Vitamins, minerals, and omega 3 fatty acids are “essential” for a good reason. They are vital to good health, and each nutrient plays a vital role in the body. When it comes to blood pressure and heart health, there are certain supplements that have even more benefits than others. This post covers some of them: magnesium, potassium, vitamin C, and omega 3.
Ideally, the diet should include all of these nutrients. However, many people do not consume enough fresh veggies and fruits. Therefore, they do not get enough vitamins and minerals nor enough fatty fish to have healthy levels of omega 3. For these people, supplements could be a great add-on.
When it comes to high blood pressure, magnesium (Mg2+) is on top of the list of pills to consider. Perhaps one of the most vital minerals in the body, Mg2+, takes part in hundreds of chemical reactions. It helps with blood pressure regulation, blood clotting, and muscle contractions. It is vital for brain health, immune system health, and bone health.
Healthy levels of Mg2+ may help prevent high blood pressure. For people who have high blood pressure now, Mg2+ pills can help lower blood pressure levels. A dose of 300 mg/daily for one month is enough to raise Mg2+ levels and reduce blood pressure, according to one study.
Magnesium-rich foods include nuts and seeds (especially almonds), green veggies, legumes, fish, and whole grains. Different forms of Mg2+ are found on the market. Magnesium oxide is widely found for sale but is poorly absorbed by the human body. Magnesium citrate, bisglycinate, taurate, and chelate have higher bioavailability.
Older people and those with diabetes and digestive problems are at higher risk of having low Mg2+.
Potassium (K+) helps maintain a healthy, regular heartbeat, healthy blood pressure, and nerve impulses. It’s necessary for muscle contractions and helps balance fluids in the body. It also promotes bone health. K+ works closely with Mg2+ and lessens the bad effects of sodium.
Based on research studies, there is a 1 mmHg reduction in systolic blood pressure (SBP) and a 0.52 mmHg decrease in diastolic blood pressure (DBP) per 0.6 g per day increase in dietary K+ intake. The average reduction in blood pressure observed in research studies (with an intake of 4.7 g of dietary K+ daily) was 8.0/4.1 mm Hg. Potassium-rich foods include dried apricots, bananas, avocados, meat, dairy products grains, and legumes.
People with inflammatory bowel disease (IBS) and those who take medication diuretics (loop and thiazide diuretics and laxatives) are more likely to develop a K+ deficiency.
There is a range of K+ pill types on the market. Some contain K+ only while others have it combined with Mg2+ and hawthorn.
Omega 3 fatty acids help improve heart health in a few ways. They have strong anti-inflammatory qualities, help reduce high blood pressure, and improve cholesterol levels. Fatty fish, cod liver oil, oysters, flax seeds, chia seeds, and nuts are rich in omega 3 fatty acids.
Omega 3 fatty acids are beneficial to reduce inflammation associated with arthritis. It’s also beneficial for fighting depression and ADHD and balancing blood sugar levels. Most pills will contain EPA and DHA omega 3 fatty acids. EPA seems to work best to reduce inflammation in the body and support heart health, where DHA is more vital for brain health. The typical recommended dose is 1-3 grams daily, although some research studies use much higher doses.
Fish oil has blood-thinning qualities. Do not take high doses if you take the prescription blood thinner “warfarin.” Choose a formula from a good brand. Low-quality fish oil pills may have high levels of heavy metals.
Also known as ascorbic acid, vitamin C has strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities. While it helps manage high blood pressure, it may also help prevent cataracts and improve skin health. Vitamin C is also involved in producing certain chemicals that promote brain health.