The Heart Health Nutrients Everyone Needs
Promote optimal heart health and boost overall health with a few core nutrients
There’s no doubt that a healthy diet is essential for optimal heart health. But there are also a number of factors that make nutritional supplementation an important part of maintaining a healthy body and cardiovascular system. Consider these four:
- Diet. No matter how well you eat, it’s almost impossible to consistently provide your body with the right amount of nutrients day in and day out.
- Drugs. Many prescription medications deplete the body of essential nutrients, which can lead to notable deficiencies that can affect heart health.
- Age. As we get older our bodies tend to produce less of certain nutrients, making supplementation crucial.
- Exercise level. Even moderate exercise can generate free radicals—which are known factors in heart disease and other illnesses. But antioxidant supplementation can offset the damaging effects of free radicals.
Must-Have Supplement #1: High-Potency Multinutrient
To provide your body with broad, overall nutritional support, I recommend starting your supplement regimen with a high-potency multinutrient. A quality multi will even out the natural fluctuations in your diet and help offset age- and medication-related deficiencies. Look for a multi that includes all essential vitamins and minerals (especially B vitamins), as well as flavonoids and carotenoids. Get my specific recommendations on what a high-quality multinutrient should contain.
Must-Have Supplement #2: Omega-3 Fatty Acids
In addition to taking a high-quality multinutrient, I believe everyone interested in optimal heart health should supplement with at least 1 to 2 grams of omega-3 essential fatty acids daily. Essential fatty acids (EFAs) help lower your risk of heart disease by promoting normal triglyceride levels; keeping blood pressure in the normal range; promoting normal cholesterol levels; and supporting circulation, blood flow, and blood viscosity (blood thickness).
One popular way to get your heart-healthy EFAs is by taking fish oil or other marine animal (krill or squid) supplements, which can be found at health food stores and grocery stores. However, be selective when shopping.
Because our ocean waters are getting more polluted, fish can be contaminated with heavy metals and toxic chemicals; and the large factory ships that catch the fish don’t always do a very good job of processing it right away, which means oils can oxidize even before they’re put into capsules. So, look for a fish oil product that can guarantee freshness, preferably one that includes antioxidants such as rosemary extract and vitamin E to ensure stability and freshness. Also, choose a supplement that delivers at least 150 mg of the EFA eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and 350 mg of the EFA docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
Other Supplement Recommendations
Along with my core supplement recommendations of a daily multinutrient and omega-3 fatty acids, I suggest adding certain supplements based on your specific health needs. And everyone with concerns about heart health should take the “Awesome Foursome.” That’s my name for the four supplements I believe are most crucial for energy production inside cells. This is particularly important in the heart, because the heart requires more energy than any other organ in the body. The more energy it can produce, the more efficient it will be.
More Dr. Sinatra Advice on Supplements for Heart Health
What special supplements do you need for heart health if you are an avid exerciser? Find out which antioxidant supplements you should take if you exercise a lot.
Which nutritional supplements can help lower blood pressure? Learn the details of my Healthy Blood Pressure Supplementation Program.
Which nutritional supplements can help lower normal cholesterol? Discover the supplements that help maintain optimal cholesterol levels.
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Meet Dr. Sinatra
Dr. Stephen Sinatra is a highly respected and sought-after cardiologist and nutritionist with more than 30 years of clinical practice, research, and study. His integrative approach to heart health focuses on reducing inflammation in the body and maximizing the heart's ability to produce and use energy. More About Dr. Sinatra
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