It may seem obvious, but your heart is arguably the most important muscle in your body. After all, it ensures that life continues to flow through your body! But if your heart is not working at full capacity, it can significantly affect your quality of life. Since cardiovascular disease affects: nearly half of American adultsIt’s worth staying on top of your heart health and taking proactive steps to ensure this vital organ stays at its best. But with so many lifestyle and genetic factors that may affect the risk of cardiovascular diseaseFrom lack of exercise to following a high-fat diet, where do you start?
“Good nutrition and lifestyle habits play an important role in maintaining a healthy, well-functioning heart muscle,” says Rebekah Blakely, RDN, registered dietitian nutritionist for The vitamin shop. Blakely stresses that supporting heart health should be a holistic approach, but sometimes it can be more targeted if your body is lacking certain nutrients: “If your body can’t meet its daily needs, or if deficiencies occur, a nutritional supplement help in the breach.”
There are multiple effective supplements for heart health, but there’s one that Blakely recommends: magnesium, which has many functions in the body. (Note that you should always consult a medical professional before making any drastic changes to your diet or dietary supplements.)
“Magnesium works alongside calcium to contract and relax the heart musclee, creating a healthy heartbeat,” says Blakely. “Magnesium has a relaxing effect on both muscles and blood vessels and therefore also plays a role in maintaining healthy blood pressure. And low magnesium levels even have been associated with increased mortality rates, including from cardiovascular causes.”
Magnesium deficiency is also common in adults, according to Blakely, and contributing factors can include high stress levels, poor nutrition, reduced mineral content in our soil and food, drug use, and chronic disease.
studies have shown that nearly two-thirds of the western population does not meet the daily recommendation for magnesium intake. According to the National Health Institutes, which is 420 mg for men and 320 mg for women.
And a study found that 80% of patients treated with diuretics for hypertension for six months or more were found to be magnesium deficient.
When looking for a magnesium supplement, first make sure you follow the daily intake recommendations.
“Discuss your specific magnesium needs with your doctor or dietitian who has your full list of health conditions and medications available,” Blakely adds.
Try these brands recommended by dietitians:
Vitamin Shoppe Magnesium Glycinate: Gentle on the stomach and well absorbed.
Vitamin Shoppe Calm Zone Magnesium Powder: Quick absorption in convenient powder form; drink hot or cold.
Natural Vitality Calm Magnesium Gummies: Tasty, low-sugar chew option for those who don’t want more pills.
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