Experts in heart health have identified certain nutrients as contributing to better heart health by reducing cholesterol levels and even mimicking the action of some heart-healthy drugs like statins.
Here are some nutrients experts say can improve heart health.
An antioxidant that takes care of dangerous free radicals, CoQ10 also can help lower blood pressure and prevent signs of aging. The body’s natural CoQ10 levels decline as you age, which makes supplementation necessary to continue the heart-healthy benefits of this nutrient.
This nutrient is poorly absorbed by the body, and when you are under stress, magnesium is excreted from the body to make levels even lower. Your body’s natural stores of magnesium also decline with age, and magnesium deficiencies can cause heart arrhythmias and high blood pressure.
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3. Plant sterols
These compounds, which are found in vegetables, nuts, seeds, and beans, have been shown to lower cholesterol by blocking its absorption in the small intestine, but only the bad LDL cholesterol. It is difficult to get enough plant sterols from your diet alone, so supplementation may be recommended.
4. Hawthorn berry
This nutrient extract improves circulation and can increase blood flow to the heart, which can improve its health and reduce the risk of cardiovascular problems. Hawthorn berry is widely used in Europe for its heart health effects.
5. Folic acid
Arterial health is enhanced when this B vitamin variety is consumed in adequate amounts, according to a Finnish study of men 42 to 60 years old. The effect is accomplished when folic acid helps break down homocysteine, which can cause peripheral vascular disease or hardening of the arteries, according to the Heart and Stroke Encyclopedia.
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Another B vitamin (B1), thiamine is necessary for all the tissues and organs in the body to function, including the heart. Thiamine deficiency can cause heart failure, and even though it is relatively rare, it can happen when patients are taking diuretics, which often happens with cardiovascular disease.
7. Soybean oil
While too much fat of any type isn’t good for those with cardiovascular health issues, soybean oil has high levels of omega-3s and has been linked to lower risk of coronary heart disease, a fact endorsed by the FDA in recent years. Used in moderation, soybean oil can be a heart-healthy choice.
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