight the next day. Don’t worry, this is a good thing, and means your body and heart are getting more powerful.

1. The Ready Position


This is a good position to begin with because it helps you find your center. Stand straight and at attention, as if you were in the military. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart, your chest should be lifted, and your head should be squared on your shoulders. Keep your shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles in alignment. Tighten your core to protect your spine and lower back, and take a few breaths here to warm up.


2. Upper Back


If your back gets sore from sitting at a desk all day with poor posture, then this exercise will help immensely. Begin with feet shoulder-width apart and wrap your band around your hand several times to get rid of the slack. Put your palms out and extended your arms in front of you at shoulder level. Pull the band out with your arms parallel to the floor. Engage the shoulders by pulling them back and trying to squeeze the shoulder blades together.

3. Triceps Extension


Your triceps are the back sides of your upper arms and can get quite flabby if not worked on. This exercise helps tighten and strengthen this area. Begin by wrapping the band around the right hand several times with the palm facing up. Place the other end of the band behind your back and grab it with your left hand, wrapping it around to remove the slack. Extend your right elbow upwards (don’t lock your elbow), and repeat on the left side when you are finished.

4. Standing Hip Abduction


This move really help works on toning up the legs. Tie the band together so it forms a loop, then place it around both of your ankles. Stand next to a wall for balance and begin to move the outside leg away from the body, using the band for resistance. Do  not move forward or back, but simply to the side. Turn around and repeat on the left side when you have finished.

5. Internal Oblique


If you want a flatter stomach, then this oblique workout will really help tone the sides of your body. Simply put the band under your right foot and wrap the other end around your wrist to remove slack. Once it is tight, hold your right hand by the side of your  body and bend your torso to the left without using your hips or legs. Do not swing forward or backward, and remember to move from the core. Repeat on the other side when ready.

6. Seated Leg Extension


Your quadriceps will thank you in the morning for doing this exercise. Begin by sitting all the way back in a chair to give your spine support. Hold the band in each hand and then put the ball of your right foot in the loop. Bring your hands together in front of you and pull straight back, drawing the thigh towards the chest. Keep your knee slightly bent to prevent over-extension. Straighten out the knee as you release downward away from the body in a slow, controlled movement. Repeat with the other leg when finished.

7. Standing Hip Extension



Work that butt! This is similar to the hip abduction, but works your back end more than your legs. Make a loop with the band and place it around both of your ankles. Use a wall or chair for balance, and then move your right leg straight back with toes pointed forward until you feel a pull in your buttocks. Remember to keep the left knee slightly bent for support and stay upright with good posture. Don’t sway the lower back, and repeat on the left side.

Thanks to for these exercises and photos!