Heart disease is the major killer, but fortunately its preventable. A healthy diet, regular exercise, a healthy weight, and not smoking can powerfully reduce your risk, and there are a few essential nutrients you should know about.
Looking after your heart through a change of diet and lifestyle is an effective way of improving your cardiovascular health and preventing a heart attack or stroke. Volumes of research has proven that diet and lifestyle changes are more powerful than medication for preventing serious heart disease – but you already knew that, right? As well as regular exercise and eating a nutrient-bursting, plant-based, super-healthy diet, there are certain nutritional supplements that play a role in maintaining heart health. Here are a few of the best:
Coenzyme Q 10 is a vital antioxidant nutrient required for cardiovascular health. Studies have shown that as well as supporting general heart health, it may help in the management of several cardiovascular diseases. Ubiquinol is the ‘reduced’ (therefore more active) form of CoQ10. It’s more bioavailable and therefore more readily used by your body. Research suggests that those of us over the age of 40 may benefit from using this particular form of CoQ10.
2. Omega 3 Fatty Acids
It’s long been recognised that oily fish is a good food for the heart. In fact the UK government advise that we all consume 2-3 portions of oily fish a week. Salmon, herring, tuna and mackerel are classified as oily fish as they are a great source of the omega 3 fatty acids docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). In studies, fish consumption has been associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. If you don’t like to eat fish, there are many high quality fish oil supplements available and the British Heath Fountain advice a product providing 500 mg EPA/ DHA per day.
3. Vitamins B6, B12 and folic acid
Elevated homocysteine is considered to be a significant contributing factor for heart disease, as it triggers arterial damage and is a risk factor for blood clots in the veins. Homocysteine is made in the body as the result of protein metabolism. In healthy individuals, excessive homocysteine build-up is prevented by either the conversion of homocysteine back to the amino acid methionine or into the harmless compound, cystathione.
Fortunately, the defence against homocysteine is simple and inexpensive. It is just a matter of ensuring an adequate intake of the vitamins B6, B12 and folic acid. These nutrients help to convert homocysteine back into less harmful compounds.
If you kept reading this far youe heart needs to be rewarded!
Win a £80 heart health package from Solgar. Just like Lifestyle Labs Facebook page, follow us on Twitter or Google+ by Friday the 20th of February and you will be entered in the draw. The pack includes Ubiquinol, a Vitamin B complex and a fish oil supplement. The winner will be announced on Saturday the 21st. GOOD LUCK!