Heart Nutrition: Top Ten Nutrients

By P.L. Chang - Energyfanatics.com

How healthy your heart is depends heavily on proper nutrition. If you are a person who has a stressful life, don’t exercise much and eat a lot of unhealthy food, your chance of getting heart disease later on in life is very high. Some signs of early heart disease are: high cholesterol and triglyceride levels, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, excessively sticky platelets and high levels of homocysteine.

1. Magnesium/Potassium: The heart is rich in magnesium and potassium because it needs the two nutrients to spark muscle contractions. A lack of magnesium and potassium in heart muscle can lead to arrhythmias (irregular heartbeat). Magnesium is one of nature’s greatest gifts because it helps the body detox harmful toxins.

2. Fiber: Helps lower cholesterol which is important for reducing the chance of getting atherosclerosis. Soluble fiber such as pectin has the ability to attach itself to fatty substances. This makes it harder for the body to absorb them.

3. Carnitine: Increases energy production in cells. The lack of carnitine prevents the heart from getting enough oxygen which can lead to high blood pressure, angina and even congestive heart failure.

4. Coenzyme Q10: Is essential for cells because it is responsible for nearly 95 percent of energy production in cells. Heart cells need to produce a lot of energy to feed heart muscle. The lack of coenzyme Q10 can lead to angina, high blood pressure and congestive heart failure.

5. Fruits/Vegetables: Fruit and vegetables are loaded with phytochemicals, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals to protect the heart, and provide it with nutrients. One of the fruit that is great for heart health is blueberry because it is one of the best sources of antioxidants.

6. Essential Fatty Acids (EFA): Omega-3 and omega-6 are two very important essential fatty acids because they have anti-inflammatory properties. Omega-3 also helps reduce the stickiness of platelets. Platelets are important for healing wounds but if it becomes to sticky, it can promote heart disease. People usually get enough omega-6 but not enough omega-3.

7. Garlic: Fresh garlic (raw) is very popular for reducing high blood pressure. Health experts suggested that by consuming a few cloves of garlic per day, people can lower their cholesterol and reduce their risk of heart attack.

8. Hawthorn: This berry has been used in Europe to lower blood pressure for centuries. Hawthorn berry has been shown to lower blood cholesterol and blood pressure levels, and reduce angina attacks. Health experts recommend taking 100-300 milligrams of hawthorn supplement per day.

9. B-vitamins: Scientific studies have shown that vitamin B3, B6, B9 and B12 can lower homocysteine levels, therefore promoting heart health. Studies have also shown that vitamin B3 can lower LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) while at the same time, raising HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol).

10. Gugulipid: Clinical studies have shown that this herb from India can lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Unlike cholesterol medication, gugulipid has no known side effects.

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