The heart supplies oxygen and nutrients to tissues in the body and helps remove waste substances like carbon dioxide. Not smoking and keeping active are just two ways experts recommend to keep the heart healthy. Another is to eat a healthy diet full of essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients. If a person lacks these in their diet they may want to consider taking supplements on the advice of their GP.
Holland & Barrett outlines three vitamins and minerals vital for heart health – magnesium, calcium and silica.
Your heart relies on the mineral magnesium to keep its beat strong and regular, according to the high street health store.
It also relaxes your arteries allowing your blood to flow easily, lowering blood pressure.
“Magnesium may also help regulate heart palpitations and that ‘fluttery’ feeling in your chest,” it adds.
“A prominent ongoing heart study from the US reported in 2013 that low magnesium is associated with the development of irregular heartbeat.”
Magnesium is available as a supplement but can also been found in foods such as spinach, nuts, brown rice, wholegrain bread and fish.
Calcium has proven vital to controlling muscle contractions in studies.
The mineral enables our blood to clot normally and regulates our muscle contractions, including our heartbeat.
But we need to make sure we’re getting calcium every day.
Holland & Barrett says: “We lose calcium everyday via our skin, nails, sweat, urine and faeces.
“Our bodies cannot make calcium, so we need to get enough from our diets. If we don’t, our body can start leaching it from our bones.
“This is fine once in a while, but if it happens on a regular basis, it could eventually lead to weak bones.”
Calcium is available in supplement form but can can also be found in foods, such as milk, cheese, green leafy vegetables, soya beans, tofu and nuts.
Silica may help protect your heart health by reducing the risk of atherosclerosis – a disease in which plaque builds up inside the arteries – or hardening of the arteries, while lowering cholesterol, according to a 2018 report by the University of Memphis.
Holland & Barrett explains: “Silica is a natural compound, found all around us in nature. Silica makes up over a quarter of the planet’s crusts and can be found in most rocks, clays and sands. Its forms include emerald, quartz, clay and glass.
“Silica comes in many forms. And there’s lots of evidence that its water-soluble form, which is found in certain plants – including the herb horsetail – is highly beneficial to health.”
While silica is available in supplement form it’s also found in food, such as wholegrain, green beans, rice, cucumbers and tomatoes.