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5 Nutrients for Better Heart Health
Written By : Dr. James Pendergraft 
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You are what you eat. What you eat affects your well being and long life. The heart is what keeps one going and as long as the heart is healthy and lively, the chances of death are comparatively lower. Some foods are known for their ability to promote the health of the heart. A healthy diet is one that has the five essential nutrients that promote heart health. The five nutrients for a healthy heart are:

1. Omega -3 fatty acids: Omega -3 fatty acids are capable of preventing heart disease. There are three omega -3 acids. The most important among these for a healthy heart is DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid). They lower the level of fats in the blood, such as triglycerides and raise the level of good cholesterol in the blood. It regulates the rate of heart best and lowers the blood pressure to improve the flow of blood through the arteries. Salmon are an excellent source of DHA.

2. Soluble fiber: There are various types of fibers. The vegetables found in whole wheat and in vegetables are insoluble fibers. These insoluble fibers keep colon cancer at bay and make you regular at work. The soluble fibers are those that work to lower the risk of heart disease. The soluble fibers are found in oats, fruits and legumes and they are known to lower the cholesterol levels in the blood, including the bad cholesterol levels. The bad cholesterols are responsible for degeneration of heart tissue.

3. Folate: The Vitamin B- complex, especially folate, is effective in reducing the heart disease risk. They do so by reducing the levels of homocysteine, which irritates the walls of blood vessels and causes increased inflammation associated to atherosclerosis in the blood stream. Even though your blood cholesterol levels may be low, high levels of homocysteine increases the risk of heart disease. Folate is present in green leafy vegetables, legumes, orange juice. The intake of folate reduces the level of homocysteine to reduce the risks.

4. Antioxidants: In the body, there are small fragments of oxygen called free radicals that damage the walls of the arteries, contributing to atherosclerosis and other heart diseases. Antioxidants reduce the damage by free radicals by reacting with the free radicals to stabilize them, thus preventing them from acting on the artery walls. Therefore, by taking in antioxidants, the damage due to oxidants can be reduced greatly. This keeps the arteries clear and free to allow free flow of blood. Fruits, vegetables and juices are the primary sources of antioxidants. Vitamin C and beta-carotene are a few examples of anti- oxidants.

5. Vitamin D: Vitamin D is essential for the heart to stay healthy. Deficiency of Vitamin D can cause heart disease, metabolic syndrome and high blood pressure. The rate of death due to heart disease is lower in those with an adequate level of Vitamin D in their body.

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