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Nutrients for Heart Health

foods placed to form heart

Heart disease is not a normal part of the aging process. Heart disease can be reversed if done properly, but you can also enhance the effect of healthy eating habits, and especially help to lower your cholesterol, with the proper use of nutrients, especially when it comes to lowering cholesterol. Supplements alone won’t lower your heart disease risk; they are best used in combination with taking other major steps, including following a plant-based diet and exercising. But they are a powerful adjunct to these steps. Below you will find the nutrients for heart health.

Plant Sterols:

Known also as plant stanols, these are substances that are contained in small quantities in vegetable oils, legumes, and such grains are corn, rye and wheat, and they can be taken in supplement form as well. When they are consumed in sufficient amounts, they block the absorption of cholesterol in the small intestine, and have been shown to lower LDL cholesterol by 10 to 15 percent without lowering the “good” HDL cholesterol. That is the equivalent of a statin drug. In fact, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration allows for plant sterols esters to be labeled as having the potential for reducing the risk of coronary heart disease and as an effective cholesterol-lowering substance, which are designations they rarely allow supplements.

Niacin (niacinamide):

Niacinamide is a water-soluble B vitamin that may be helpful in the lowering of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood while boosting the beneficial HDL cholesterol. However, niacin in high doses can produce unpleasant side effects, which is why niacinamide, which is a form of the vitamin, is often used instead.

Folic Acid:

Homocysteine is a common amino acid and high levels of it have been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, possibly because it may contribute to damage of the blood vessels. Folic acid, a type of B vitamin that helps tissues and cells grow, will lower homocysteine levels.

Vitamins B1, B2, B6, and B12:

This family of B vitamins is essential for good health, because they are either essential for your body’s metabolism or they help you make energy from the food you eat. You can get B vitamins from a lot of different foods, but some of the highest amounts come from eggs and red meat, which you would not be eating much of or at all if you are following a heart healthy plant-based diet. So in this case, taking these nutrients as supplements becomes particularly important.

Vitamin C:

Although Vitamin C is usually considered as a supplement to boost the immune system, it is increasingly seen as beneficial at lowering inflammation, which is a marker for coronary artery disease. In addition to this major benefit, vitamin C has also been found to be useful in helping the coronary arteries function properly.

Vitamin D:

Vitamin D deficiency is linked to a whole spectrum of health problems, ranging from depression to the inability to think clearly. But this vitamin is also extremely important when it comes to your heart. Not having enough vitamin D can increase the risk of high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, coronary heart disease, and diabetes. Furthermore, our need for vitamin D increases, not decreases, as we grow older.

Coenzyme Q10:

This enzyme, which the body manufactures, is found in every one of your millions of cells, and is credited with many benefits. Regarding your heart’s health, it’s a strong antioxidant, which means it protect your body from damage due to oxidation, a byproduct of metabolism. CoQ10 can also help to prevent congestive heart failure and lower blood pressure, and helps the heart function more effectively.


Magnesium is a very important mineral. A large-scale government survey found that Americans don’t get enough magnesium from their diet. In fact, the study found that 68 percent of Americans consume less than the U.S. recommended allowances, and that many of those surveyed consumed far less. This is important, because magnesium has been found to help to lower cholesterol, keep blood pressure steady, and also is linked to a decreased risk of dying from heart disease. Another study found that people who consumed less than the recommended amount of magnesium were about 1.5 times more likely to have elevated markers for inflammation throughout their entire body.


Hawthorn is made from the berries of the hawthorn plant, and is used for diseases of the heart and blood vessels. In terms of heart health, it’s looked at as a way to lower elevated cholesterol levels without using statin drugs. It’s also considered useful in the treatment of chest pain, irregular heartbeat, maintaining balanced blood pressure, and possibly preventing congestive heart failure.

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