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The Right Vitamins for a Healthy Heart

By: Corinna Underwood - Updated: 28 Mar 2012 | comments*Discuss
Healthy Heart Vitamins Diet Nutrition

Vitamins are organic compounds found in low concentrations in food. Their functions within our bodies are vital and specific. Without them our bodies would lose their vitality and eventually cease to function altogether; it is impossible to sustain life without all the essential vitamins.

Vitamins differ from each other both in structure and in function. Basically they fall into two categories; fat-soluble and water-soluble. Vitamins A, D, E and K are all soluble in fat and fat solvents. These vitamins are not easily lost by ordinary cooking methods and are stored mostly in the liver. Vitamin B complex and vitamin C are water soluble; because of this they are dissolved easily in cooking water and may actually be destroyed by heating. They cannot be stored in the body and therefore need to be taken on a daily basis. Any extra quantity taken during the day is eliminated as waste.

Vitamins and a Healthy Heart

B1 (thiamine)
Thiamine enhances circulation, aids blood formation and carbohydrate metabolism. It plays an important role in the normal functioning of the nervous system and optimizes brain functioning. Thiamine also protects heart muscle and helps to prevent constipation. Valuable sources of this vitamin are wheat germ, yeast, the outer layer of whole grains, cereals, pulses, nuts, peas, legumes, cruciferous vegetables, milk, egg, apples and bananas.

B3 (Niacin, Niacinamide, Nicotinic Acid)
Niacin is essential for the regulation and upkeep of the circulatory system and lowering cholesterol. It promotes healthy functioning of the nervous system and synthesis of sex hormones. It is helpful for mental illnesses and is also a memory enhancer. It is contained in beef liver, brewer's yeast, broccoli, carrots, cheeses, dates, dandelion greens, eggs, dish, milk, peanuts, pork, potatoes, tomatoes, wheat germ, and rose hips.

Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)
Pyridoxine is involved in more bodily functions than any other nutrient. It affects physical and mental health. It is helpful for the absorption of fats and protein and is beneficial for anyone suffering form water retention. It also helps maintain sodium and potassium balance and promotes red blood cell formation. All foods contain some vitamin B6, the following have the highest amounts; brewer's yeast, chicken, carrots, eggs, fish, meat, peas, avocado, bananas, blackstrap molasses, brown rice, catnip and oat straw.

Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid)
Folic acid, along with vitamin B12 is necessary for the formation of red blood cells. It is essential for the growth and division of all body cells for healing processes. It is another vitamin that is responsible for helping the body remove homocysteine from the blood. High levels of homocysteine can cause artery damage. It also aids protein metabolism and helps prevent premature greying. Valuable sources of this vitamin are deep green leafy vegetables such as spinach, lettuce, brewers yeast, mushrooms, nuts, peanuts and liver.

Vitamin B12 (Cyanocobalamin)
Vitamin B12 commonly known as 'red vitamin', is the only vitamin that contains essential mineral elements. It is essential for proper functioning of the central nervous system, production and regeneration of red blood cells and proper utilization of fat, carbohydrates and protein for bodybuilding. It is responsible for helping the body remove homocysteine from the blood. High levels of homocysteine can cause artery damage. It also improves concentration, memory and balance. Valuable sources of this vitamin are kidney, liver, meat, milk, eggs, bananas and peanuts.

Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)
Vitamin C is essential for normal growth and the maintenance of practically all the body tissues, especially those of the joints, bones, teeth, and gums. It protects against infections and acts as a harmless antibiotic. It also helps in decreasing blood cholesterol. This vitamin is found in berries, green and asparagus, kale, grapefruit tomatoes, potatoes, mustard greens, oranges, rose hips, yarrow, plantain, red clover.

Vitamin E
Vitamin E is essential for normal reproductory functions, fertility and physical vigour. It prevents unsaturated fatty acids, sex hormones and fat-soluble vitamins from being destroyed in the body by oxygen. It dilutes blood vessels and improves circulation. It is essential for the prevention of heart diseases, asthma, arthritis, and many other conditions. It is available in wheat or cereals germ, whole grain products, green leafy vegetables, milk, eggs, all-whole, raw or sprouted seeds and nuts.

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