Updated | 1/29/2021
When it comes to supplements that promote heart and cardio health, you’re probably already familiar with some of the all-stars like CoQ10 supplements and omega-3 fatty acid supplements. But did you know there are a number of other exciting, science-backed options that can give your heart a healthful boost?
They’re known as sleeper nutrients, and they include vitamins, minerals and herbs like magnesium, vitamin C, garlic and more. Though some may be associated with other health benefits, don’t let that fool you; these nutrients make great additions to your wellness routine. Here are 10 trending ingredients to support a healthier heart
Vitamin C & Heart Health
When you hear vitamin C mentioned, your mind probably goes straight to orange juice and seasonal care, and for good reason. Loaded with antioxidants, vitamin C is a highly-effective immune booster, especially when combined with the bioflavonoid power of rose hips. But that’s not all vitamin C can do for you.
Studies have shown that vitamin C can support your body’s ability to keep your heart healthy. These capabilities are believed to be linked to the antioxidant effects of vitamin C, which play a key role in neutralizing free radicals. In doing so, vitamin C promotes a strong defense against oxidative stress within the cardiovascular system.1 Further, studies have also shown that vitamin C may boost nitric oxide production, which supports blood flow and healthy blood pressure levels already within the normal range.2
Try it in Swanson Premium Vitamin C with Rose Hips, featuring 1,000 mg of vitamin C as well as 15 mg of rose hips for increased absorption and an antioxidant boost.
Folate & Heart Health
Both folate and folic acid are two different forms of the B9 vitamin. Folate is the naturally-occurring form of this nutrient, and folic acid is a synthesized version. Researchers say they are nearly identical in molecular structure and benefit, so the two are widely considered to be the same. However, most experts agree that it’s best to get as many nutrients as possible in real food form.
Studies suggest that folate’s major function in terms of helping to promote a healthy heart is its ability to support the inhibition of an amino acid known as homocysteine. High levels of homocysteine are believed to affect the health of arterial walls over time. Research indicates that introducing folate into your daily health routine may support significantly lower homocysteine levels.5
If you’re looking for a powerful folate supplement, try Swanson Ultra 5-Methyltetrahydrofolic Acid featuring Quatrefolic®, an extremely bioavailable form of folate that offers long-lasting stability.
Beta-Carotene & Heart Health
Beta-carotene is the orange pigment that gives many fruits and vegetables their bright and vibrant colors. Foods that contain beta-carotene include sweet potatoes, spinach, squash, apricots, cantaloupe and, yes, carrots. After ingestion, beta-carotene is broken down and converted into vitamin A, which boosts skin health, eye health and even heart health.
Beta-carotenes are a fat-soluble source of antioxidants, which research shows may promote the health of the cardiovascular system. Specifically, it is believed that beta-carotene may play a role in supporting free radical neutralization in blood vessels, therefore potentially decreasing the oxidation of low-density lipoproteins (LDL). Studies also suggest that beta-carotene may support healthy blood pressure levels within the normal range.6
If you’re looking to supplement your beta-carotene intake, try Swanson Premium Beta-Carotene. Each softgel delivers 7,500 mcg RAE of vitamin A (as beta-carotene) to support antioxidant protection throughout the body as well as promote vision health.
CoQ10 & Heart Health
A modern staple of health enthusiasts with heart health in mind, CoQ10 is a powerful antioxidant found within every single cell of the human body. It’s present in small amounts in grains, meat and fish. As we grow older, CoQ10 levels within our body drop, which makes supplementation important in order to boost heart and energy health.
As an antioxidant, CoQ10 helps protect the body, including the cardiovascular system, from oxidative damage. Studies suggest that taking a CoQ10 supplement along with exercise may produce significant cardio-protective effects.7 Furthermore, individuals who have been prescribed a statin for heart health may be prone to lower CoQ10 levels, which makes supplementation an important option pending your doctor’s approval.8 Read CoQ10 and Statins: Can Statins Lead to Low CoQ10? to learn more.
Swanson Ultra CoQ10 is an outstanding way to promote the health of your heart. Packed with 100 mg of free radical fighting CoQ10, these softgels help support antioxidant activity, cellular energy production, physical performance, healthy blood sugar levels already within the normal range and cardiovascular health.
Magnesium & Heart Health
To date, there have been a high number of research studies on magnesium and heart health. Found in abundance in foods like pumpkin seeds, spinach and soybeans, this mighty mineral actually performs many functions throughout the body. These functions include assimilating calcium into the bones for bone health, promoting calm and supporting healthy glucose metabolism.9
Magnesium is especially essential for muscles, including the heart. Studies have shown that getting the proper amount of magnesium can help promote the health of arteries, cardiovascular function, blood flow and may also play a role in supporting healthy blood pressure levels already within the normal range.9 Read Magnesium Benefits & Uses to learn more about how magnesium benefits your body and how much magnesium to take.
Swanson Premium Triple Magnesium Complex is a great way to ensure you’re getting nearly a full day’s supply of calcium in just 1 capsule. This magnesium supplement features magnesium from three different sources—magnesium oxide, magnesium citrate and magnesium aspartate—to deliver 400 mg of magnesium per serving. Not only an excellent option for heart health, this magnesium complex also boosts bone and muscle health while helping to support stress reduction.
Potassium & Heart Health
Although bananas and potassium are often linked together in many people’s minds, perhaps heart health and potassium would be more appropriate. That’s because this mineral, which can be found in foods like avocados, acorn squash, sweet potatoes and bananas, has been shown in studies to have significant effects on the human heart.10
Potassium plays a big role in promoting the health of the arteries and the heart and helps support blood flow. What’s more, making sure that you’re keeping a proper sodium-to-potassium intake ratio can help promote healthy blood pressure levels already within the normal range.10 On average, most Americans get too much sodium and not enough potassium each day. Most healthy adults should aim to keep sodium intake below 2,300 mg and get at least 4,700 mg of potassium daily.
Taking a potassium supplement like Swanson Ultra Potassium Citrate helps support heart health by filling any potassium gaps you may have in your diet. Not only great for your heart, this formula also helps promote energy production and kidney health and features 99 mg of potassium per serving.
Selenium & Heart Health
Selenium is an essential mineral found in Brazil nuts, fish, ham, beef and poultry. Selenium works to boost antioxidant activity, brain health, immune function and thyroid health. It’s also exceptionally heart friendly.
Studies show that the presence of selenium within the body may increase levels of an antioxidant enzyme known as GPx-1. This is significant because GPx-1 is considered a robust antioxidant defender of cardiovascular health and studies suggest a strong ability for this powerful mineral to boost arterial health.11
Swanson Ultra Vitamins A, C, E, & Selenium features the combined antioxidant power of several important nutrients. A high-quality and high-potency antioxidant complex, this formula supports your body’s ability to neutralize free radicals.
Hawthorn Berry & Heart Health
A heavyweight in the world of heart nutrition, hawthorn berry comes from the hawthorn plant, a member of the rose family that is common in parts of Asia, Europe and North America. Packed with high amounts of antioxidants, hawthorn benefits the heart in multiple ways.
Hawthorn berry has been studied for its heart nutrition, notably for its ability to help maintain healthy blood pressure already within the normal range, promote healthy blood flow, boost exercise tolerance and provide antioxidant support.12, 13 Including a hawthorn berry supplement in your health and wellness routine is a great way to make sure you’re keeping on top of your heart’s health.
Swanson Premium Hawthorn Berry is an extraordinarily powerful hawthorn supplement for heart health and delivers 565 mg of hawthorn berry per capsule. Packed with antioxidant flavonoids, this formula supports cardio health, blood circulation, optimal blood pressure within the normal range and free radical neutralization throughout the body. Discover Swanson’s take on this centuries-old heart health tonic.
Garlic & Heart Health
Though its ability to keep vampires at bay is debatable, there’s plenty of evidence that garlic is a good friend to your heart. If garlic isn’t a staple of your kitchen pantry, then you just might want to consider adding a garlic supplement to your daily routine. Among its many benefits, garlic can boost healthy sexual function, hair and skin health and immune system health.14 But its ability to benefit the heart may be the biggest asset of garlic.
Research on the effects of garlic on the heart and cardiovascular system reveals that it can play a role in protecting the arteries as we age and boosting circulation.15 Further, there have been a vast number of studies that seem to support garlic’s effect on maintaining healthy blood pressure already within the normal range.16
For many, ensuring proper amounts of garlic for heart health requires a supplement like Swanson Best Garlic Supplements Whole Garlic – Made with Organic Garlic. These cardio-friendly veggie capsules promote healthy blood circulation, optimal blood pressure already within the normal range and powerful antioxidant support.
Swanson Ultra Pure Heart
Like every Swanson Pure Science Herbals formula, Pure Heart is 100% clean and pure with no hidden ingredients or mysterious proprietary blends. It delivers the heart health benefits you need at a lower price compared to other leading brands. This unique blend puts the naturally-sourced and clinically-studied power of resveratrol, MegaNatural®-BP™ and BioCosanol® to work, promoting strong circulation and maintaining healthy cholesterol and blood pressure levels already within a normal range.
- MegaNatural®-BP™, a natural grape seed extract (standardized to 90% polyphenols), has been shown in clinical studies to support healthy blood pressure levels already in the normal range
- BioCosanol® helps maintain healthy lipid levels (cholesterol) within the bloodstream. As the world's finest policosanol source, BioCosanol delivers the ideal ratios of octacosanol, triacontanol and hexacosanol
- Resveratrol, a powerful antioxidant, promotes overall heart health and cardiovascular function by supporting healthy circulation, cerebrovascular integrity and antioxidant activity in the body to neutralize damage-causing free radicals
Nutrients for a Healthy Heart
Living a healthier life is about taking steps every day to boost your wellbeing, and these trending sleeper nutrients, many of which are essential for overall wellbeing, are a great way to reinforce your wellness routine and help keep you and your heart healthier for years to come.
If you enjoyed this article, you might also like Top Supplements for Heart Health and Why Choose Condition Specific Herbs for Energy, Joint, Heart and Brain Health? Also, be sure to sign up for Swanson Health Emails to get expert advice and our best promotions delivered straight to your inbox.
1 Oxidized LDL, a critical Factor in Atherogenesis. Cardiovascular Research Vol. 68 Issue 3. https://academic.oup.com/cardiovascres/article/68/3/353/309912
2 Long-Term Vitamin C Treatment Increases Vascular Tetrahydrobiopterin Levels and Nitric Oxide Synthase Activity. https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/01.RES.0000049166.33035.62
3 Vitamin E for Healthy Immune System Skin and Eyes. WebMd. https://www.webmd.com/diet/supplement-guide-vitamin-e#1
4 Vitamin E and the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease: The Importance of Proper Patient Selection. Journal of Lipid Research. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3735930/
5 Folic Acid for Heart Health. American Nutrition Association. http://americannutritionassociation.org/newsletter/folic-acid-heart-health
6 Carotenoids: Potential Allies of Cardiovascular Health? US Library of Medicine National Institute of Health. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4321000/
7 Coenzyme for Cardiovascular Prevention. OMICS International. https://www.omicsonline.org/open-access/coenzyme-q-for-cardiovascular-prevention-2329-6607.1000e125.php?aid=25089
8 Coenzyme Supplementation Decreases Statin-Related Mild-to-Moderate Muscle Symptoms: A Randomized Clinical Study. Medical Science Monitor. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4226312/
9 Why Do We Need Magnesium. Medical News Today. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/286839.php
10 Sodium/Potassium Ratio Linked to Cardiovascular Disease Risk. National Institutes of Health. https://www.nih.gov/news-events/nih-research-matters/sodium/potassium-ratio-linked-cardiovascular-disease-risk
11 Selenium Supplements May Boost Heart Health: Study. NutraIngredients.com. https://www.nutraingredients.com/Article/2008/11/28/Selenium-supplements-may-boost-heart-health-Study
12 Antihypertensive effect of Iranian Crataegus Curvisepala Lind.: A Randomized, Double-Blind Study. National Library Of Medicine National Institute of Health. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15700749
13 Hawthorn (Crataegus Spp.) in the Treatment of Cardiovascular Disease. National Library Of Medicine National Institute of Health. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3249900/
14 Garlic: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions, Dosage, and Warning. WebMd. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-300/garlic
15 Protective Effect of Chronic Garlic Intake on Elastic Properties of Aorta in the Elderly. US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9355906
16 Effect of Garlic on Cardiovascular Disorders: A Review. US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC139960/ - B110
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.