Heart attacks affect more than one million Americans a year, and a surprising new study shows that diesel exhaust fumes from cars and trucks might be a major culprit.  The research shows that inhaling diesel exhaust can significantly raise your blood pressure.  And though diesel fuel is more common for everyday cars in Europe, most big rigs you see on the road are fueled by diesel, and diesel cars are becoming increasingly more popular in the U.S. While you can pack your bags and leave the big city, another option is to learn ways to avoid a heart attack and what to do if you should suffer a heart attack.

Three preventative measures for avoiding a heart attack:

  1. Cut down on your workload:  If you work an average of 11 or more hours per day, you have a whopping 67 percent higher risk of suffering from a heart attack than those who work a standard seven- to eight-hour day.  Making more money and succeeding in business are wonderful, but your extra profits are meaningless if they go directly to hospital bills.  Be sure to take plenty of breaks and use your vacation time if you have it!
  2. Add blueberries to everythingBlueberries are loaded with antioxidants, which will keep your heart strong and beating.  Blueberries have a similar antioxidant power as what is found in grapes and nuts.  Add blueberries to oatmeal to make for one incredibly heart-healthy breakfast.
  3. Up the vitamin EVitamin E contains  tocopherols, which are strong antioxidants, meaning that they fight free radical damage, and are especially effective when it comes to free radical damage that causes heart disease  The recommended daily allowance set by the Institute of Medicine for alpha-tocopherol is 15 mg for adults. Good food sources are wheat germ oil (20mg in 1 tbsp.), sunflower seeds (7.4mg in 1 oz.), almonds (6.8mg in 1 oz.), sunflower oil (5.6 mg in 1 tbsp.) and hazelnuts (4.3mg in 1 oz.).

Three lifesaving tips if you ever have a heart attack:

  1. Promptly call 911.
  2. After you call 911, chew and swallow one 325 mg adult aspirin to help dissolve any clots that might be forming in your coronary arteries.  is more effective than swallowing an aspirin. Chewed aspirin hits your bloodstream faster, and starts working in four to five minutes.
  3. Do not drive yourself to the hospital. Don’t even think about driving yourself or having an anxious mate drive you to the hospital.

For more information on having a healthy heart read some more articles here, and be sure to visit your doctor on a regular basis to make sure your heart is pumping right along.