Tart cherries have the power to lower the blood pressure ten times more than aspirin.
A recent health study showed that, in the United States, the rate of people suffering heart attacks significantly increases during the months of December and January, aligning with the holiday period. The study’s directors have suggested that possible culprits for this may include breaks in diets, exercise programs and excess alcohol consumption that commonly take place during the holiday season.
But what’s even more disturbing is that, because of this strong statistic, if you do suffer a heart attack during the holiday season, you’re much more likely to die from it. Overwhelmed hospitals are likely to run out of life-saving medications, heart-pumping machines, staff who can perform emergency surgeries, as well as nurses and medical technicians. So, aside from watching what goes into your mouth during the holidays, what can you do to stay safe?
Should You Pop an Aspirin?
This potentially life-saving drug can be found just about anywhere, yet is frequently in short supply in hospitals during this high-traffic period. Aspirin can lower blood pressure and inflammation, and has been known to prevent heart attacks in some. However, tart cherries have the power to lower the blood pressure ten times more than aspirin, minus most of the side effects. As you may know, natural medicine takes it’s sweet time to work in our bodies; especially if our bodies are toxic. In the heat of the moment, perhaps an aspirin would work quicker. But, if prevention is your goal, we suggest the cherries.
Know Your Treatment Options
Be aware of the research hospitals that have signed on to provide “door to balloon” care for heart attack sufferers in your area . The Door to Balloon Alliance was developed by the American College of Cardiology (ACC) to save time and lives of heart attack sufferers who come to the hospital needing a balloon angioplasty, a lifesaving treatment that can be in overwhelming demand during the holiday months. If you have a heart condition, it’s a good thing to know both during and after the holidays.
Pack Your Prescriptions
If you’re traveling over the holidays, take care in packing daily medications, such as statins, and continue to take them as instructed. Lapses or over-dosage can cause cardiovascular problems. Storing pills in a daily pill organizer can prevent over-dosage. Remind visiting relatives to do the same.
Take time to de-stress. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the holidays, a nice walk is the perfect way to calm your nerves and keep your blood pumping in between all those holiday treats.
Listen to your Gut
Never “wait out” chest pains. If you have even the slightest suspicion that you might be suffering a heart attack, call 911 immediately. Believe it or not, many people who die from a heart attack during the holiday season simply wait too long to ask for the help they need.
Adrienne writes for special-interest magazines and has worked on the production of women’s lifestyle channels at AOL as well as at E! Entertainment Television. She graduated from CUNY Baruch, where she served as the editor-in-chief of the award-winning student newspaper The Ticker.