A heart attack occurs in an instant and changes your life forever. While heart attacks may seem very sudden, they’re anything but. Years of poor eating habits and very little exercise build up in your body and create a massive impact on your organs. Without a nutritious diet, LDL cholesterol can also accumulate in your body and block your arteries. Blood needs a smooth passage through your arteries to circulate through your entire body. When an artery gets constricted, blood cannot flow freely and gets blocked. This exerts pressure on your arterial walls and you get a heart attack.
As we all know, the first step to preventing a heart attack is to focus on a balanced, nutritious diet. What you put into your body directly influences how healthy you will live to be. If you eat junk food and sugar with abandon, sooner or later, you’re going to start seeing repercussions. If you do have a history of heart disease or are just trying to be proactive against it, there are three main nutrients you need to focus on. Chances are, you’ve never heard their names before because they aren’t very widely spoken about. However, ensuring you have an adequate intake of these nutrients will go a long way in preventing heart attacks.
1. Pyrroloquinoline Quinone
Pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ) is quite a mouthful, but this is one of the most important nutrients for a healthy heart. PQQ is a powerful antioxidant which works to neutralize free radicals before they can cause any damage to arterial walls. What is most remarkable, is that PQQ can actually work to create new mitochondria. Mitochondria is the energy house of every cell. Our heart is beating constantly throughout our life and uses energy supplied by the mitochondria to do this. When there are more mitochondria supplying energy to our heart, it beats stronger and with more regularity.
What makes heart attacks so dangerous is that if a person gets one heart attack and survives it, they are very likely to get another. PQQ is very useful in lowering the chances of someone who already has had a heart attack suffering from another one. It does this by strengthening arterial walls and improving heart function.
PQQ can be found in most whole foods, that is foods that are unprocessed. They can also be taken as a supplement, but consult with your doctor first on how large a dose you should take.
Glutathione is often considered the most powerful antioxidant known to us. It can counteract free radical damage and keeps our heart muscles healthy. While glutathione can be produced by our body’s own cells, sometimes this does not happen. Glutathione is derived from the conversion of another compound in our body known as homocysteine. When homocysteine cannot convert into glutathione, it wreaks damage inside our body. Most patients of a heart attack have been seen to have abnormally high homocysteine levels.
You can increase your glutathione levels in two ways. Glutathione is available in the form of supplements, so consult your doctor for an appropriate brand and dosage amount. You can also encourage your own body to produce glutathione by eating more vitamin B6. Homocysteine needs vitamin B6 to transform into glutathione, so high levels of this vitamin can prevent a dangerous buildup of homocysteine. Vitamin B6 is found in whole grains and dark leafy greens.
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a fat-soluble antioxidant that protects cells from free radical damage. In our early years, our body produces adequate levels of CoQ10 and so we face little danger. However, once we hit our 30s, our production of CoQ10 rapidly declines. As we get older, we need to keep our CoQ10 levels up through bottled supplements. It’s also found in organ meats like liver and kidney as well as in some kinds of fish.
Patients who have experienced a heart attack usually also have very low levels of CoQ10. When patients with a history of heart attacks increase their intake of CoQ10, their chances of getting another heart attack decreases by almost 50%.