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6 Things You Can Do Today for a Stronger Heart

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heart health Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is still the #1 killer of Americans.

That’s old news though, right? It’s a statistic we so easily brush off nowadays. But despite our tendency to become desensitized to the devastating statistics, the fact remains that 1 out of every 4 deaths is caused by this preventable disease. CVD kills more than 600,000 Americans annually and costs our country $312.6 billion each year.

We wanted to share with you some of the all natural ways in which you can protect yourself from this life-threatening disease, and protect your loved ones from the pain and agony of loss. We urge you to check this list twice and make sure you’re doing all you can to strengthen and protect your ticker.

1. Take magnesium:

Magnesium is absolutely essential for the proper function of the entire cardiovascular system. It can improve energy production in the heart, dilate coronary arteries (improving oxygen delivery to the heart), and reduce blood pressure and cholesterol. In one study, people who got 400 milligrams of magnesium a day reduced total cholesterol from 297 to 257 and raised HDL levels from 35 to 47 mg/dl.

The truth is, even though many think they get enough magnesium in their diet through natural sources of magnesium, many people don’t consume enough magnesium at all, thanks to the compromised mineral content in our soil these days.

Dosage: 350-400 milligrams a day, or more if you have low blood levels.

Think you may be running low on magnesium? Run through our checklist 7 Signs You May Be Deficient in Magnesium. Side note, though: If you take an acid lowering medication your magnesium supply is even more in jeopardy.

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2. Find a high quality fish oil:

The body of research supporting fish oil benefits for heart health is vast, and it continues to grow every year. It has been found to help heart attack patients recover more quickly, and offers new hope for heart failure patients.

Fish oil can also reduce triglycerides by decreasing the body’s production of VLDL cholesterol, and there is evidence evidence that it can even increase HDL. Additionally, it increases the liver’s uptake of triglycerides and may decrease cholesterol absorption from the gut. It has also been said that fish oil may increase the size of LDL particles, causing a more buoyant LDL to be formed, which might be less likely to cause heart disease.

Also Read: 7 Reasons You Should Still Take Fish Oil

Dosage: 1 to 3 grams a day.

3. Exercise regularly:

It’s no secret that physical activity can help you lower cholesterol and balance blood pressure and dodge myriad health complications associated with obesity. The Surgeon General recommends that adults should engage in moderate-intensity exercise for at least 30 minutes on most days of the week.

4. Take a CoQ10 supplement:

CoQ10 is the primary energy molecule for all cells in the body, primarily the heart (along with the many other benefits of CoQ10). Because of its constant energy requirements, the heart has an extraordinarily high demand for CoQ10 and needs adequate supply of the nutrient to function optimally. But as we age our CoQ10 levels decline rapidly, causing the heart to go into overtime just to keep up. Worse, more than a quarter of American adults are taking a statin drug, a drug known to threaten healthy CoQ10 levels, compromise nerve health and trigger muscle soreness.

CoQ10 also serves as one of the first lines of defense against free radical damage and the inflammation associated with arterial hardening. One study published in the journal Atherosclerosis examined the effect of CoQ10 on the heart’s delicate endothelial lining of the coronary arteries. The research team concluded that individuals placed on 300 mg of CoQ10/day for 12 weeks demonstrated improvements in arterial stiffness due to increased blood flow and improved cellular energy within their endothelial cells.

Whether you’re on a cholesterol-lowering medication or just looking to shield your heart from everyday free radical damage, CoQ10 is one of the key nutrients everyone over 50 should consider.

Dosage: For CoQ10 Dosage guidelines visit our article, CoQ10 Benefits: Everything You Need to Know

5. Make sure you’re getting your B vitamins:

Folic acid, B6 and B12 have been used to reduce blood levels of homocysteine, a toxic biochemical that can harm blood vessels and cause cholesterol to stick to blood vessel walls.

Dosage: 400 mcg folic acid, 50 mg of B6 and 500 mcg of B12.

6. Don’t forget your vitamin D!!:

Vitamin D deficiency has been directly linked to heart disease. Courtesy of The Vitamin D Council, here’s an excellent infographic on the importance of vitamin D for heart health.
Dosage: It is recommended to take anywhere from 2,000-5,000 IU daily to maintain a healthy heart.

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