Thursday, August 31, 2017

Healthy Aging: Supplements for Heart Health

As we look towards healthy aging one of the big considerations is heart health. Most heart associated deaths are caused by heart attacks and congestive heart failure. High blood pressure, obesity, irregular heartbeat and other conditions that overwork the heart can weaken it and lead to congestive heart failure. If you are concerned about your heart health, it is a good idea to consult your health care provider and get testing done. Then you and your provider can determine if medications and/or supplements can help you with your heart health. For example, testing can show if you need to lower your LDL cholesterol level or raise your HDL cholesterol level. There are supplements that can help with healthy aging and supporting heart health. Let's look at some of these so that you will be informed on what is available when talking with your health care provider.

Omega -3
Omega-3 supplements or fish oil supplements can reduce your triglyceride level and may improve your blood pressure. Eating foods rich in omega-3 has been found useful in supporting heart health and brain health. Foods that are good sources of omega-3 include fish such as salmon, tuna, herring and lake trout. Other food sources for omega-3 are flaxseed, blue green algae, walnuts, olive oil, edamame, wild rice, soybean oil, spinach, kale and chia seeds. AFA algae is also high in polyunsaturated fatty acids and has a high percent of omega-3 fatty acids which has been found to be severely lacking in the American diet.

Coenzyme Q10
Supplementing the diet with coenzyme Q10 has been shown through scientific studies to have remarkable results on cardiovascular health and immunity and is essential for energy production at the cellular level. It also can help lower blood pressure. Taking a high-quality coenzyme Q10 supplement can help rebuild heart tissue, as well as rejuvenate the metabolic function of every cell in the body. Our bodies make some of this coenzyme, but we need more CoQ10 for healthy aging, since as we age our ability to manufacture it is reduced. Ubiquinol is an active form of Coenzyme Q10 which works much like antioxidants in keeping our cells healthy. There are very few foods that can supply us with enough so supplementation is important. One supplement that has the ubiquiol to help support cell energy, also has reishi mushrooms which are a complete whole food rich in proteins, enzymes, minerals, and complex polysaccharides and oyster mushrooms that give us fiber, vitamin D, niacin, iron and the antioxidant ergothioneine and has the many added benefits of superfood bluegreen algae loaded with omega-3s.Reishi mushrooms have been shown to have antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory and antifungal properties. It is also high in beta glucans, polysaccharides and triterpenoid compounds as well as being rich in proteins, enzymes, and minerals. Oyster mushrooms are not only rich in protein, but high in B vitamins and lovastatin which helps balance blood cholesterol levels. Adding all these ingredients in with bluegreen algae provides a powerful tool for heart health support and healthy aging.

Garlic
Garlic has been found useful in lowering blood pressure, lowering cholesterol levels and in treating various heart related conditions such as atherosclerosis (hardening of arteries). The benefits from garlic seems to come from the chemical allicin that is in it. As with any supplement, they are not all the same. Make sure you are getting high quality supplements. In the case of a garlic supplement, some have less allicin than others and are therefore not as effective.

Psyllium
Supplements of psyllium can help lower LDL cholesterol, raise HDL cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure and are useful with lowering risk of heart disease. Psyllium comes from the husk around the seeds of the herb Plantago ovata, also called blond psyllium and is commonly found in fiber supplements. Fiber supplements, eating fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains can all help in reducing cholesterol levels and reducing the risk of heart disease.

Resveratrol
Resveratrol supplements can support heart health by reducing chronic inflammation that can lead to heart disease. Inflammation can lead to blood clots that block blood flow to the heart thus causing heart disease or heart attacks. You can also get resveratrol from the skin of red grapes, blueberries, and peanuts.

B Vitamins
B Vitamins which would include folic acid can help red blood cells stay healthy, reduce the risk of death from stroke and reduce the risk of heart disease. They can help with reducing homocysteine which is an amino acid that can lead to heart disease, blood clots, heart attack and stroke when found in high levels. Besides taking B Vitamin supplements, foods such as whole grains, fortified cereals, lettuce, spinach, beans, liver, fish and legumes are sources for these vitamins.

You are now armed with some information on supplements that have been found useful for heart health. This should give you some ideas to discuss with your health care provider if you are concerned about your heart health and healthy aging. If you are on any type of medications, it is especially important to consult your provider as some supplements do not mix well with some medications. Finding the right supplements for you can make a big difference in healthy aging and your quality of life as you age.

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Sources:
http://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/foods-heart-healthy


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