Nearly every vitamin and mineral that humans consume contributes to a healthy heart in some way, no matter how indirectly. However, in light of National Cholesterol Education Month, the Hotze Health and Wellness Center (HHWC) has released a list of nutrients that are especially vital for cardiovascular well-being.
– Omega-3 fatty acids: These molecules are critical for the formation of healthy cell walls. Also, research has suggested that omega-3s protect cardiac health and act as antioxidants in the bloodstream.
– Beta-carotene: Besides in dietary supplements, this antioxidant can be found in orange, red and dark green vegetables and fruits, according to the Cleveland Clinic. The organization notes that individuals should try to consume between five and 10 servings of produce every day.
– Vitamin D: Other than improving bone health, this nutrient appears to help the body modulate blood pressure and prevent vascular damage, the HHMC states.
– Vitamin C: Though popularly known as an immunity boosters, vitamin C is also a powerful antioxidant that may keep the body’s cardiovascular system functioning properly.
Both the Cleveland Clinic and the HHMC recommend avoiding high-fat foods and sticking to meals that include plenty of fresh produce.