5 key nutrients for your heart

Watching what you eat is a big part of taking care of your cardiovascular health, so make sure you're getting it all.

07 March 2008
by The Clicks health team

Keeping your heart healthy is all about finding a balanced, healthy lifestyle that includes eating well and getting good variety of nutrients into your body.

In addition to a low-fat, high-fibre diet, you should make sure you're getting enough of 5 key nutrients that can help prevent heart attacks: potassium, magnesium, calcium, vitamin B3 and folic acid, say experts from medicinenet.com.

In 2008, the Heart and Stroke Foundation SA reported that two men die from heart attacks for every one woman who dies from a heart attack.

"Up to 80 percent of heart disease and stroke could be prevented by setting up healthy habits for life with a good diet, exercise and avoiding smoking," according to Professor Anthony Mbewu, formerly the President of the Medical Research Council and Visiting Professor of Cardiology and Internal Medicine at the University of Cape Town.

These 5 nutrients work together to regulate blood pressure, increase levels of good HDL cholesterol and lower homocysteine levels (a marker for heart disease).

The following foods are good sources of these five nutrients:

1. Potassium

Potatoes, apricots, peaches, bananas

2. Magnesium

Green, leafy vegetables, nuts, wholegrains

3. Calcium

Low-fat dairy, broccoli, soya

4. Vitamin B3:

Chicken, fish, lean red meat, dairy, legumes

5. Folic acid

Broccoli, spinach, oranges

If you think your diet isn’t providing adequate amounts of these nutrients, speak to your Clicks Pharmacist about a daily nutritional supplement. Call 0860-254-257 for your nearest Clicks Pharmacy.

How Clicks Clinics can help you

Clicks Clinics can help you prevent or manage heart disease with their wide range of screening tests. These include:

  • Blood Pressure (BP) Test
  • Cholesterol Testing and Consultation
  • Lipogram Blood Test (to determine different types of cholesterol)
  • Clicks Full Basic Screening (BP, Body Mass Index or BMI, meal guide and exercise plan)
  • Clicks Screening Measurements only (BP and BMI)
  • Clicks Comprehensive Screening (BP, BMI, Glucose and Cholesterol screening, plus meal and exercise plan)

To make an appointment at a Clicks Clinic, call 0860 254 257 or visit Clicks Clinics online.

For more info

For more information on heart disease and heart attacks contact the Heart and Stroke Foundation SA: call (021) 447-4222 or visit www.heartfoundation.co.za

Read More: Heart Disease Super Section