Your heart; a muscle the size of your fist, responsible for falling in and out of love, keeping your blood flowing, and your body moving. This vital organ is in the centre of your chest, so let’s put our hearts at the centre of our health.
Here are five natural ingredients to help nourish your heart, and have it beating for joy, from holistic nutritionist and naturopath, Erika Morvay.
Magnesium is important for the functioning of our organs and tissues, yet only one quarter of Australian adults get enough of it.
Magnesium has an enormous role in the health of our hearts, supporting many aspects of cardiovascular and metabolic health, and has even been found to help assist in the normal regulation of cholesterol, blood sugar and blood pressure.
You’ll be pleased to know that brunch’s best friend avocado is a wonderful source of magnesium. Other magnesium-rich foods include dark leafy greens, bananas, almonds, and yoghurt – perfect ingredients for your morning smoothie!
You can also increase your magnesium intake with a good quality supplement available from health food stores.
While not the most loved vegetable, recent research cements broccoli’s status as a superfood, particularly for our heart. Broccoli is rich in sulforaphane – a compound that turns on a protein that can prevent plaque formation in arteries.
Broccoli is also rich in glucosinolates, which produce anti-inflammatory isothiocyanates (ITCs) that prevent chronic inflammation within blood vessels and cells. ITCs may also help to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.
The advantages of turmeric in both cooking and medicine have been known for centuries. The curcuminoids found in turmeric have been found to help healthy people keep cholesterol and blood lipids in a healthy range.
Turmeric is also bursting with antioxidant properties, supporting cardiovascular health. Ayurvedic medicine has embraced the pain-relieving, anti-rheumatic and anti-inflammatory benefits of the herb for thousands of years.
If you’re not a huge fan of Indian food curcumin supplements are also available.
This cold water fish is a wonderful source of heart-healthy Omega-3 fatty acids, which can help healthy people maintain their heart and blood vessel health, including cholesterol, blood glucose and blood pressure levels.
On another positive note, Omega-3 is also great for brain function – to help you make wise romantic decisions this Valentine’s Day. Try to look for wild caught salmon, as opposed to farmed salmon if possible.
Go green on a day synonymous with all things red to support and maintain heart health. Green tea is rich in a natural group of potent antioxidants called catechins which are amazing for your heart.
These antioxidants are also thought to support healthy ageing and even assist in weight loss! Get those jugs boiling and toast to a healthy and happy heart this Valentine’s Day.
Speak to your healthcare practitioner to find out which supplement is right for you.
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Erika is a qualified Naturopath and Holistic Nutritionist. She has over a decade of experience working within the natural therapies industry and continues to educate herself to grow her expertise.