8 Nutrients Essential for a Healthy Heart
Your heart works around the clock, pumping nutrients and precious oxygen to your body’s tissues. It never takes a break. The average adult beats a whopping 115,000 times and pumps about 2,000 gallons of blood every day (1).
This is why you must do anything in your power to ensure it stays healthy. Heart disease is the single most common cause of death worldwide (2).
Living a heart-friendly lifestyle involves regular exercise, not smoking, and controlling your stress levels. Just as important as what you do, is what you eat.
Scientists have discovered that your heart needs specific nutrients to stay healthy…
1. Plant-Based Antioxidants
Antioxidants play a critical role in keeping your heart healthy. They protect your body from one of the most common heart disease that causes the oxidation of cholesterol (3).
When cholesterol oxidizes, it causes fatty plaque to build upon your arteries’ walls, resulting in increased blood pressure and an increased risk of a heart attack.
The key is to consume plant-based antioxidants. Studies using synthetic vitamins—what you’ll find in most multivitamins—show no benefit, while antioxidants from fruits, veggies, and herbs are shown to be protective (4).
2. Essential Fatty Acids
Researchers have found your body needs a balance of both omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids. The problem is, most people get far too many omega-6s from processed foods.
This results in increased inflammation, a higher risk of obesity, and an increased risk of heart disease (5, 6). To remedy this issue, it’s important to get plenty of omega-3s from wild fish, flax seeds, or chia seeds (7).
Perhaps surprisingly, you’ll want to avoid fish oil. While eating fish is good for you, most fish oils are highly refined and can easily turn rancid, making them pro-inflammatory in the body.
In fact, a complete review of 20 fish oil studies by the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found that taking fish oil had no heart-health benefits (8). Stick to wild fish or plant omegas for a healthy heart.