Today we’re sitting down with Dr. Greg Barnes to discuss the heart-healthy superfoods and supplements that most benefit our heart and what we need to avoid.
Let’s start with the misinformation we’ve been taught to understand how we got to have so many with heart disease.
The biggest mistake we are making in our diets today would be that we’re avoiding one of the best heart-healthy supperfoods out there… fat, and eating way too many grains!
There are healthy fats that are what should be emphasized in our diet and then inflammatory fats that tend to be hidden in a lot of our “convenient” foods today.
We need to cut the sugar out, add in the good fats and clean up the meats to go back to the basic fundamentals of a nutritious diet.
We know we need to vastly improve the quality of nutrition we are putting in our bodies – but we also need to address any gaps that our diet is not filling.
Even the most healthy diets can still have some nutritional gaps. Supplements act as a fail-safe to make sure you’re getting the key nutrients your body needs to thrive.
Here are a few key supplements that have been proven to specifically benefit the heart:
1. Magnesium (200-400mg/daily)
Magnesium is the #1 mineral deficiency in the United States with an estimate of about 50% of the population being deficient1.
This is required in the body for several hundred different vital reactions – many of them related specifically to the cardiovascular system.
Magnesium has also been shown to have a significant impact on lowering blood pressure due to the calming effect it has on the body2.
In today’s world, with over-stimulation, stress & fast-paced environments, we are using up much more of the magnesium we have in our bodies … leading to deficiencies.
2. CoQ10 (50-100+ mg)
CoQ10 is a potent antioxidant within the body that drives cellular energy, found most predominantly in our heart muscle.
In a study of 420 people that were diagnosed with heart failure, and were treated with CoQ10 supplementation for two years.
This found that that the vast majority had reduced symptoms related to heart failure as well as their risk of dying was reduced.3
Statin medications actually deplete your body of the CoQ10 it needs to be healthy.
If you are currently on a statin medication or HAVE been on one – taking high doses of CoQ10 is absolutely imperative!
3. Essential Fatty Acids (Omega 3)
Omega 3’s have a very profound anti-inflammatory effect which makes it a natural blood thinner.
Essential Fatty Acids optimize lipid profiles and improve triglyceride numbers where you’ll see an increase in HDL (good cholesterol) and decrease in LDL (bad cholesterol).
Heart healthy superfoods like almonds, pistachios, and wild-caught fish are great sources of essential fatty acids.
It’s so anti-inflammatory that it has a comparable pain-relieving effect as an NSAID.4
4. Vitamin C (1000-2000+ mg)
Vitamin C helps your body make collagen, which makes up your skin, joints, ligaments & tendons – but most importantly your blood vessels.
If you are not putting the right building blocks in to have healthy blood vessels, then…
Your cardiovascular system will suffer and become inflamed easily.
This creates skyrocketing cholesterol, triglycerides and clotting factors.
Most people have heard about vitamin C from an immune system standpoint…
But something you may not know is that human beings are the only mammals that cannot synthesize our own vitamin C.
This means we must get via diet or supplementation. The best dietary sources of vitamin C come from citrus fruits such as lemons, limes, and oranges.
5. Methylation Support (Methylated B12, Methylfolate)
Methylation is a genetic process inside of your body and in relationship to disease, we’re referring to the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) gene.
If you have an MTHFR deficiency (about 20% of the population), we now know that it will lead to an increase in a very specific inflammation marker called homocysteine.
So, the higher your homocysteine marker goes, the higher risk you are for cardiovascular disease.
How do you get tested, and what should you take?
Request this common test from your doctor and if your test comes back with a high homocysteine level…
You may have a methylation issue.
Supplementation you should be looking at would include:
- Methylated B12
- Check the label of your supplement to make sure “methyl” is in your B and folic supplements
6. Vitamin D (with K)
Do you currently have heart disease right now?
get your vitamin D levels are up into the 70s-80s to potentially reverse some of the severity of that.
Also, be sure to take vitamin D along with vitamin K to keep that balance of calcium in the body.
Otherwise, you’re risking the potential of calcifying the arteries.
That was a LOT of information! What simple steps can you take to put what you just learned in action?
Get the supplements & heart healthy superfoods and create a routine so that you remember to take them!
Most importantly, always ask yourself “what’s next?” when it comes to improving your health because there’s always something out there you may not be doing that can impact your well-being.