(NaturalNews) The heart is the most important and most active muscle in the body. In addition to the heart healthy benefits of exercise and a healthy diet, there are several nutritional items which can have great benefits for the heart.
Here are 12 of the best:
1. Cayenne. Sometimes referred to as the "King of Herbs", cayenne is one of the most powerful heart-healthy substances. It strengthens, stimulates, and tones the heart, balances circulation and blood pressure, and calms palpitations. Due to its fiery punch, you may want to start small and work your way up to larger amounts of powder or extract added to juice.
2. Hawthorn. Along with cayenne, hawthorn was one of famed herbalist Dr. Christopher's favorite herbs for the heart. Hawthorn is rich in flavonoids that protect small capillary vessels from free-radical damage. It normalizes blood pressure, lowers cholesterol and fat deposits in the liver and aorta and helps conditions such as angina, arrhythmia, arteriosclerosis, blood clots, and hypertension. Though it may take months to realize hawthorn's full benefits, often a dropper of hawthorn berry extract will settle irregular heartbeats in short order.
3. Magnesium. Magnesium helps prevent heart attacks, regulates high blood pressure and helps ease heart arrhythmia, in addition to having a great many other vital health benefits. Thanks to today's SAD diet and mineral depleted soils, it is estimated that anywhere from 80 to 95 percent of us are deficient in magnesium.
4. Co-Enzyme Q10 (CoQ10). CoQ10 is an essential primary heart protector. Notably, statin drugs interfere with the liver's production of CoQ10 from selenium.
5. Selenium. The mineral selenium is essential for the body's natural production of CoQ10.
6. Silica. It was noted over a half century ago that the mineral silicon was abundant in healthy hearts and deficient in diseased hearts and heart vessels. Silicon is responsible for both the strength and elasticity of cardiovascular tissue. It is a semiconductor that is involved in nervous system message transmissions and is likely important for the heart's electrical functions.
7. Vitamin D3. Abundant evidence now points to the numerous cardioprotective functions of vitamin D. Restoring vitamin D to normal levels has been found to help reduce inflammation, normalize blood pressure, and improve insulin sensitivity - all factors that reduce heart disease risk.
8. Iodine. In 1933, Dr. Kenneth Turner of Harvard Medical School conducted a series of experiments with rabbits which demonstrated that iodine could prevent atherosclerosis in rabbits even when they were fed horribly unhealthy diets. Iodine is also an essential co-factor for selenium.
9. Garlic. Several studies have shown that a clove a day of garlic inhibits bad cholesterol (LDL) production and raises the good kind (HDL). Smaller trials have also indicated that garlic helps normalize blood pressure, prevent blood platelet aggregation, and improve circulation.
10. Vitamin C. Linus Pauling protege' Dr. Matthias Rath determined that heart disease is an early form of sailor's scurvy, which is caused by weakening of the arterial walls due to a deficiency in Vitamin C. Vitamin C induces the natural repair of the blood vessel wall in cardiovascular disease, which can lead to a halt in progression - and even to natural regression - of vascular lesions.
11. Motherwort. Traditionally used to treat a racing heart caused by nervous tension, long-term use of this herbal sedative may reduce the formation of clotting factors, lower total cholesterol and triglycerides, and strengthen the heart muscle. Motherwort is typically consumed as a prepared tea throughout the day.
12. Cacao. A natural source of heart-healthy theobromine, cacao also contains the flavanol epicatechin, which improves blood vessel function.
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Tony Isaacs, is a natural health author, advocate and researcher who hosts The Best Years in Life website for those who wish to avoid prescription drugs and mainstream managed illness and live longer, healthier and happier lives naturally. Mr. Isaacs is the author of books and articles about natural health, longevity and beating cancer including "Cancer's Natural Enemy" and is working on a major book project due to be published later this year. He is also a contributing author for the worldwide advocacy group "S.A N.E.Vax. Inc" which endeavors to uncover the truth about HPV vaccine dangers. Mr. Isaacs is currently residing in scenic East Texas and frequently commutes to the even more scenic Texas hill country near Austin and San Antonio to give lectures and health seminars. He also hosts the CureZone "Ask Tony Isaacs - featuring Luella May" forum as well as the Yahoo Health Group "Oleander Soup" and he serves as a consultant to the "Utopia Silver Supplement Company".