We’ve all heard how important it is to look after our nutrition. Supplements can offer an easy, convenient way for many people to support their general health and wellbeing. You may already take supplements to boost your immune, joint, or skin health. But what about your heart? Let’s take a look at some of the best supplements that can support heart health.
Get pumped about heart health: why take heart supplements?
You might be asking yourself, why should we take supplements for heart health? Your heart is a hard-working muscular organ that works around the clock. The cardiovascular system is responsible for moving blood around the body and is made up of your heart and blood vessels. This system takes care of transporting oxygen and other nutrients throughout our bodies – it’s basically a big part of keeping us alive!
Looking after our heart health is so vital. This is especially true for people who may have a history of heart disease in their families. These groups of people may have an increased risk of developing heart issues. While exercise and eating a well-balanced diet are the number one ways to maintain a healthy heart, some dietary supplements can be a good addition to these healthy lifestyle habits.
Top 5 Supplements For Heart Health:
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are widely known as “healthy fats” that come with a host of health benefits, from boosting brain health and easing joint discomfort to supporting eye health. But it doesn’t stop there. Omega-3s can also help promote heart health by having a beneficial impact on blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
There are three different forms of omega-3s: DHA, EPA, and ALA. DHA and EPA are both found in fatty fish, like salmon or tuna. ALA is found in plant-based foods, like walnuts, chia seeds, and flax seeds. ALA is different from DHA and EPA. Your body has to convert the ALA into DHA or EPA so that it can use it for something other than energy. However, the conversion rate is pretty low. Therefore, taking omega-3s as a supplement or through food is a practical way to increase your omega-3 intake.
It might be helpful to note that omega-3 supplements are sometimes referred to as fish oil supplements. Omega-3 fish oil supplements can be taken in various different ways. It is often available in capsule or liquid form. Interested in trying out an omega-3 supplement? Read more here about how much omega 3 fish oil you should take per day.
Coenzyme Q10, also known as CoQ10, is an antioxidant that helps your cells generate energy. Your body produces this compound naturally and stores it in your cells. However, the production of coenzyme Q10 decreases as we age. Low levels of this compound have been linked to a variety of different health conditions related to heart and brain health, for example.
While generating energy in our cells is the primary function of CoQ10, this compound plays a role in various other functions in our bodies. One of these is to act as an antioxidant, which may be helpful in protecting cells from oxidative stress caused by free radicals. Some studies suggest that CoQ10 may contribute to a reduction in oxidative stress.
Not only does this popular ingredient make a delicious addition to many dishes, but it is also known for a variety of health benefits. Garlic contains compounds from sulfur such as allicin, diallyl disulfide, and s-allyl cysteine. These compounds are believed to be responsible for some of the health benefits found in garlic. Some studies have suggested that garlic supplementation may have a significant impact on lowering blood pressure for some groups of people.
According to the American Heart Association, dietary fiber can help to improve blood cholesterol levels. They state that this can play a major role in reducing the risk of heart disease, stroke, and obesity. The best food sources of dietary fiber are whole grains like whole-wheat bread, oatmeal, or brown rice, as well as fruits, vegetables, and legumes.
There are, in fact, two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber is the type that dissolves in water whereas insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water. This latter can also be helpful for digestive issues as it promotes the movement of material through the digestive system.
This fragrant drink does more than wake you up! Green tea is known to be packed with antioxidants that can have a variety of potential health benefits. It’s loaded with a range of healthy compounds like polyphenols and catechins. These bioactive compounds may have an antioxidant effect on the body which can help against oxidative stress. Green tea may play a role in lowering cholesterol levels which can help reduce the risk factors that may negatively impact heart health. According to some studies, there may be a connection between avid green tea drinkers and lower rates of cardiovascular issues.
Safe Supplement Use
It’s always a good idea to consult with your doctor before you start taking any new supplement. This is especially the case for those with existing medical conditions.
We are all different and our bodies all have unique health needs. It’s important to respect these needs by listening to your body and following medical advice provided by a healthcare professional.
3 lifestyle tips to boost your heart health
Making small, but significant, changes to your lifestyle can help to support heart health. These include:
Following a healthy diet:
Making healthy food choices can make a huge difference, not only for your heart but your general health. Try to incorporate more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, healthy fats, and low-fat dairy products. This helps to ensure that you get sufficient amounts of vital vitamins and minerals that help to look after your body. It’s also a good idea to reduce your intake of salt, saturated fat, and sugar. This means you may need to keep an eye on what you’re drinking. Substitute sugary drinks with water and drink alcohol in moderation.
Amp up your activity levels by sitting less and moving more. Getting at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week can do wonders for your overall health. It’s also advisable to incorporate muscle-strengthening exercises into your routine. The CDC advises doing muscle-strengthening workouts at least twice a week. They also suggest that adults walk at least half an hour per day. If you’re not in the habit of working out regularly, this may seem hard at first. If that sounds like you, not to worry! Just start out by making small changes to your routine. Walk instead of driving. Get off a stop early if you take the bus. Go for a walk when you’re on the phone. Scheduling your workouts could also help you make exercise a regular part of your routine.
Check out the best at-home, equipment-free workouts here!
Changing your lifestyle habits
Most people might be more than aware of the harmful effects that smoking can have on lung health. However, it also can lead to serious heart issues. According to the CDC, smoking is one of the major causes of cardiovascular disease. If you have concerns about your heart health, you may want to consider quitting or at least cutting back on smoking. There are many great resources and tools for quitting smoking available online.
Looking after our heart health is essential for our overall health and wellbeing. Some people may benefit from taking nutritional supplements to boost their heart health. This is especially true for those who find it hard to consume adequate amounts of essential nutrients. Heart health supplements are best accompanied by healthy lifestyle factors such as following a healthy diet and exercising regularly.
It’s recommended that those with underlying health conditions should consult their doctors prior to including new dietary supplements in their routines.