heart_health_runnerThe heart is the hardest working muscle in the body. Without a properly functioning heart, the body is deprived of the oxygen and nutrients it needs for optimal function. That’s why maintaining cardiovascular health is so important – it affects every part of our body! In honor of World Heart Day, we’re sharing 10 unexpected supplements crucial for heart health.

Here’s 10 unexpected supplements crucial for heart health:

hh_icon_strawberry Polyphenols
Researchers found that individuals who consumed the highest amounts of foods containing anthocyanins had a 14% lower risk of heart attack and individuals with high intakes of flavanones had a 22% lower risk of ischemic stroke!1 Where do you find anthocyanins and flavanones? Red and blue fruits such as blueberries and cranberries are good sources of anthocyanins, and flavanones are commonly found in citrus fruits.Found in:

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hh_icon_fiber Fiber
A high-fiber diet now could significantly improve long-term risk for heart problems.2 How much fiber should we aim for? The American Heart Association recommends at least 25 grams of dietary fiber a day for adults. Found in:

heart_health_products_fiberheart_health_products_nlbarheart_health_products_nls

hh_icon_soy Soy
Soy can be beneficial for reducing the bad LDL cholesterol in the body, improving endothelial function, and reducing LDL cholesterol oxidation.3,4 One way soy acts on LDL is by increasing the size of LDL cholesterol, which is associated with a lower risk of heart disease compared to small, dense LDL particles, according to researchers at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Center on Aging at Tufts University. Found in:

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hh_icon_garlic Garlic
Study suggests that garlic supplements may be a helpful adjunct to blood pressure and high cholesterol treatments. Garlic supplementation longer than two months was effective in reducing total and LDL cholesterol by 10% among individuals with elevated levels. Found in:

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hh_icon_salmon Omega-3s, Folic Acid & B-Vitamins
Homocysteine is an amino acid that is synthesized in the body and elevated levels are often associated with increased cardiovascular risk.5 New research is suggesting that supplementation with a combination of omega-3 fatty acids, folic acid, and B-vitamins may significantly lower homocysteine.Found in:

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1. Cassidy A, et al. Habitual intake of anthocyanins and flavanones and risk of cardiovascular disease in men. Am J Clin Nutr. 2016 Sep;104(3):587-94.
2. Lavie CJ, et al. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and cardiovascular diseases. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2009 Aug;54(7):585-94.
3. Reynolds K, et al. A meta-analysis of the effect of soy protein supplementation on serum lipids. Am J Cardiol. 2006 Sep;98(5):633-40.
4. Messina M, Lane B. Soy protein, soybean isoflavones and coronary heart disease risk: Where do we stand? Future Lipidology. 2007;2(1):55-74.
5. Peny HY, et al. Elevated homocysteine levels and risk of cardiovascular and all-cause mortality: a meta-analysis of prospective studies. J Zhejiang Univ Sci B. 2015 Jan;16(1):78-86.