The heart can be kept healthy by eating a varied diet of healthy foods, and this can help with your weight, blood pressure and cholesterol. Being overweight, having high blood pressure and high cholesterol can all contribute to heart problems. Eating less salt and replacing unhealthy fats with healthy fats are just some of the recommendations. Making sure your levels of certain vitamins and minerals are kept topped up is also important.
Three vitamins and minerals proven to boost heart health are magnesium, vitamin B6 and omegar-3 fatty acids.
Your heart relies on the mineral magnesium to keep its beat strong and regular, and it also relaxes your arteries allowing your blood to flow easily, lowering blood pressure.
Holland and Barrett says: “Magnesium may also help regulate heart palpitations and that ‘fluttery’ feeling in your chest.
“A prominent ongoing heart study from the US reported in 2013 that low magnesium is associated with the development of irregular heartbeat.”
The mineral is found in a wide variety of foods, including green leafy vegetables, like spinach, nuts, born rice, bread, fish, meat and dairy foods.
Vitamin B6 holds a host of benefits. Also known as pyridoxine, the NHS says it helps form haemoglobin, the substance in red blood cells that carries oxygen around the body.
It also helps to boost heart health says Holland & Barrett
But because vitamin B6 is water-soluble, it dissolves in bodily fluids, so any amount that’s not used will be lost through urination.
It explains: “That means vitamin B6 is needed every day. Adults need 1.4mg a day to prevent a deficiency in B6. However, supplementation is available in higher doses such as 100mg.
“Signs you have a vitamin B6 deficiency can include fatigue or pernicious anaemia – which you’ll spot through symptoms such as being short of breath, foggy brained, clumsy, or having dry skin or flaky nails.”
While vitamin B6 is available in supplement form, major food sources include meat, poultry and fish.
Vegetarians and vegans can get plenty of B6 from foods like sunflower seeds, bananas, nuts and spinach.
The high street health store adds: “The main people at risk of having a vitamin B6 deficiency include the elderly, people suffering from high levels of stress, and people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
“Aside from supplementation, you can also increase your intake of B6 by eating more oats, peanuts and foods containing soya, such as soya-based meat alternatives and soya milk, potatoes and other starchy vegetables.”
Too much saturated fat is considered unhealthy and can contribute to heart disease. But fat shouldn’t be cut out of people’s diet completely.
Fat is an essential macronutrient, giving us energy and warmth while protecting our cells and cushioning our organs.
Dietician Helen Bond told Waitrose & Partners magazine: “There are some essential fats such as omega-3 fatty acids that our bodies can’t make on their own, and which we need for heart eye and brain health.”
Research released at the American Heart Association’s 2018 Scientific Sessions in Chicago and published in the New England Journal of Medicine found evidence that medications derived from fish oil are effective in protecting people from fatal heart attacks, strokes and other forms of cardiovascular disease.
While omega-3 is available as a supplement it can also be found in a number of foods.
Mackerel, salmon, cod liver oil, flaxseeds, chia seeds, walnuts and soybeans all contain high quantities of omega-3.
Published at Wed, 06 Feb 2019 19:24:00 +0000