Natural Ways to Support Heart Health

Nutrients for Your Beating Heart

ARTICLE IN A NUTSHELL

1. Your amazing heart beats approximately 115,000 times, averaging over 40 million beats a year. 

2. Hawthorn, Motherwort, CoQ10, Magnesium, and Garlic supports heart and vascular health.

3. Maintain heart health through exercise, dental visits, and a heart-friendly diet.

“Your incredible heart circulates about 7,500 liters of blood and completes roughly 115,000 beats each day.”

INTRO

The mystery of the heart has intrigued different cultures throughout history as to its meaning and function.  For example, the Greeks and Native Americans viewed the heart as the center of intellectual and emotional life.  We can all agree that our emotions can influence our heart rate.  For example, when we feel our heart pound rapidly or skip a beat, we become acutely aware of how much we depend on this dynamic, life-sustaining organ. 

Today, we rely on extensive scientific research that reveals many of the anatomical and physiological aspects of the human heart, including the fact that the heart pumps oxygenated blood throughout the body to sustain life. Did you know that your amazing heart pumps around 7,500 liters of blood and beats approximately 115,000 per day? In one year, the heart pumps approximately 2.77 million liters of blood!

Multiply those numbers by a lifetime, and we begin to grasp how imperative it is to maintain a healthy heart regimen by eating the right foods, exercising, and supplementing. Certain nutrients can positively influence blood pressure, triglyceride levels, cholesterol levels, and inflammation, all risk factors for heart disease.

Let’s explore natural ways to support heart health and learn which nutrients are essential for your beating heart.

It is important to consult with your primary healthcare practitioner when adding anything new to your diet, especially if you are taking prescription medications.

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HAWTHORN (Crataegus Species)

Hawthorn (Crataegus species) has been used to support heart health and treat heart disease since the 1st century. By the early 1800s, American doctors used it to treat circulatory disorders and respiratory illnesses. (1)

Hawthorn leaves and berries contain potent antioxidants known as bioflavonoids, polyphenols, flavonoids, and procyanidins. These antioxidants have anti-inflammatory properties, protect blood vessels from damage, improve blood flow, lower blood pressure, and improve cholesterol levels. Overall, hawthorn is considered an effective nutrient for heart health due to its ability to regulate and tone heart muscles. (2)

Studies have also supported using hawthorn for centuries as a digestive aid. Its fiber and pre-biotic content have been shown to aid digestion by reducing the transit time of food in the digestive system while feeding the healthy gut bacteria that are vital to maintaining a healthy digestive tract. (3)

The recommended dose for healing, also known as Therapeutic Range, is between 300 – 750 mg. Possible interactions may occur when taking prescription blood pressure, blood thinning medications, and supplementing with hawthorn. Always consult a trusted healthcare provider before adding supplements to your diet. (4)

MOTHERWORT (Leonaris Cardiaca)

Motherwort, also referred to as Lion’s Tail, has been used for centuries as a medicinal herb to treat heart disease and other physical and emotional conditions like menstrual distress, anxiety, and depression. (5)

In recent years, scientific evidence further supports the use of motherwort for heart conditions, including heart failure, irregular heartbeat, and heart symptoms caused by anxiety. This is partly due to its numerous plant-based compounds, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory properties, including flavonoids, sterols, triterpenes, tannins, and alkaloids. For example, leonurine, an alkaloid compound found in motherwort, promotes the relaxation of blood vessel walls.  (6)(7)(8)(9)(10)(11)

Countries such as Germany have authorized the use of motherwort to treat heart palpitations, anxiety, nervous disorders, and overactive thyroid, which also causes irregular heartbeats. (12)

Herbalists consider motherwort an excellent herb for supporting a healthy parasympathetic nervous system. The American Pharmacopoeia considers it an herb utilized for “gladdening and strengthening the heart.” The recommended Therapeutic Range is between 250-500mg per day. (13)

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CoQ10

CoQ10 (Coenzyme Q10) is a nutrient you don’t want to miss! Studies show its health benefits include treating heart disease, cancer, and neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease.

CoQ10 plays a vital role in supporting and improving the function of the mitochondria, which is essential for energy production in the body. The heart muscle is known to have the most mitochondria per cell.

The body makes its own CoQ10; however, its production declines as we age. Factors that inhibit the production of CoQ10 include stress, illness, and the use of pharmaceutical medications such as cholesterol-blocking drugs like statins.

Deficiency in CoQ10 has been associated with physical and mental fatigue, cardiovascular disease, chronic inflammation, retina, and neurological conditions such as macular degeneration, glaucoma, and Alzheimer’s disease. In contrast, supplementation of CoQ10 could help alleviate these health conditions and signs of aging. When supplementing with CoQ10, the recommended Therapeutic Range is 100 – 400 mg daily. (14)(15)

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MAGNESIUM

Magnesium is an essential mineral that we can’t live without. According to research, it is involved in over 300 enzymatic reactions in the body, including energy metabolism, nerve and muscle function, blood sugar regulation, and protein synthesis. (16)

The heart relies on magnesium to sustain a healthy heart rhythm and aids in activating mitochondrial energy production. Magnesium works together with calcium to contract and relax the heart muscle, creating a heartbeat. While calcium stimulates the muscle fibers of the heart, magnesium allows the fibers of the muscle to relax. (17)(18)

Aside from its necessary role in cardiovascular health, research shows that magnesium assists in improving depression, inflammation, insulin resistance, blood pressure, and athletic performance and is also known to aid premenstrual syndrome in women. (19)(20)(21)(22)(23)

A magnesium  deficiency may result in abnormal heart rhythms, fatigue and weakness, hypocalcemia, loss of appetite, muscle cramps and contractions, nausea and vomiting, or numbness. Therapeutic Range for magnesium is 700-1100 mg per day. Some excellent organic food sources of magnesium include pumpkin seeds, spinach, swiss chard, green beans, and black beans.

GARLIC

Have you ever heard the saying, “There is no such thing as too much garlic?” That’s because mankind has relied on garlic for thousands of years as a nutritional and medicinal food source. It is mentioned in legends, folklore, and modern science and even documented as a food source prescribed by Hippocrates for its ability to protect against everything from common colds, metabolic conditions, liver disorders, poor digestion, intestinal worms, fever, and heart disease. (24)

One of garlic’s secret ingredients is a natural compound called allicin, which becomes activated when garlic is cut, chewed, or mashed. Research shows that allicin, along with other compounds found in garlic, relaxes blood vessels, prevents cell damage, reduces plaque buildup in the arteries, regulates cholesterol levels, and has anti-inflammatory effects that assist in lowering blood pressure. In addition to its heart-healthy benefits, garlic contains trace minerals, including copper, iron, magnesium, zinc, and selenium, all necessary for healthy metabolic functions. (25)(26)(27)

A great daily regimen is garlic marinated in honey. Take one teaspoon daily for its heart-healthy properties, and your immune system will thank you, too! If you are still hesitant to use this nutritious food source because it can create bad breath, try drinking lemon water afterward. That should stop the garlic breath! (28)

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FINAL THOUGHTS

Beyond enriching your diet with the nutrients mentioned above, consider incorporating these easy steps into your routine for a heart-healthy lifestyle:

Get your teeth checked! Gum disease raises the risk of heart disease. Bad dental health can lead to blood infections, harming heart valves and overall health.

Get moving! Your heart is a muscle, and as with any muscle, exercise is what strengthens it.

Eat heart-healthy organic foods and power up with mitochondria energy-producing nutrients mentioned above, including:

  • Green Super Foods – Cleans and strengthens the blood.
  • Vitamin C –Necessary for all cells of the body!
  • Omega 3 Fatty Acids –Anti-inflammatory and healthy fats for the brain.
  • Vitamin D –Easily preventable common deficiency – Just a bit of sun will do it!
  • Vitamin E– Protects LDL cholesterol from oxidation, which leads to hardening of arteries.

Choose nutrient-rich oils like extra virgin olive oil, coconut, or avocado oils when cooking.

Consult with your trusted healthcare provider. It is always recommended to consult with a trusted health care professional due to noted interactions that can occur with certain prescription blood pressure and blood thinning medications, especially when supplementing with Hawthorn.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

M. Moriah Mor, a Certified Holistic Nutritionist, is the owner of GreenSilk.com. The company is committed to helping individuals live a healthier lifestyle through education, nutrition, the research of life science, and the development of Professional High-Grade Premium health products.

Recognized for her outstanding dedication and contributions to the health and wellness industry for more than 18 years, Moriah is a graduate of the Energetic Health Institute and the University of Southern California. Her interest is focused on researching the latest scientific breakthroughs in the holistic health field. She is currently working toward her Doctorate in Natural Medicine.

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