February isn't just about romance and heart-shaped chocolates; it's also Heart Month, a time dedicated to educating Canadians about the importance of cardiovascular health.
Heart disease is the second leading cause of death in Canada and the leading cause of death amongst Canadian women. There are an estimated 70,000 heart attacks in Canada each year, which is approximately one heart attack every seven minutes. Over 16,000 Canadians die each year due to heart attacks and most of these deaths occur outside of the hospital.
It is important to know the signs of a heart attack. They can include chest discomfort, discomfort in other areas of the upper body (neck, jaw, shoulder, arms, back), shortness of breath, sweating, nausea, and light headedness. But did you know that in the event of experiencing heart attack symptoms, chewing one 325 mg tablet of ASA (acetylsalicylic acid, more commonly known as Aspirin®) can increase the chances of survival?
In January 2005, when I was only 11 years old, my life changed forever. I was playing hockey in Jordan Station, Ontario when late in the second period I noticed that my dad was missing from the crowd. My father, Dale Beaulieu, was a dedicated hockey dad and never missed a game or practice since I learned to skate. As the game came to an end, I felt that something was not right. When I exited the ice, a parent rushed towards me. Time stood still as I was told that my dad had suffered a heart attack.
It took nearly half an hour for the ambulance to arrive at the arena and unfortunately, no one knew about the benefits of chewing ASA or had any available. Sadly, he passed away in the ambulance before it could reach the hospital. He was just 48 years old.
My father's death wasn't the only time my family was touched by heart disease. In 2011, a family friend was golfing in Barrie, Ontario when he began to feel the symptoms of a heart attack. Fortunately, he knew the benefits of ASA and was lucky that his friends found some in the pro shop. They rushed ASA out to him and he chewed it while he waited for the ambulance to arrive. A stent was inserted at the hospital and his doctor credits his survival to the quick administration of ASA, which allowed him the extra time to receive much needed medical attention.
Since then, my brother Andrew and I have been on a mission to help other families by sharing our story and spreading awareness about the importance chewing ASA in the event of a heart attack. We created Key to Life, a keychain pill holder specifically designed to carry ASA so that Canadians can be prepared to respond to the signs of a heart attack whenever or wherever they might occur.
Key to Life keychain
In the event of a heart attack:
• CALL 9-1-1 when experiencing symptoms of a heart attack
• CHEW one 325 mg OR two 81 mg ASA (Aspirin®) tablet(s)
• WAIT for emergency care to arrive
This February, be prepared to protect your heart and the hearts of the ones you love in the event that a heart attack occurs.
Those mega omegas reduce inflammation on the cellular level that can cause redness, acne, and loss of firmness. These essential fatty acids replenish the lipids in the skin, which helps keep skin flexible, helps reduce moisture loss. This can help minimize the look of wrinkles. Some research suggests that omega-3 fats may help keep eyes healthy by protecting against dry eye syndrome.
Salmon is one of the best sources of high-quality, easily digested protein that is low in artery-clogging saturated fat. Protein plays an big role in the production of skin-plumping collagen and elastin, which gives skin its flexibility – that ability for your skin to snap back from stressors like a taut elastic band. Antioxidants probably don’t come to mind when you think of salmon, but they’re in there: that reddish colour comes from a powerful free-radical buster called astaxanthin (the same compound that makes lobsters red). Recent studies suggest astaxanthin to be even more potent than beta-carotene and vitamin E, the famed skin healer.
With age comes stress and we all know the familiar calling of the vending machine when we’re too frazzled to eat well. Lean protein from salmon helps to keep ward off sugar cravings as it suppresses appetite because it is digested slowly and does not spike blood sugar levels.
A number of studies have demonstrated that the anti-inflammatory effects of omega-3s can decrease the redness and burning associated with UV exposure as well as lower your risk of developing certain types of skin cancer.
There’s no point in being a beauty if you've got no brains. Salmon’s anti-inflammatory fats have been shown to protect your noggin from cellular damage that can mess with cognitive function, reducing your risk for a stroke, which is essentially a heart attack in your brain. Salmon is also a rare source of dimethylaminoethanol (DMAE), a substance that is a precursor the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, a brain chemical that boosts mental alertness.