Cardiovascular disease is one of the main causes of death in developed countries due to a diet of refined and devitalized food, smoking, obesity, lack of exercise, high homocysteine levels and hereditary all playing a part. By incorporating natural health boosters into your diet together with a commitment to improve your lifestyle, it is possible to prevent or reduce your risk of heart attack or stroke.
Daily supplementation can benefit cardiovascular health
Your healthy heart plan may include these vitamin and mineral nutrients:
- Folic acid is a member of the B group of vitamins, and together with Vitamins B6 and B12, can help reduce homocysteine levels in the blood, a major contributor to heart disease. The recommended dose is 400 mg taken with a vitamin B complex supplement. (Caution – Very high doses of folic acid, over a prolonged period of time can mask symptoms of pernicious anemia. Regular use of digestive enzymes or antacids can interfere with absorption of folic acid.)
- Vitamin C supplements are showing in research to be effective in preventing unstable arterial plaque that can contribute to sudden heart attacks. A 2004 study conducted by Y. Chu and R. Liu at the Department of Food Science and Institute of Comparative and Environmental Toxicology, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, showed that oral Vitamin C can achieve concentrations in LDL cholesterol that are capable of inhibiting oxidation of LDL cholesterol by about 75%. This shows that Linus Pauling was right when he said that Vitamin C can prevent heart and blood vessel disease.
- Vitamin E is an essential antioxidant, vital for proper functioning of the heart and circulatory system. It has the ability to protect cell membranes including those of LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol, which can cause blood vessel problems if damaged.
- Selenium is commonly lacking in the average diet due to selenium-deficient soils. It contributes to heart health by reducing the risk of plaque formation in the arteries and protecting the heart muscle. Food sources include brazil nuts, onions, garlic, sesame seeds, and shellfish.
Harness the power of herbs for their health giving properties
- Garlic, very popular for its antibacterial and anti-fungal properties, dates back to the days of Hippocrates. Today it is invaluable for its ability to lower high blood pressure, blood clot formation by thinning the blood, and enhances the function of the heart and circulation. (Care must be taken if on prescribed blood thinners or undergoing surgery)
- Ginkgo Biloba is one of the longest surviving trees on earth and has been used in Chinese Traditional Medicine for 5,000 years. Its amazing ability to stimulate circulation to the brain is important in the treatment of short term memory loss, early stage Alzheimer’s Disease and can protect the brain from damage after a stroke.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and should not be used for diagnosis or to guide treatment without the opinion of a health professional. Any reader who is concerned about his or her health should contact a doctor for advice.
Chu, Y-F. and Liu, R. H. Novel low-density lipoprotein (LDL) oxidation model: Antioxidant capacity for the inhibition of LDL. J. Agric. Food Chem. 52 (22): 6818-6823, 2004.