Worldwide, the biggest cause of disease-related death is Cardiovascular Disease (CVD). The best treatment for CVD is to prevent it in the first place, and along with a good diet and regular exercise, doctors prescribe medication that can have undesirable side effects. Supplementation, especially the six supplements we are about to get into, are often the safest and most affordable way to fight off CVD or any related cardiovascular problems.
1. Omega 3
This is a very well-known supplement to support a healthy heart. The two fatty acids within Omega 3’s are EPA and DHA, and they have been shown to enhance overall health, specifically heart health. One of the main actions of these two fatty acids is that they prevent plaque build-up in the arteries and blood vessels, as well as help maintain healthy blood pressure.
A big problem with most of our diets is that we take in too much Omega 6 and not enough Omega 3. This is a problem because Omega 6 by itself can lead to an increase in inflammation and a higher risk for heart disease if there is an imbalance between your ratio of Omega 3 and 6. This doesn’t mean that Omega 6 doesn’t help your heart or contribute to the degradation of heart health, but if there is too much Omega 6 over Omega 3, then it can be more harmful than helpful. A healthy ratio should be two parts Omega 3 to one part Omega 6.
2. Thiamine (Vitamin B1)
Thiamine plays a significant role in bolstering the immune system and enhancing the body’s ability to cope with stress, this is why it is often referred to as the ‘anti-stress vitamin’. It also assists with maintaining the elasticity in the heart muscles so that they can work smoothly and pump at full capacity.
You can get your daily dose of vitamin B1 in most foods that are fortified, particularly grains, and B1 has been found to improve heart function in as little as four weeks. A multi-vitamin is also a great way to ensure that you get your fix, as foods can sometimes be a little unpredictable, and will also give you all other essential micronutrients for the day.
3. Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)
Coenzyme Q10 assists in converting food into energy that your cells can use, and is found in almost every cell in the body. It is also a potent anti-oxidant that helps to defend the heart from damage that can be caused by high-stress levels. While the body does make CoQ10 naturally, it is in low amounts so it will be beneficial to supplement with CoQ10 which could assist in reducing the decline of production by the body and support a healthy heart.
Low levels of magnesium are often synonymous with cardiovascular disease because the highest levels of magnesium are in your heart. Results from a study of over half a million people showed that those who supplemented with magnesium had a reduced risk of developing atherosclerosis, hypertension, and heart disease. Magnesium is one of the most essential micronutrients in the body and while you can get it from vegetables and grains, most of us do not get nearly enough from our diets. This is why supplementation is great, it ensures that you get adequate magnesium levels for optimal heart function.
5. Beetroot Extract
All kinds of beets, especially beetroot, are rich in nitrates. Nitrates are extremely beneficial in reducing blood pressure, thereby improving heart health. They can also assist with giving your muscle that ‘pumped’ look. While adding more beetroot to your diet may increase your nitrate intake and reduce the risk for hypertension and heart disease, consider supplementing your diet with beetroot extract to ensure that you reap the benefits. Beta Vulgaris is another name for beetroot extract.
6. Green Tea
Polyphenols, which is the scientific name for the compounds found in green tea, contain powerful anti-oxidant properties that assist in removing free-radicals and prevent damage to cells. They also help hinder plaque from building on the artery walls which decreases the risk for heart attacks and strokes.
Green tea isn’t the greatest tasting drink so if you aren’t inclined to drink over 3 cups a day, consider supplementing your daily routine with green tea extract.
Despite being the biggest reason for disease-related death, there is no reason why you can’t defend yourself against Cardiovascular Disease with these six compounds. They are also a much more cost-effective way of preventing heart damage without any of the unsolicited side effects.