7 Boosters For The Heart And Circulation
None of the heart and circulatory boosters listed below will make up for bad diet and lifestyle, but used appropriately with lifestyle changes, they can play a vital role in improving cardiovascular health.
1. Folic Acid, Folate (Vitamin B9)
It is a key factor in avoiding heart disease. Folic acid, also known as folate, is part of the vitamin B complex. It is essential in the formation of DNA: the genetic “skeleton” of every single cell.
Low levels of folic acid in the diet lead to increased levels of homocysteine, which is a strong predictor of heart disease. Homocysteine is an amino acid that has been associated with arterial hardening and thickening, and high circulating blood levels can double or triple the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke.
Scientists from China have published the result of a study in the prestigious journal Atherosclerosis that shows daily supplementation with folic acid reduces hardening of the arteries to counter the development of atherosclerosis.
Researchers conducted a meta-analysis of ten studies that included 2,052 people set to determine the effect of folic acid on heart health. Past meta-analysis studies found in the journal Clinical Nutrition determined that folic acid lowers stroke risk by 12 percent by lowering homocysteine levels in the blood and reducing artery wall thickening.
The scientists found that daily supplementation with 5 mg of folic acid lowered homocysteine levels by 25 percent. “Folic acid supplementation results in significant CIMT (carotid intima-media thickness, a measure of arterial wall thickness) reduction after 18 months in patients with at least one cardiovascular risk.”
Folic acid is found in dark-green vegetables such as broccoli and spinach, liver, kidneys. Other sources rich in folic acid include nuts, seeds, oranges, grapefruits, sprouts, poultry, beans and peas. Unfortunately, it is very easy to destroyed by overcooking or exposure to the sunlight.
It has an historic use as an anti-fungal and antibacterial, especially for the treatment of chest infections.
In the 1980s, research began to demonstrate the amazing value of garlic in the protection of the heart and circulatory system. Garlic can lower cholesterol, reduce blood pressure and make the blood less sticky, thus reducing the risk of clots.
Studies at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center revealed that heart patient participants with at least one blocked artery taking garlic extract daily had regression of arterial plaque. Conversely, the placebo group experienced an increase of plaque buildup.
A regular intake of garlic not only protects the heart and circulation and boosts their functions, but also protects against food poisoning, other bacterial and fungal infections and even have some cancer-fighting properties.
Sulphur-rich compounds released when garlic is crushed not only produce its characteristic smell but also most of its therapeutic benefits. For this reason, supplements that are deodorized or made solely of extracted garlic oil are not as effective as either the whole bulb or the standardized whole extract.
Everyone would benefit from one fresh raw clove per day. If you can’t bear the taste, you can take garlic as coated tablets.
Because garlic thins the blood, do not take garlic supplements two or three weeks before undergoing surgery; tell your doctor if you have been using them.
3. Ginkgo Biloba
Ginkgo Biloba, also known as the maidenhair tree, is the most ancient and one of the longest-surviving plants on earth. Individual trees can live up to 1,000 years and its medicinal use is recorded 5,000 years ago in Chinese traditional medicine.
The tree’s leaves are used medicinally. Gentle drying ensures that only the water is removed, than the whole leaf is crushed and made into tablets, which are standardized to ensure an accurate daily intake of its active ingredients.
The potent natural chemicals in ginkgo extract have the unique ability to improve circulation to the brain, at the same time reducing the stickiness of the blood.
Research shows that ginkgo is highly effective in improving short-term memory loss in the elderly. Even people in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease can benefit from ginkgo biloba. There is no evidence that the plant is in any way a treatment for Alzheimer’s, but given in the early stages of the illness it appears to delay the worsening of symptoms by many months. Ginkgo also improves concentration and psycho-motor skills.
Ginkgo Biloba herbs imported from China contain high levels of the toxic heavy metal lead. You need to make sure the ginkgo you’re taking is clean.
Ask your doctor before taking ginkgo if you also take blood-thinning drugs. Ginkgo may interact with other medications. Stop taking ginkgo 1 to 2 weeks before surgery or dental procedures due to the risk of bleeding. People who have epilepsy should not take ginkgo, because it might cause seizures.
4. Horse Chestnut
Horse chestnut seeds, leaves, bark, and flowers have been used for centuries to help relieve an array of health problems. Modern preparations consist of standardized extracts taken from the seeds, which have the richest concentration of active substances.
Today, horse chestnut is primarily used as a traditional remedy for vascular problems like chronic venous insufficiency (CVI), a condition in which the veins do not efficiently return blood from the legs to the heart.
Horse chestnut contains a compound called aescin, the most powerful of its constituents. Aescin acts specifically as a tonic to vein walls, making this an excellent remedy for the relief of varicose veins, fluid retention and hemorrhoids. Local application is excellent for reducing swelling after an injury. Use as a gel applied to painful regions morning and evening.
Use only standardized extracts with known aescin content. Do not take or use topically is suffering from kidney or liver disease, or take blood-thinning or diabetes medications. Rarely horse chestnut may cause local allergic reactions when applied topically.
Eating tomatoes, tomato sauce and tomato paste can help prevent heart disease. The reason is, the protective antioxidant known as lycopene, the richest source of tomato. The human body cannot manufacture its own lycopene, nor does it convert lycopene into vitamin A, as it does with other caretenoids. All the lycopene we need, must come from food.
According to Dr Venket Rao, from the Department of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Toronto, Canada, “Population studies have shown that women consuming high levels of tomatoes and tomato products rich in lycopene are less likely to suffer from breast, ovarian and cervical cancers“.
Although lycopene is similar to other carotenoids such as beta-carotene, the unique way in which it works together with vitamin C makes it a most powerful protective antioxidant.
Lycopene may slow the onset of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the most common cause of poor vision and eventually blindness in the elderly.
Numerous studies show that those eating more tomatoes or having more lycopene in their blood have significantly lower rates of cancer. The best protection is against cancers of the prostate, lung and stomach, but pancreas, colon, rectum, oesophagus, mouth, breast and cervix are also protected.
Consume fresh tomatoes and tomato products on a regular basis.
Selenium is a mineral that works as an antioxidant in the body. It is the essential link in the activation of an antioxidant enzyme called glutathione peroxidase. Without sufficient selenium, the enzyme cannot do it’s job as a heart-protector and cancer-preventer. It can help to keep tissues healthy by preventing cell damage. Selenium is also essential for the normal thyroid function.
A large number of studies show that an abundant intake of selenium reduces the risk of fatty deposits in the arteries and damage to the heart muscle, as well as the risk of breast and prostate cancers.
Selenium is easily absorbed from food. Brazil nuts are one of the best sources of selenium, just one Brazil nut per day can provide 75mcg of selenium. Other good food sources are fish and shellfish, animal meats, whole grains and seeds (sunflower, sesame, and flax).
7. Vitamin E
Vitamin E is one of the most essential of all the protective antioxidants. It is vital for the good health and proper functioning of the heart and circulatory system.
Vitamin E protects the actual membrane of each individual cell in the body, and that includes protecting fat-soluble tissues such as LDL: the dangerous type of cholesterol. It is generally believed that only damaged LDL cells have the ability to cause arterial and heart problems; by protecting the cholesterol cells, vitamin E also protects the heart and blood vessels.
The list of benefits covers virtually all inflammatory conditions, but the certain advantages of consuming extra vitamin E come from its cardiovascular activity. It is also useful in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, eczema, infertility and menopause.
Foods high in vitamin E include dark leafy greens, nuts, seeds, avocado, papaya, olives, plant oils, broccoli, eggs.
The information here is provided for informational purposes only. It is not presented with the intention of diagnosing or treating any disease or condition. It is in no way intended to substitute for the advice provided by your doctor or other health care professional. By using this site you agree to these terms. (Read more)
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