Now that the holidays are over, and most of us are no longer overindulging, many Americans are resolving to get back into shape.
But those New Year’s resolutions shouldn’t only be about better muscle tone and tighter abs, a top doctor tells Newsmax Health. Cardiovascular fitness and heart-healthy nutrients must also be part of your regimen.
“While it’s important to work all of the muscles in your body, we can’t forget the most important muscle of all — the heart,” says Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum, author of “Real Cause, Real Cure.”
“I compare the heart to singer James Brown. It’s a perpetual energy machine and the hardest working organ of your body. Believe it or not, your heart beats 100,000 times a day, 3.5 million times a year, and 2.5 billion times during an average lifetime.”
Dr. Teitelbaum, a board-certified internist, tells Newsmax Health that it’s impossible to feel your best no matter how often work out in the gym if you don’t take care of your heart by improving your nutrition.
Here are seven key nutrients that will make your heart sing, “I feel good!”
No. 1: Ribose.
D-ribose is a unique nutrient that looks and tastes like sugar but is a key factor in energy production throughout the body, including the heart. Consuming a single scoop of ribose once daily for six weeks will boost your energy level and improve overall heart function.
No. 2: Coenzyme Q10.
CoQ10 is also critical for whole body energy production. Take 200 to 400 milligrams daily, staring with 400 mg/day for six weeks and then 200 mg/day afterward. Daily CoQ10 is especially important for anyone on cholesterol-lowering medications that deplete this vitally important heart-healthy nutrient — and actually put you at risk for cardiovascular disease.
No. 3: Magnesium.
This mineral increases the strength of the heart muscle and helps keep cardiovascular rhythms — the electrical activity of the heart — steady and smooth. Magnesium deficiency is prevalent in the Western world because of food processing. Dr. Teitelbaum recommends 200-400 mg/day.
No. 4: B vitamins.
Many studies show that people with congestive heart failure are deficient in B vitamins and that supplementing with B vitamins, especially B6 and folate, improves this condition. B vitamins also slow the progression of heart disease in its early stages by reducing homocysteine in the blood, an amino acid that’s been linked to damaging the cells walls of the arteries, which may cause blood clots and strokes. Start with a 50-mg dose of B complex vitamins.
No. 5: Zinc.
Research shows that low levels of this powerful antioxidant increase the risk of heart attack. In one study, people aged 56-83 who took zinc supplements daily decreased four biomarkers of heart disease and inflammation including C-reactive protein. Other research shows that zinc reduced risk factors in diabetics who have double the risk of heart attack or stroke. The recommended dose is 16 mg daily.
No. 6: Omega-3 fatty acids.
The American Heart Association recognizes omega-3 fatty acids as beneficial for heart health. Their recommendation is 1,000 mg/day of a mixture DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid). There are several ways you can get that amount:
No. 7: Hawthorn.
- One tablespoon of fish oil four times a week.
- One serving of fatty fish such as salmon or albacore tuna, four times a week.
- A daily fish oil or omega-3 supplement. Dr. Teitelbaum recommends a form called Vectomega, a small tablet that replaces 8 large fish oil tablets.
In a recent analysis of 14 rigorous studies, involving more than 1,000 people, an extract of Hawthorn was found to be effective in improving the strength of the heart muscle and blood flow to the heart. The dosage depends on the formulation of product Dr. Teitelbaum recommends taking hawthorn.
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