Lifestyle and diet play a crucial role in boosting immunity and keeping ailments at bay. Including these five supplements can help prevent heart ailments, high blood pressure and lung disease, according to Naturopathic Nutritionist Amy Morris from Water for Health.
Improve your cardiovascular health by including these five supplements in your diet:
1. Omega 3 fatty acids
Flaxseeds, walnuts and cold-water fishes like salmon, mackerel, herring, lake trout, albacore tuna and sardines are great sources of omega 3 fatty acids. As per Morris, omega 3 boosts heart health and helps lower the risk of strokes and heart attacks. These foods also help reduce the risk of sudden death by cardiac arrest.
"EPA and DHA, the fatty acids found in omega 3 are also effective at reducing blood triglyceride levels by an average of 25-30 percent, helping to reduce the occurrence of cholesterol-related heart issues. In addition, omega-3 fats reduce inflammation and therefore have therapeutic applications in a number of diseases that are associated with pro-inflammatory mechanisms such as rheumatoid arthritis and other joint-related diseases," Morris was quoted by Express as saying.
These fats also benefit the body by enhancing fat breakdown and protect against muscle loss.
It has been stated by various studies that garlic helps increase the levels of good cholesterol (HDL) in our body and it depletes bad cholesterol (LDL) as well as triglycerides.
"A recent study also showed that supplementation with garlic extract (1.2 grams three times per day for two weeks) significantly reduced the oxidation of "bad" LDL cholesterol, which is known to contribute to vascular dysfunction. Garlic has antioxidant properties, particularly aged garlic extract, which is rich in several organosulfur compounds that are powerful antioxidants," Morris said.
3. Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)
Coenzyme is a non-protein compound crucial for the functioning of an enzyme. CoQ10 plays a role in making energy from fats and carbohydrates. The compound is known to act like an antioxidant and also plays the role in the synthesis of energy. It also has functions like stabilizing the membranes inside mitochondria.
"CoQ10 protects the 'bad' LDL cholesterol that is implicated in atherosclerosis from oxidizing. Because of CoQ10's role in oxidative stress, energy production and stabilization, it is useful in preventing damage to the heart during periods of stress," Morris said.
"CoQ10 levels have been shown to be depleted in patients with a variety of heart conditions and in those taking cholesterol-lowering statin drugs. Research on CoQ10 spanning over 30 years shows its potential for use in the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease in these patients," she added.
4. Plant sterols
Various studies have revealed that phytosterols or plant sterols are known to reduce cholesterol levels and keep cardiovascular ailments away.
"They have a structure that is similar to cholesterol, causing it to decrease gut absorption and to enhance elimination of dietary cholesterol," Morris explained, according to Express.
"A comprehensive review of 41 trials comparing plant sterols to placebo concluded that intake of two grams per day of sterols reduced 'bad' LDL cholesterol by 10 percent with the effects independent of diet. The same study concluded that the cholesterol-lowering properties are above and beyond that achieved with diet or medications that also lower cholesterol," she said.
Tomatoes and tomato products are a great source of Lycopene, which is found in some other fruits and vegetables as well. It stops the arteries from hardening.
"Lycopene has been shown to have strong antioxidant properties. Studies indicate that people with high levels of lycopene in their blood have reduced the risk of cardiovascular disease," Morris was quoted as saying by Express.
A study revealed that the men with lowest lycopene levels were at more than a threefold greater risk of having a stroke or an acute coronary event. Lycopene helps in lowering blood pressure as well as inflammation in the body.