You have to take care of your heart, and you have to start doing it now, or it’s going to be too late.” – Barbara Allen

In 2020, 697,000 people died of heart-related diseases in the United States alone. The number of mortalities only continues to go up as years pass. This is likely due to people being increasingly sedentary at work and at home. People also lead more unhealthy lifestyles as a result of technological advancements that are readily available to the masses.

This is why consciousness about heart health is strongly advocated to minimize the risk of a heart attack. Many people only make lifestyle changes when they have already been diagnosed with a heart condition, which is a relatively late intervention. Education and awareness can make a tremendous difference, especially if started early.

One of the easiest ways to support a healthy heart is by making sure you are getting enough of the nutrients that are essential for keeping heart disease at bay.

Woman enjoys a heart-healthy meal

1. Vitamin D

Vitamin D has long been associated with healthy skin, bone strength, and as an energy booster. But, it is also a good heart supplement. Studies show that many instances of chronic heart failure have a link to vitamin D deficiency. Additionally, low vitamin D levels can lead to a possible stroke, heart attack, or other medical condition. Other than the sun and supplementation, salmon, sardines, cod liver oil, eggs, and some mushrooms are some of the best foods to eat to up your daily intake of this amazing vitamin.

2. Magnesium

Magnesium is an element the body relies on to relax and regulate its systems and is necessary for a healthy heart. It supports healthy blood sugar levels, blood pressure, and nerve functions. It can also help support healthy palpitations. The best food sources for magnesium are whole grains and dark-green, leafy vegetables.

3. Polyphenols

Studies show that these heart-healthy nutrients help blood vessels relax and dilate and therefore lower blood pressure. They have also been shown to increase the “good” cholesterol. Polyphenols can be found in berry fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries.

4. Resveratrol

Resveratrol is a substance that some studies have shown could be linked to a lower risk of inflammation and blood clotting, which can lower the risk of heart disease. It is found naturally in dark chocolate and red wine, although in low quantities, so taking it as a supplement is more efficient.

5. Omega-3

Omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce triglycerides, a type of fat in your blood. They also reduce the risk of developing an irregular heartbeat and can slow the buildup of plaque, which hardens and blocks your arteries. You can find omega-3 in wild salmon, flax seeds, chia seeds, and walnuts.

infographic showing 8 heart-healthy foods

6. Folate

Folate is an essential nutrient for a healthy heart. It helps break down homocysteine, an amino acid that may damage the inner walls of arteries. This damage can increase the risk of a stroke or heart attack. Green leafy vegetables are a great source of folate, so be sure to include spinach, kale, and other green lettuce foods in your diet.

7. CoQ10

CoQ10 has been shown to improve symptoms of congestive heart failure and may help reduce blood pressure. It is a natural antioxidant and can be found in beef, soy oil, mackerel, and sardines.

8. Quercetin

Quercetin is a heart-healthy flavonoid that is rich in anti-inflammatory, blood clot-preventing properties. Be sure to add apples, onions, parsley, and sage to your diet to boost your intake and lower your risk of coronary heart disease and cardiovascular conditions.

9. Lycopene

Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant that can reduce the risk of heart problems. Studies have shown that it may help reduce blood pressure and cardiac inflammation, both of which can increase your chances of developing cardiovascular conditions. Great sources of lycopene are tomatoes, apricots, melons, grapes, and peaches.

woman makes a heart with her hands in front of her chest

Final Thoughts

There are many nutrients that can help support a healthy heart. These nutrients can be found in the foods you eat or by taking supplements like those found in our Heart Health Collection.

Be sure to see a doctor regularly to have your blood pressure and cholesterol levels checked, especially if you have a family history of heart disease. And always talk to your doctor before introducing supplements into your daily regimen.

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