When it comes to chronic health issues across the world, heart disease and cardiovascular issues are among some of the most prominent problems. To put this in perspective, in the U.S alone, around 610,000 people die of heart disease on a yearly basis, roughly 1 in 4 deaths overall. The sheer volume of death from heart issues has led to a rise in awareness of ways to try and combat this issue, like promoting more physical activity. This is also reflected in a number of growing number of advances in treating heart conditions, known as interventional cardiology.
Ideally, though, keeping the heart healthy shouldn’t be a matter of trying to find the one single “magic bullet” that will instantly clear out any problems. Instead, one should try to want to combine the general regimens with different supplemental items and dietary choices that have a proven background of heart support. Here are some common examples.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids: These are essential nutrients that play a variety of different roles, including supporting brain and eye health. When it comes to the heart, though, the main benefit of these is that they help reduce inflammation that can stem from atherosclerosis. In addition, they also lower triglyceride levels, which tend to lead to blocked arteries in the first place. Because omega-3 products are so popular, there are a lot of studies done on them. One study shows that they are linked to lower blood pressure and risk of death from heart disease. For those who are interested in eating their omegas rather than taking supplements, the best bet is going to be cold-water fish like salmon or mackerel. For those who don’t eat fish, a good backup option is walnuts and flaxseeds.
Heart-Friendly Beverages: A simple swap of soft drinks for some other beverages can be a great benefit when it comes to heart health. For example, green tea is beloved for being calming, but it also has the notable component epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). This is an antioxidant, known for helping clear up free radical cell damage. One study showed that this antioxidant could provide significant benefits for the heart. Note that the study parameters applied when participants took five to six cups of green tea a day. Pomegranate juice is another example, which also has antioxidants in it that can help lower blood pressure.
Seasoning Swapping: Salt will help out a lot of dishes in the flavor department, but it’s not the best for the heart. The good news is that there’s plenty of alternatives that people can use when cooking. One of the best options is turmeric. Some of the benefits that have been recorded in studies include promoting circulation and reducing blood clots. If turmeric isn’t to one’s taste, just lowering salt intake can have heart benefits. Basil, bay leaves, cayenne, and coriander are only a few examples of different spices and herbs that can go great in dishes, without the need for excess salt.
Supplements to Support Cardio Health
Coenzyme Q10: The heart is hands down the most-worked muscle in the body, which means that it requires a lot of energy day-in and day-out. CoenzymeQ10, or CoQ10, helps power the heart and other bodily functions by helping cells extract energy from food. It can be helpful to supplement with this because it’s been proven to decrease with age. One study showed that CoQ10 supplementation helped relieve a lot of the common symptoms of heart disease. As an added note, statin therapy has shown to decrease CoQ10 levels in some cases, so those who are undergoing this may want to give added consideration to CoQ10.
Magnesium: Magnesium is notable because it is one of the most important minerals in the human body, yet the vast majority of people don’t get enough of it. In terms of heart health, it serves the role of relaxing the heart and allowing it to work better. For example, it helps dilate the arteries to lower blood pressure. It also helps the body in a variety of other ways, from improving sleep to helping to increase the function of other supplements, like calcium.
For a lot of people, it can be difficult to try and stick to making major dietary changes or using a supplement on a regular basis. This is why it’s important to try and consult with a doctor first. For one, a doctor will help with tests that can determine one’s general heart health, determining whether immediate or preventative action is needed. In addition, if a patient is deficient in a certain nutrient, a doctor can provide guidance on what supplements and foods to eat to reach a healthy amount.