Finding nutritional supplements to add to your daily routine can be overwhelming and daunting given the endless options available. Dietary supplements can be a good addition to a balanced diet, helping to fill in nutrient absorption gaps, and in some cases can also provide disease prevention benefits.
When it comes to heart health, there are nutritional supplements that can reduce disease risk factors and decrease your chances of developing cardiovascular disease in the future. While diet, exercise, and stress management play important roles in heart health, here are five nutritional supplements that can also benefit your cardiovascular health. Read on, and to learn more about how to eat healthily, don’t miss out on the 7 Healthiest Foods You Should Eat Right Now.
More commonly known as CoQ10, this nutrient is absorbed in small amounts from meat and seafood and is naturally produced in the body. Enzymes act as catalysts for the numerous biochemical reactions that are constantly going on in the body. Coenzymes are compounds that are often derived from vitamins and are necessary for these enzymes to function. While there are many, many coenzymes, coenzyme Q10 is one that is believed to have antioxidant functions as well and play a role in heart health. While the mechanisms of these interactions are not concretely understood and more research is needed to solidify their role, we currently know enough to recommend them as a supplement likely to be beneficial for cardiovascular wellbeing.
One study finds that three in four patients with heart disease have low levels of CoQ10, suggesting a possible association that a lack of this nutrient can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. Another study found that those who received CoQ10 shortly after a heart attack had a lower rate of subsequent heart attacks in the following year. Further research suggests that CoQ10 supplementation may lower blood pressure, a form of cardiovascular disease that also serves as a risk factor for many other forms of heart disease.
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This may not be the first time you’ve heard about this nutrient. In fact, you may already be adding this healthy fat to your diet for other reasons, such as: B. to relieve joint pain, relieve anxiety or reduce inflammation. Although research supports the use of omega-3 fatty acids for these conditions and more, it is believed that this form of fat also plays a role in heart health. Cholesterol, triglycerides, and arterial plaque build-up are three identified risk factors for developing heart disease. Fortunately, recent research shows that omega-3s can play a positive role in improving these metrics.
High-density lipoprotein, also called HDL cholesterol, is the “good” form of cholesterol that helps get rid of LDL, the “bad” form of cholesterol. One study found that omega-3 supplementation resulted in higher levels of HDL cholesterol and lower levels of triglyceride, another form of blood fat that serves as a risk factor for heart disease. In addition, research also suggests that omega-3 supplementation may improve the integrity of the vessel walls, which can improve vasodilation and blood flow, and reduce the effects of plaque build-up. In addition to supplementing omega-3s, this nutrient can also be found in various foods such as salmon, flaxseed, and walnuts.
Another nutrient that you are probably familiar with, fiber plays several important functions in the body. Many people are familiar with the digestive benefits associated with fiber intake, but are not as familiar with the heart health benefits. Whether consumed through fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, or as a dietary supplement, insoluble fiber is known to add bulk to stool, allowing for faster transportation and healthier bathroom habits. While this is the role of insoluble fiber, soluble fiber plays an entirely different role and is the form of fiber that is believed to be beneficial for heart health.
Soluble fiber becomes very viscous when combined with liquid, and this texture is one of the unique properties that makes it possible to improve heart health metrics. A lot of research supports the idea that this can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. One study finds that using psyllium husk – a form of fiber that you can easily add to smoothies, oatmeal, and any liquid – can lower total cholesterol by decreasing the amount of synthesized LDL cholesterol. While this supplementary form of fiber can benefit your heart health, it’s important to slowly add supplementary fiber to your diet and drink plenty of water to allow your body to acclimate.
This mineral is common in many food sources, such as nuts, seeds, legumes, and some fruits and vegetables, but research suggests that up to 50% of American adults are magnesium deficient. While magnesium plays a role in supporting bone health and reducing the risk of osteoporosis and fractures, there is research that supports its function for heart health as well. In fact, it has been found that low levels of magnesium in the blood are inversely linked to blood pressure. Related to this finding, additional research has found that magnesium supplementation lowers blood pressure and therefore reduces the risk of heart disease.
Since magnesium is widely found in food sources, a balanced diet can help minimize magnesium deficiency. However, for those with food sensitivity, allergies, or severe aversions who may not get a wide range of nutrients from their diet, taking a magnesium supplement is a surefire way to prevent a deficiency that could affect future health.
This B vitamin is naturally found in green, leafy vegetables like lettuce, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts and is believed to reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes in those with high blood pressure. One of the specific mechanisms by which folate can improve cardiovascular health is its role in breaking down homocysteine, an amino acid that can build up in the body. It is believed that high blood homocysteine levels are a risk factor for heart disease and are often associated with low blood levels of vitamins B6, B12, and folate. In addition to the leafy vegetables that contain folate, many processed foods such as breads and cereals are often fortified and fortified with folate as well. Eating a balanced diet and taking a general multivitamin is a solid plan to ensure adequate folate intake.