Heart diseases are becoming common these days. With alarming increase in the number of cardiovascular ailments, the importance of preventive measures has become crucial. Dietary supplements such as omega-3 oils are aiding preventive measures and are now being recommended and adopted globally.
Widespread research on preventive measures for increased cholesterol and countering of heart diseases show that healthy diet and an active lifestyle has a large role in helping people avoid medical emergencies. In the diet, numerous herbs and supplements are being recommended as beneficial in the fight against the obesity and cholesterol epidemic, which lead to dangerous heart diseases. Small alterations in the diet and lifestyle, inclusion of certain health supplements such as omega-3 acids to the diet and, if required, preventive medical treatment can help control cholesterol, improve blood pressure, as well as mitigate other risk factors for optimizing heart health.
Traditionally, the risk of heart diseases was considered to increase with age. Increased stress levels and always-on lifestyles have adversely affected all age groups, making young persons vulnerable to ill health, high cholesterol and leading to their being diagnosed with heart ailments. Before considering supplements to avert or reduce the risk of heart diseases, health factors and symptoms underlying heart conditions need to be examined.
Some common factors causing heart diseases:
- Medical conditions such as high cholesterol, diabetes, hypertension
- Obesity and physical inactivity
- Unhealthy diet, intake of excessive sugar and frizzy drinks
- Stress, depression, anxiety
- Poor or inadequate sleep
- Heredity has an active role in heart health
Common symptoms of failing heart health
- Pain in the chest, arm, or below the breastbone
- Shortness of breath
- Light headedness
- Indigestion, fullness or choking feeling (like a feeling of heartburn)
- Dizziness, weakness, sweating, nausea, vomiting
- Swelling in legs
- Abdominal pain or abdominal pulsation
- Some less common symptoms include fever, vertigo, numbness, tingling, and pain in the jaw.
The following are among the best-known, well-researched supplements for ensuring healthy hearts and for preventing or reducing the risk of heart diseases:
Fish Oil-Omega 3 Fatty Acids – The highest amounts of Omega-3 fatty acids are found in fish oils. In addition to benefiting the heart of healthy people, Omega-3 fatty acids are extremely beneficial for people at the risk of or are already suffering from cardiovascular diseases. Fish oil’s major health benefit comes from the presence of omega 3 essential fatty acids such as Eicosa pentatonic acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Omega-3 fatty acids can lower triglyceride levels, which is a category of unhealthy fat that can lead to clots in the arteries. Research shows Omega-3 fatty acid lowers the risk of arrhythmias (abnormal heartbeats) that can cause sudden death. Additionally, Omega-3 fatty acids retard the growth of atherosclerotic plaque, reduce triglyceride levels, and help lower blood pressure.
Since our bodies do not efficiently produce some Omega-3 fatty acids, it is necessary to obtain adequate amounts via a diet rich in fish and fish-oil products.Supplements of fish oils in the form of soft gels are easier to swallow and digest.Fish oil from deep-sea sardines is the best available in India as it has the maximum natural triglycerides and a high level of EPA & DHA.
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Flaxseed Oil –Vegetarians can obtain Omega-3 acids from flaxseed oil, which is a rich source of Alpha-Linolenic Acid (ALA) and a member of the Omega 3 family. In your diet, flaxseed oil converts into the highly beneficial fatty acid EPA. Flaxseed oil is an alternative source of EPA for vegetarians and for those not consuming oily or any other fish. Flaxseed oil is available as soft gel capsules in health and diet stores. Soft gels suppress light and the amber colour soft gel helps prevent the oil from being oxidized. Omega 3, 6, and 9 fatty acids play significant roles in overall health and are very effective in preventing coronary diseases.
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Coenzyme Q10– CoenzymeQ10 (CoQ10), also called ubiquinone and ubiquinol, is a chemical that plays an important role in the cells’ ability to extract energy from food. The human body produces CoQ10 naturally and therefore it is found in the body. As the level of this cofactor decreases with age,CoQ10 supplements are used to help lower blood pressure, either on its own when taken along with other drugs. Studies show that adding CoQ10 to heart failure drugs might help improve symptoms as well as the quality of life of the patient.
Fiber – Fiber is naturally found in all diets in vegetables, fruits, grains, and legumes. Fiber helps reduce the amount of cholesterol the body absorbs from food. Fiber is best obtained from foods but for people on liquid diets or for those with limited fiber containing diets, numerous natural and synthetic fiber supplements are available.
Sterols and Stanols–Sterols and Stanols are natural compounds found in foods such as grains and nuts. These lower the amount of cholesterol the body may absorb from food. Supplements of sterols and stanols can also be found in the market.