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Cardiovascular Health

Have you ever considered that diet is among the most important factors in ensuring proper cardiovascular health? Along with exercise, your nutrient intake is a vital component in keeping your heart and cardiovascular system healthy!

Here are the top 8 nutrients you should be including in your diet!

Healthy heart1. Omega 3 Fatty Acids

You can get this healthy fat from yummy wild salmon, coconut oil and avocados. The Omega-3 fatty acids (EPA & DHA) support your heart by decreasing inflammation. They also prevent blood clots and help to maintain cholesterol levels and healthy blood pressure

2. Quercetin

Quercetin is a plant-derived flavonoid ( plant metabolite with antioxidant effects) that contains natural anti-inflammatory properties that can help to prevent blood clots. You can get this flavonoid from the skin of apples.

3. Folate

Folate helps to regulate and maintain healthy levels of the amino acid homocysteine. Folate lowers the blood levels of this amino acid, which has been linked to higher risk of heart attacks, vascular disease and strokes. So load up your diet with dark leafy greens such as spinach, kale and Swiss chard which all contain high levels of folate. This nutrient helps to maintain healthy levels of homocysteine.

4. Monounsaturated fats

Studies have shown that diets high in monounsaturated fats tend to reduce low density lipoprotein ( Small particle LDL’s, bad cholesterol). High levels of small particle LDL’s are associated with heart disease. In the same study, monounsaturated fats have been shown to increase high density lipoproteins ( HDL, good cholesterol)
You can get this healthy fat in your diet through the consumption of avocados, olive oil ( not heated) , pecans, walnuts and almonds.

5. L-Carnitine

L-carnitine is an essential amino acid needed to break down fats into energy so that our heart muscle can function properly. Some of the yummy foods that contain L-carnitine are nuts, seeds artichokes, asparagus, collard greens and garlic.

6. Lycopene

Lycopene is an important antioxidant that has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease. Studies have shown that lycopene increased levels of super oxide dismutase (SOD, is an enzyme found in all living cells), which then reduces blood pressure. Tomatoes are packed with lycopene, and this antioxidant is what gives this fruit it’s bright red color. .

7. Magnesium

Every organ in our body, and especially our heart, needs magnesium to function properly. Magnesium also protects your cells from damaging toxins and is essential to maintain a normal heartbeat. Magnesium has been shown to reduce blood pressure in several large studies. You can get this vital nutrient from dietary sources of dark leafy greens, such as spinach, walnuts and bananas

8. Polyphenols

Polyphenols help to increase nitric oxide production in our body. This in turn causes the relaxation of the blood vessels and can lower blood pressure. You can get polyphenols through dietary sources of blueberries, raspberries and strawberries. Studies have shown that polyphenols increase the good, HDL, cholesterol! So add some yummy berries to your morning protein shake, or oatmeal.

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