7 Heart Health Saviors You Shouldn’t Ignore
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. Many people don’t consume enough magnesium. Dosage: 350-400 milligrams a day, or more if you have low blood levels.
2. Find a high quality fish oil:
Fish oil can reduce triglycerides, by decreasing the body’s production of VLDL cholesterol. It also increases the liver’s uptake of triglycerides and may decrease cholesterol absorption from the gut. There is some evidence that fish oil increases HDL. 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. 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 chromium supplement:
Chromium may reduce LDL and increase HDL in people with low chromium levels. Typical changes are small – a 10% reduction in total cholesterol and triglycerides and a 2% increase in HDL. That’s still important, though, since each 1% decrease in total cholesterol carries a 2% reduction in heart attack or stroke rsk, and every 1% increase in HDL carries a 4% decrease in risk. Dosage: 200 micrograms a day.
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 smoke:
Cigarette smoking greatly increases your risk for heart disease. If you don’t smoke, don’t start. If you do smoke, quit as soon as possible.
7. Don’t forget your vitamin D!!:
Vitamin D deficiency has been directly linked to heart disease. It is recommended to take anywhere from 2,000-5,000 IU daily to maintain a healthy heart. Courtesy of The Vitamin D Council, here’s an excellent infographic on the importance of vitamin D for heart health.