(NaturalHealth365) Heart disease, the number one cause of death, kills over 600,000 Americans – every year. That’s one heart attack every 42 seconds – with heart-related events claiming the lives of a person every 60 seconds!
No doubt, these alarming statistics highlight the need for better prevention and treatment of heart disease. But there is good reason for hope – in addition to lifestyle changes, healthy diet and exercise, high-quality, nutritional supplements can slash your dramatically reduce your risk of having a heart attack. (let’s look at the very best nutrients to consume)
Heart attack prevention begins with anthocyanin
Anthocyanins – plant pigments that give berries their vibrant colors of crimson, indigo and purple – support heart health in a variety of ways, with recent studies on the effects of various berries revealing a wealth of benefits.
Researchers have found that acai berries reduce harmful LDL cholesterol, while bilberries – close relatives to blueberries – inhibit production of angiotensin-converting enzyme, or ACE, a substance that triggers high blood pressure. Raspberries can reduce triglycerides in the blood – another risk factor for heart disease – while blueberries’ strongly anti-inflammatory properties can limit harmful peroxidation of fats.
In addition to consuming berries, you can get the benefits of anthocyanins in standardized extracts or powdered supplement form.
Coenzyme Q10 helps the heart maintain optimal energy management
When it comes to protecting mitochondria – the “power center” of cells – the nutrient CoQ10 has an unparalleled track record. In one landmark study, CoQ10 proved itself to be lifesaving, significantly improving the survival rate for even the most severe heart failure patients, while dramatically reducing incidences of hospitalization.
Experts say that CoQ10 can be particularly beneficial for the elderly, those with a chronic medical condition, or those taking statin drugs to treat cholesterol. When choosing a CoQ10 supplement, it is best to select a formulation that contains the ubiqionol form of CoQ10.
Pyrroloquinone quinone (PQQ) is a gift to your heart from the plant world
Pyrroloquinone quinone, or PQQ , is a vitamin-like nutrient found in plant foods. Often used in conjunction with CoQ10, PQQ supports healthy mitochondrial function and energy production.
Not only does PQQ protect mitochondria against dangerous oxidative stress, but it can help create new mitochondria. Research shows that PQQ can carry out 20,0000 catalytic conversions – or antioxidant processes – compared to a mere 4 for vitamin C, giving PQQ 5,000 times the antioxidant status. Although found in all plant foods, PQQ is particularly abundant in parsley, green peppers, papayas and tofu. PQQ can also be taken as a supplement.
Hawthorn berries are a traditional remedy with scientific merit
Traditionally used by herbalists and natural healers to treat high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat and shortness of breath, hawthorn berries are approved in Europe to treat heart failure. Hawthorn berries can improve the heart’s ability to use oxygen, increase the heart’s maximum workload and improve exercise tolerance.
Astaxanthin may outperform statin drugs
A carotenoid pigment found in certain marine plants and fish such as salmon, astaxanthin has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities. It also supports heart health by improving cholesterol levels, regulating blood pressure and helping to prevent and minimize blood clots.
In one study, astaxanthin improved participants’ circulation after a mere two weeks of supplementation. In another study, the carotenoid worked better than a statin drug in lowering cholesterol levels and keeping them down after discontinuation.
Magnesium is a powerful anti-inflammatory that fights arterial plaque
According to many natural health experts, magnesium deficiency is widespread in the United States – an unfortunate state of affairs, considering that magnesium is a powerful ally in fighting cardiovascular disease. Research has shown that the mineral reduces inflammatory markers of heart disease, including C-reactive protein and NF-kappaB, and can help regulate the production of cholesterol.
There is also strong evidence that magnesium reduces plaque formation in arteries while simultaneously protecting artery linings – two key elements to helping to prevent atherosclerosis. You can ramp up your stores of magnesium by eating green leafy vegetables, pumpkin seeds, yogurt, almonds, dark chocolate and black beans.
Optimize your vitamin C levels to protect arteries
Many natural health experts feel that coronary heart disease is actually a classic sign of a vitamin C deficiency, as depleted vitamin C levels can cause lesions and cracks to appear in artery walls. These cracks can allow lipoproteins and cholesterol to enter arteries, creating atherosclerotic deposits and setting the stage for heart attacks and strokes.
In animal studies, mice that consumed the largest amounts of vitamin C had the lowest amounts of lipoprotein, along with the strongest hearts. In addition to supporting heart health, antioxidant vitamin C boosts the immune system. Vitamin C is readily available, inexpensive and lacking in serious side effects – making supplementation a wise choice.
Quercetin is associated with lower rates of heart disease
This plant-based flavonoid can help protect the heart from oxidative damage. In a study of 800 men aged 65 to 84 years, researchers found that that those who consumed the highest amounts of quercetin were a stunning 68 percent less likely to have fatal heart attack initiated by underlying cardiovascular issues.
Quercetin reduces cholesterol, improves circulation, regulates blood pressure and decreases amounts of fat stored around the liver and abdomen – all important elements in preventing heart attacks. In addition, quercetin has been found to increase blood plasma levels of beneficial nitric oxide, which relaxes and dilates coronary arteries. Found in dark leafy greens, fruits, vegetables, and green tea, quercetin is also available as a supplement.
Bitter bergamot has sweet cardiovascular benefits
Bergamot, a type of Italian orange packed with antioxidant polyphenols, has potent effects against the free radicals that can damage artery linings and trigger atherosclerosis. But its main claim to fame is its ability to lower cholesterol.
In a groundbreaking study, bergamot dramatically dropped levels of harmful LDL cholesterol and fats in the blood, while increasing levels of healthy HDL cholesterol. So effective is bergamot in lowering cholesterol that it may even be capable of replacing dangerous statin drugs for some patients. The fruit is so mouth-puckeringly bitter that it would be difficult for most people to ingest enough to receive health benefits; fortunately, bergamot extracts are available.
All the nutrients on the list have been shown to reduce your risk of having a heart attack – while lacking the toxic side effects of prescription medication. If you think supplementation with these heart-healthy nutrients could be right for you, get the go-ahead first from your trusted, healthcare provider.
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