At present, there are an estimated 7.4 million people in the UK living with heart or circulatory diseases, and nearly one third of all deaths worldwide can be associated with heart disease. These numbers are ever growing and as we understand these diseases more we can continue to work on prevention rather than solely cure. Heart and circulatory diseases include heart attacks, atrial fibrillations, stroke, heart failure and vascular dementia, just to name a few.
A number of risk factors increase your likelihood for heart disease, including diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, air pollution, obesity and poor diet and exercise. Despite knowing the link between diet and heart disease, only a quarter of adults in the UK consume the minimum of five fruit and vegetable portions a day, while 37% of UK adults do not meet the recommended 150 minutes of exercise per week and around a quarter of adults consume more than the national guidelines for weekly alcohol intake. We need to return to the basics of nutrition and exercise, combined with additional supplements to reduce our risk.
- Omega-3 fatty acids are essential nutrients for human health, the three main types are ALA, DHA and EPA. They support a number of functions but particularly heart health by decreasing triglycerides which could lead to heart disease, decreasing inflammation, reducing blood clotting, increasing LDL/good cholesterol and reducing the risk of developing an irregular heart rate (arrhythmia).
- Folate, also known as vitamin B9, reduces the thickening of arterial walls and lessens the risk of stroke by lowering homocysteine levels. Homocysteine is an amino acid found in your blood that is mostly increased by eating red meat and having a high toxic exposure, high levels of this are strongly linked to heart disease.
- Specifically vitamin K2, is beneficial for heart health as it plays a vital role in ensuring that calcium is deposited on bone rather than in the arteries. This act improves blood flow and reduces arterial blockages which lessens the risk of associated heart diseases.
- Magnesium helps maintain nerve and muscle function supporting the function of a steady heart rhythm and blood pressure, both of which can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
- Cordyceps is a type of medicinal mushroom, used in natural medicine for hundreds of years for a multitude of benefits. Among those benefits are it’s function to support a regular heartbeat, reduce risk of arrhythmia and links to reduced triglyceride levels, therefore reducing heart disease.
- With inflammation and oxidative stress playing a large role in development of heart complications, tumeric’s active component curcumin has research showing it is a great support. Curcumin has potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects that can reduce risk of heart disease.
- Quercetin is a plant pigment, found in food and drinks including red wine, green tea, berries and apples. This abundant flavonoid may improve blood pressure by improving capillary permeability and blood flow through arteries.
- Lycopene can be extracted from tomatoes and is a powerful antioxidant. It has shown benefits to heart health including cholesterol, lowering blood pressure and reducing cardiac inflammation marker CRP. Protects against both oxidative stress and inflammation which increase risk of CVD
- This is a regular in many of our diets,but potent garlic extract has been shown to have hugely beneficial effects on reducing risk of CVD. Garlic extract is associated with reduced blood pressure and management of risk factors such as inflammation and arterial stiffness.
- CoQ10 is an essential compound for the human body, with links to significant improvement in individuals with cardiovascular disease. The benefits of CoQ10 stem from antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects and also plays a role in the heart’s energetic needs.