What Are the Best Supplements to Naturally Improve Your Heart Health?
8 minute read
It’s never too early to start thinking about heart health. In fact, your heart is one of the most important muscles in your body, so keeping it strong and healthy should be just as top-of-mind as having great abs.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States.
Risk Factors for Heart Disease
There are three known risk factors for heart disease and a few more other factors which can contribute to developing heart problems. Be aware of the following and, if you’re serious about heart health, try to adapt your life to make more heart-healthy choices.
Known Risk Factors
♦ High blood pressure
♦ High cholesterol levels
Contributing Risk Factors
♦ Obesity or being overweight
♦ Poor diet
♦ Physical inactivity
♦ Excessive alcohol use
Boost Heart Health With These Supplements
One of the first steps you can take is adding nutritional supplements that are proven to boost heart health. The following are some great starting points to help you discover what works best for your heart.
This supplement is often simply called CoQ10. It is an enzyme that is naturally produced in the body and has many important roles to play.
It is used in electron transport, blood pressure regulation, converting food into energy and protecting the body from free radicals by acting as an antioxidant. Unfortunately, as you age your natural production of CoQ10 slows down.
When it comes to your heart, CoQ10 may have significant benefits for people looking to prevent cardiovascular disease or for those who already have it and want to reduce their risk of having future heart attacks.
CoQ10 may also be a good solution for people who take a statin for lowering their cholesterol. One of the side effects of statins are weakened muscles, CoQ10 appears to combat this problem and boost muscle strength.
In addition to there being some preliminary evidence that CoQ10 is beneficial for heart health, Mayo Clinic suggests there are additional clinical benefits from taking this supplement.
While CoQ10 is found in fish, meat, and whole grains; not enough can be gained through food to support heart health, which is why most people take a supplement.
Garlic has a long history of health benefits, reaching back thousands of years. With ample evidence supporting garlic’s ability to support healthy cholesterol and blood pressure levels, it’s no wonder that it’s still widely used today.
Garlic contains a variety of vitamins and minerals that can help fight blood clots, lower cholesterol, and regulate your heart rate. You can boost your garlic intake with foods to reap the benefits or add an odorless garlic supplement.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
It’s long been known that eating fish, especially fatty fish, is good for your health. It is believed omega-3 fatty acids are what makes fish such a heart-healthy food. These fatty acids reduce inflammation throughout the body, protecting the blood vessels from damage that leads to heart disease and stroke.
In addition, omega-3 fatty acids may decrease triglyceride levels, lower blood pressure, reduce clotting, and reduce irregular heartbeats.
There are three main types of omega-3 fatty acids; ALA, EPA and DHA. ALA is an essential fatty acid that your body needs and can’t produce on its own. EPA and DHA are the ones that your heart benefits from.
Krill oil contains both EPA and DHA naturally. Along with an increased bioavailability, meaning your body is better able to absorb the nutrients, krill oil is generally considered better than fish oil.
This antioxidant is what gives fish and shellfish a bright pink color. It’s such a powerful antioxidant that it’s proven to support heart health, work as an anti-inflammatory, and fight cancer.
The studies are still coming in for astaxanthin, but at this point they appear to be overwhelmingly positive for heart health and as a benefit for several other serious conditions.
If you want to be efficient in your supplement consumption, look for combinations. For example, a krill oil supplement that’s loaded with omega-3 fatty acids and astaxanthin is ideal.
Other Ways to Support Heart Health
If you’re ready to turn over a new leaf and put your focus on your heart, here are some lifestyle changes you can make to get yourself on track.
Stop smoking: If you’re a smoker, then this should be your top priority as you try to adopt a heart-healthy attitude. Smokers are twice as likely to have a heart attack as non-smokers, making this your first line of defense.
Make fitness a priority: Exercise not only builds strong muscles you can see, it makes your heart stronger too. Johns Hopkins researchers recommend three types of exercise for improved heart health; aerobic, resistance training, and a combination of stretching with flexibility and balance (core exercises).
Manage stress: The American Heart Association urges people to find healthy ways to manage their stress to promote heart health. The main concern is that people often turn to bad habits to relieve stress. When this happens your body not only responds to stress with increased blood pressure, but it now has to deal with poor choices.
Make healthy food choices: For some people, changing their diet and making heart-healthy food choices can be just as difficult as quitting smoking is for other people.
| Related: 15 Best Anti-Inflammatory Foods and Dietary Tips |
Think of it as a slow process, you should begin with little steps and work toward creating good food habits that last and aren’t difficult.
The Bottom Line
Your heart may be the most important muscle in your body. For this reason, it’s vital that you not only work on strengthening it but supporting its health. There are many different ways you can make lifestyle changes to give your body the power it needs to support your heart.
The first step toward heart health is recognizing which risk factors you have and trying to do what you can to remedy them.
The next step is to select a nutritional supplement that addresses your concerns and gives your body that extra something it needs to be as healthy as possible. Look for combination supplements that give you more benefits in one product.