Heart-healthy tips for the family

Danielle Braff

In honor of February, American Heart Month, we’ve compiled information you need to know to get you and your family fit ASAP.

Heart attacks during pregnancy

If you’re pregnant, don’t simply assume that having chest pain or shortness of breath is part of the whole baby thing. The odds of having a heart attack while pregnant are 1 in 16,000, but those odds are increasing because more women are having babies later in life. So call the doc immediately if you’re having chest pain.

Bacteria alert

A man’s office contains about 50 percent more bacteria than a woman’s office, according to a new study published in the Public Library of Science. So it could be a smart decision to pack some baby wipes in his bag -- as well as in the diaper bag. That way, he won’t be bringing home germs that could get everyone in the family sick.

Fish for your heart

Adding shellfish and dark-meat poultry to your diet could make you 60 percent less likely to develop or die from heart disease, according to researchers from the NYU School of Medicine. Even those with elevated cholesterol levels reduced their risks drastically by adding those proteins to their diets.

Go nuts for heart health

If you eat monounsaturated fats (found in avocado, hummus and peanut butter), you’ll be keeping your mind sharp. And since your brain is connected to your heart system, these healthy fats will help your heart, too, says a recent study by Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Stay away from saturated fats (butter), because they have the opposite effect on your brain and heart.

Tiny bites

You’re already cutting your children’s food into little pieces -- and research shows that you should also be putting your food on the chopping block. A study by Arizona State University researchers finds that cutting food into small pieces creates the illusion that you’re eating more than you actually are. So you end up eating less, which is healthier for your heart and better for your waistline.