Nourishing the Heart with Chocolate and Fish Oil
According to The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease (womenheart.org), 42 million women in the United States are now living with heart disease. Here are some of my best heart health strategies.
Magnesium The top of my healthy nutrient list is magnesium. As a culture, it appears that the combination of junk food, depleted soils and stress have made magnesium a scarce commodity in our bodies. Magnesium lowers blood pressure, reduces risk of strokes and corrects irregular heartbeats. It also promotes better sleep, relaxed muscles, improved brain function, reduced PMS and happier moods. So, whether it’s your physical heart or emotional heart that needs support and mending, magnesium is the mineral you need to be taking daily.
The most absorbable magnesium is called magnesium glycinate (250-400 mg daily). You can also find topical versions as magnesium chloride oil, which is great for massaging into those achy muscles.
Fish oil High on my list of heart elixirs is fish oil. Fish oil provides omega-3 fatty acids which help reduce inflammation that can cause clotting, reduce high triglycerides that can lead to fatty liver, reduce the risk of clogged arteries after angioplasty or bypass surgery, lower your risk for an irregular heartbeat, lower blood pressure and reduce your risk for stroke. It’s also fabulous for nourishing skin and hair, helping with weight loss, fertility and preventing aging of your genes!
Best to go with a reliable company. You don’t want to skimp on this essential nutrient. And cheaper brands may also be on the rancid side. If you find yourself burping it up, that’s a sure sign and you want to return it for a better one! Fish oil comes as liquids and capsules. Whichever option you choose, you’re aiming for 2-4 grams daily. Wild salmon (not their farm-raised brethren) are full of health-promoting omega 3’s and so are sardines. So be sure to slip them into your favorite meal at least once a week.
Vitamin D The last but not least of the heart healthy trio is Vitamin D. Low levels, which are epidemic, have been linked to significantly increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease including heart attacks, stroke and heart failure. People with low Vitamin D levels are more likely to have the risk factors that cause heart disease: type 2 diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Vitamin D also affects how well your body absorbs two minerals important for a healthy heart: calcium and magnesium.
When is comes to Vitamin D, a blood test is essential to let you know that you have hit the target of optimal range. What you are aiming for in your blood test is around 70. Vitamin D is turning out to be a wonder kid of nutrients, not only for heart health but also for healthy bones, balanced hormones, brainpower, strong immunity and reduced inflammation. Definitely add it to your list of best friends! Your dose will depend on your blood test results, but a good maintenance dose is around 5000 IU daily.
Dark chocolate And what would we do without luscious dark chocolate, the food of love and healthy hearts? Thanks to cocoa’s phenol and flavanol content, it decreases blood pressure. Also, dark chocolate contains epicatechin, a powerful antioxidant. When buying your chocolate, choose at least 70 percent or higher cocoa content if you want to savor its healing delights.
What is your favorite fish oil brand? Tweet us @OrganicSpaMag #nourishingtheheart
Tags: studies and research, superfood