Bits and Pieces

current news + topics

Don’t Take Aspirin to Prevent 1st Heart Attack

Black Americans often hear conflicting medical information. For years, the advice to protect against a first heart attack was to take baby aspirin. But recently that advice has changed. Studies show that taking a low-dose aspirin daily may help your heart but can cause other side effects such as bleeding. According to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, people over 60 should not take daily aspirin to prevent a first heart attack or stroke. People who have heart disease should consult their primary care doctor about what this information means for their health.

Eat Foods Without Gaining Weight

Many of us struggle with the battle of the bulge and the problem only gets worse as we age.
We should recognize that choosing foods that make you feel full for the least number of calories can help in the struggle to lose weight. Foods that are high volume, high fiber, and high protein can help us feel fuller longer. Fruits such as apples and citrus, vegetables including legumes and potatoes (watch the butter!), as well as eggs, fish, and lean meats can help us on our journey to move the numbers on the scale in the right direction.

Improve Mental Health in 15 Minutes a Day

We know a lot about the things we should do to protect our physical health. We brush our teeth, wash our hands frequently, and take other hygiene steps because we don’t want ill health. Rarely do we consider our mental hygiene, or steps we can take to lessen stress and negative feelings. In as little as 15 minutes in the morning, we can practice relaxation and reduce some of the stress we feel as the day goes on. Start small by listening to calming music, taking a walk, even deep breathing. Note how you feel during the rest of the day. You can try different activities until you find one that works for you.

Are you a positive person? You should know that because of your positive attitude, cheerfulness, and low level of anxiety, you are 13% less likely to have a heart attack! Researchers suspect that positive people are more protected from the inflammatory damage of stress. It could be that positivity helps people make better long-term health and life decisions. On the flip side, some studies found that negative emotions can weaken your body’s immune response.
Want to become a more positive person? Try to look for the silver lining when clouds are overhead and accept that change is a part of life. Stay in touch with family and friends and look for ways to address issues before they become major problems. Most importantly, smile more. Laughter is the best medicine!