As 2015's Presidential Declaration stated when declaring February as American Heart Month, “By maintaining a healthy diet, getting regular exercise and not smoking, you can control risk factors and help protect your heart.”
While some factors are out of your control, you are in charge of your diet, exercise and lifestyle. This month, make it your goal to recognize the things you could change in your own life to strengthen your heart and boost your cardiovascular health.
For our part, we’ll be here providing you with as much information and support as we can to help you reach your goals.
Today, let’s go over the top 6 vitamins and supplements with the best evidence of supporting heart and cardiovascular health.
While you may associate fiber first and foremost with gastrointestinal health and digestion, fiber is also essential for heart health. Fiber helps reduce the amount of fat and cholesterol that your body absorbs. In supplemental form, psyllium husk powder is your best bet. It’s also easy to up your intake simply by adding more fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes to your diet.
Like fiber, heart health probably isn’t the first thing you think of when you’re dicing up a clove of garlic. This pungent onion relative helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels already in normal ranges. Studies show that garlic in food or in supplemental form may provide equal heart health benefits.
Chock full of heart-healthy omega-3 fats, natural fish oil may help maintain healthy triglyceride levels (unhealthy fats) in the body. Adding fatty fish like salmon to your diet is the best and most delicious way to enjoy the natural benefits of fish oil, but there are plenty of high-quality fish oil supplements available if seafood is not your preferred dinner option.
Tea is the world’s most popular drink, even if Americans refuse to give up their daily latte in favor of a freshly steeped cup of tea. It’s also one of the most widely studied beverages because its list of health benefits seems to have no end. At the top of the list is heart health, as green tea (in both extract and beverage form) may help maintain healthy LDL and HDL cholesterol levels and triglycerides already within the normal range.
Resveratrol helps support heart health with its powerful antioxidant properties. That’s serious protection from a compound found in foods such as blueberries, peanuts and red grapes.
The sunshine vitamin is building up a reputation for its potential immune health benefits, but it’s also a key vitamin for maintaining a strong, healthy heart.
There you have it—a great list of heart healthy supplements to get you started during American Heart Month (or any time of year).
Remember, diet is only one factor that is in your control. If your daily routine doesn’t also include some form of exercise, you’re missing a huge piece of the puzzle. Diet, exercise and lifestyle choices such as quitting smoking and moderating your alcohol consumption must also be a part of your overall cardiovascular maintenance effort. Good luck!