Our heart is the busiest muscle in our body, pumping blood and oxygen to all your other organs none stop, 24-hours a day and we need to look after it. Our lifestyle can have a big impact on our heart health with stress, high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol and diabetes/prediabetes all increasing our chances of developing heart disease and/or triggering a heart attack.
As previously highlighted, British Heart Foundations statistics showed that there are 7.6 million people living with heart and circulatory diseases in the UK and that people with these diseases account for a quarter of all deaths annually. Additionally, the total cost of healthcare treating these diseases is £9 billion.
There are a variety of supplements that can benefit heart health, especially when used as part of an overall heart-healthy lifestyle mentioned above. These supplements include: -
Omega-3 fatty acids
Many studies have shown that people that have a diet rich in Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids (EFA’s), have a lower risk of heart disease. EFA’s have been shown to play a part in reducing high cholesterol levels, reducing blood pressure, stabilizing an irregular heartbeat, and reducing the "stickiness" of blood cells called platelets, which can lead to such complications as blood clots and stroke. Omega-3 fish oil supplements have been shown to increase (good) HDL levels of cholesterol, while reducing plaque build-up in the arteries – helping to reduce the risk of both heart disease and stroke.
Your body needs magnesium to function properly, yet it is believed that 20% of adults in the UK are magnesium deficient. Low magnesium levels have been linked to a variety of ailments that have a negative impact on heart health such as high blood pressure, plaque build-up, and high cholesterol. Additionally, a low dose magnesium supplement can lower cortisol, the body’s primary stress hormone which plays an important role in helping to control blood sugar levels.
Co-Enzyme Q10 is found naturally in every cell in your body and plays a key role in releasing energy from the food you eat, but as we age our natural production slows down. Found naturally in fatty fish, such as herring and mackerel as well as some vegetables and fruits, supplements are a convenient source of Co-Enzyme Q10 and help to boost natural levels. Research shows that CoQ10 may help to lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol, and help improve blood pressure – all key elements to helping the heart be healthy.
Folic Acid is a synthetic version of folate, also known as Vitamin B9, which naturally occurs in many foods such as green leafy vegetables, beans, and citrus fruits. Folic Acid plays a very important role in making new genetic material for cells (DNA), making it a necessary substance for the growth and development of the human body. It also has a role in forming new red blood cells and maintaining a healthy nervous system. Folic acid and other B vitamin deficiencies can lead to elevated homocysteine levels, which has been highlighted as a potential risk factor for heart disease and stroke.
As we all know, being physically active, eating nutritious foods, reducing stress, and maintaining a healthy weight are all important components of a heart-healthy lifestyle, but sometimes that’s not always enough and we a need a little extra help in helping our hearts remain healthy.