While they’re not a replacement for a healthy diet and lifestyle, dietary supplements can benefit your heart health when used in combination with good lifestyle habits. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S. While you can’t change some risk factors, such as family history, gender, or age, you can improve your overall health, which will in turn help prevent heart disease. The American Heart Association developed a list of seven, simple steps you can take to help add years to your life. The steps, called Life’s Simple 7, includes:
- Get active – Regular exercise has been shown to help control weight, as well as reduce other factors of heart diseases, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes. Strive to get 30 to 60 minutes of moderately intense physical activity at least five days each week. If you can’t find time to squeeze it all in at once, break it up into several, more manageable 10-minute sessions. Exercise has the added benefit of helping to reduce stress, another factor for heart disease.
- Eat better – Eating a healthy diet gives your body the energy it needs to fight disease. Eat a heart-healthy diet that is low in fat, cholesterol, salt, and added sugars and rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and low-fat dairy products.
- Lose weight – Maintaining a healthy weight is an important component in the fight against heart disease. Body mass index (BMI) and weight circumference are both good measurements to assess heart health risk. A BMI of 25 or more is associated with higher blood fats, higher blood pressure, and an increased risk of heart disease and stroke. Men should have a waist circumference of less than 40 inches. Women should have a waist measurement of less than 35 inches. Reducing your weight by even 10 percent can decrease blood pressure, cholesterol, and the risk of diabetes.
- Stop smoking – Smoking is one of the most significant factors in developing heart disease. It damages your entire circulatory system, increasing your risk of coronary heart disease. The good news is that the risk drops dramatically within one year of quitting.
- Control cholesterol – High levels of cholesterol can cause your arteries to develop blockages, which lead to heart disease and strokes. You overall cholesterol level should be below 200 mg/dL. Taking some of these other steps, such as eating a healthy diet, controlling your weight, and getting enough exercise, can help keep it in check.
- Manage blood pressure – Blood pressure is the single most significant risk factor for heart disease. Maintaining a healthy blood pressure of 120/80 or less reduces stress on the heart, arteries, and kidneys.
- Reduce blood sugar – High levels of blood sugar can lead to heart damage, heart disease, and stroke. A fasting blood sugar level below 100 is in the healthy range. A level of 100 or above could indicate diabetes or pre-diabetes. Diabetes is controllable with lifestyle changes and, in some cases, medications. Reducing sugar consumption and increasing physical activities are two easy steps you can take.
Along with a healthy diet and lifestyle, dietary supplements can help with the health of your heart. Those supplements at the top of the list include fish oil, coenzyme Q10, B-complex vitamins, plant sterols, antioxidants, green tea extract, fiber, niacin, and policosanol.
NutraSense offers the following supplements to add to your arsenal in the fight against heart disease:
Omega 3 Plus – Omega-3s offer important anti-inflammatory agents. Inflammation is a common pathway for many diseases, including heart disease. Omega-3s have also been shown to provide significant reductions of 20 to 50 percent in triglyceride levels and increases in good HDL cholesterol.
Co-Q10 capsules – CoQ10 helps prevent heart disease by improving energy production in the cells, inhibiting blood clot formation, and acting as an antioxidant. It also inhibits oxidation of LDL cholesterol. In addition, one recent clinical study found that people who took daily CoQ10 supplements within 3 days of a heart attack were less likely to have subsequent heart attacks and chest pain.
Ultimate B Complex – B-complex vitamins, in particular folate, B6, and B12, reduce heart disease risk by lowering homocysteine levels. They are also great for managing stress. Some B-vitamins, specifically vitamin B3, also help raise healthy cholesterol levels.
SelenoSense – Antioxidants, and selenium in particular, fight against oxidative stress, which plays a significant role in the progression of coronary artery disease. When combined with other antioxidants, selenium may also help lower LDL cholesterol levels.
Vitamin D Softgels – Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, as well as high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes. Several studies have indicated that people with low levels of Vitamin D were twice as likely to have a heart attack, stroke, or other heart-related event during follow-up, compared with those with higher Vitamin D levels.