The heart is an important part of the body with a never-ending workload, so keeping your heart in top condition is extremely important. Getting plenty of exercise and stopping smoking are two ways to keep your heart healthy, but another key factor is diet. Reducing your salt intake, replacing unhealthy fats with healthy fats and limiting alcohol are just some of the ways you can make your diet healthier. Some experts have also found certain vitamins and minerals to help keep the heart healthy.
Silica may help protect your heart health by reducing the risk of atherosclerosis – a disease in which plaque builds up inside the arteries – or hardening of the arteries, while lowering cholesterol, according to a 2018 report by the University of Memphis.
Holland & Barrett explains: “Silica is a natural compound, found all around us in nature. Silica makes up over a quarter of the planet’s crusts and can be found in most rocks, clays and sands. Its forms include emerald, quartz, clay and glass.
“Silica comes in many forms. And there’s lots of evidence that its water-soluble form, which is found in certain plants – including the herb horsetail – is highly beneficial to health.”
While silica is available in supplement form its also found in food.
Some of the best sources include:
- Green beans
The high street health store adds: “The upper safe limit has been reported as 700 to 1,750mg a day. As silica is water-soluble, excess is simply passed out by the body in your urine, meaning it’s unlikely to cause side effects if you take too much.
“Silica should be avoided by the following people: children – horsetail contain traces of nicotine, pregnant women – it has not been proved safe for them, people with kidney disease – they may accumulate silica in their bloodstream.”
Calcium has proven vital to controlling muscle contractions in studies.
The NHS states calcium enables our blood to clot normally and regulates our muscle contractions, including our heartbeat.
The government recommends adults aged 19 to 64 get 700mg of calcium a day.
You should be able to get all the calcium you need from your daily diet, if you eat foods such as:
- Milk, cheese and other dairy foods
- Green leafy vegetables – such as broccoli, cabbage and okra, but not spinach
- Soya beans
- Soya drinks with added calcium
- Bread and anything made with fortified flour
- Fish where you eat the bones – such as sardines and pilchards
A prominent ongoing heart study from the US reported in 2013 that low magnesium is associated with the development of irregular heartbeat.