One of the best ways to boost your heart health is by eating a diet that includes a wide variety of healthy foods. Some, however, have properties that have specifically been proven to support heart health.
Here are essential nutritional elements your heart needs — and some superfoods that provide them:
- Omega-3 fatty acids1 are a heart health powerhouse. They help lower your risk of coronary heart disease by as much as 30%; help lower your blood pressure; and can even help people who have irregular heart rhythms to get back on tempo.Good food sources of omega-3 fats include salmon, tuna and other fatty fish; nuts; seeds and even some green vegetables such as kale.
- Soluble fiber2 is beneficial because it binds to bile acid (which your body makes from cholesterol) and escorts it out of your body. The body then makes more bile acid from more cholesterol, and bingo — you have an effective way of ridding your body of extra cholesterol.You’ll find soluble fiber in whole grains such as oats and rice bran, as well as in beans, green vegetables and nuts.
- Antioxidants3 are found in brightly colored fruits and vegetables like tomatoes, beets, strawberries, pomegranates and blueberries, and can dramatically lower your risk of heart attack. You’ll also find antioxidants in some unexpected sources: grape seeds, red wine and green tea to name a few.
- Vegetable-based protein4 sources such as legumes (beans and peas) provide the protein you need without unhealthy fat tagging along. These powerful protein sources not only lower your risk of heart attacks, but can also help maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
- Monounsaturated fats5 —found in olive oil, olives, avocados, and other vegetable sources — help reduce your cholesterol levels as well as maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
All these heart-healthy foods are as delicious as they are nutritious — but it can be hard to eat such a wide variety on a regular basis, especially if you have a busy lifestyle!
Make up for what your diet lacks with high-quality supplements.
For example, fish is widely recognized as the best source of omega-3, but not many of us can (or want to) eat it every day. Instead, a fish-oil supplement can provide the support you need for a healthy cardiovascular system. Look for high quality supplements that:
- are from organic sources
- are low in potential pollutants (the best are sardines and anchovies)
- provide optimum levels of omega-3 fatty acids
- are enteric coated to eliminate any “fishy burps.”
Likewise, although bright fruits and vegetables are fantastically good for us, few of us eat as many as we should. That means we often lack essential nutrients and antioxidants that our cells need for energy and overall health. Supplements can help.
If you aren’t into eating many colorful fruits and vegetables, one supplement worth looking into is Ubiquinol CoQ10. There are two forms of CoQ10 supplements available: ubiquinone and ubiquinol.
Ubiquinol is the form of CoQ10 that your body actually produces and uses. Although your body converts ubiquinone into ubiquinol, the process isn’t always effective — especially when factors such as aging, disease or interference from medications complicate the process.
The best way to make sure you get the full benefit of CoQ10 is to choose a supplement that contains a ready, available source of ubiquinol, like Ubiquinol CoQ10.
Doctors particularly recommend this form for heart patients and those who are taking statin drugs, which can lower the body’s CoQ10 levels. The supplement provides additional benefits for other essential functions including those of the kidneys and brain.
Give your heart some love during American Heart Month — and every month of the year.
Heart health can be delicious when you add a variety of superfoods to your diet every day. When you can’t get the variety you want, your daily supplement regimen will provide the backup and consistent support you need.
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