Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Importance of vitamins and supplements for overall health

Vitamins and supplements can play an important role in heart health and control of hypertension. Here are some that are known for their beneficial to the cardiovascular system. Vitamin B3 or Niacin is known to reduce blood pressure and triglycerides (bad cholesterol), and may help people with heart disease for its beneficial effects on coagulation. It may also help to prevent heart attacks. Niacin is found in lean red meat, fish, offal, pork, as well as milk and other dairy products. Other foods rich in niacin are almonds, beans, wheat products, rice bran, green leafy vegetables, carrots and celery.

The recommended daily allowance (RDA) is 14-20 mg. This small amount is usually absorbed by the average diet. A side effect of taking a supplement of niacin can be uncomfortable flushing of the face and body. Vitamin C or ascorbic acid may help to lower blood pressure by calming an overactive central nervous system according to an article published by Washington Post based on an Italian study conducted in 2008. It also relaxes the blood vessels, reduces blood clotting, helps to convert cholesterol into bile acids and protects the arteries. Vitamin C is found in citrus fruits, broccoli, tomatoes, peppers, kiwi, mango, papaya, cranberry, pineapple and even a baked potato. The RDA is 60 mg per day. Lack of vitamin D may be observed in patients those who have heart disease and high cholesterol. Taking vitamin D along with a low fat and high fiber diet can help reduce bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol level. Adequate vitamin D is made by the body naturally when exposed to sunlight. The elders in nursing homes or who live in northern climates with less sunlight can easily become deficient. Vitamin D can also be found in fortified milk, fruit juices and cereals. The RDA is 600 IU per day. Vitamin E helps to relax and protect your arteries, prevents the blood from becoming sticky and causing blood clots and helps to lower blood pressure. Vitamin E is found in wheat germ oil, eggs, vegetable oils, meat , poultry and cereals. The RDA is 15 IU for adults.

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