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Top 5 Nutrients for AFib

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Nutrition is absolutely essential to helping with AFib. In fact, there are many nutrient deficiencies that have been linked to AFib development. Nutrition is a root cause that must be addressed when it comes to this arrhythmic disorder.

Certain nutrients have been shown to be beneficial for the cardiovascular system and the functioning of the heart as well as in preventing and treating Afib… Cellular nutrition is where the magic happens. The nutrients that support a healthy heart work to lower inflammation, boost blood flow, increase oxygen and energy uptake in cells, strengthen cellular membranes and help to normalize heart rhythm.

Research has shown that the Paleo Diet, which is the best way to obtain the key nutrients below, has been shown to be helpful in lowering inflammation and controlling key cardiovascular risk factors, which is protective against heart arrhythmias. 

Here are the top five nutrients that help with AFib:

  1. Nitrates

    Role of nitrates for AFib: Dietary nitrates increase nitric oxide and as a result dilate blood vessels, increase blood flow, boost circulation and restore endothelial functioning. This is very cardioprotective for those with AFib. Science has shown that more often than not, patients with AFib have reduced production of nitric oxide and depleted levels of this molecule. Furthermore, research reveals that it is actually the loss of nitric oxide that is actually responsible for the pro-thrombotic events (i.e., blood clotting) associated with Atrial Fibrillation.

    Best supplement: Take Heart Beet 1-2 tsp. per day mixed in water or a smoothie

    Best food sources: Beets, and dark leafy greens such as arugula and spinach.

  2. Omega 3 Fatty Acids

    Role of omega 3 fats for AFib: Omega 3 fatty acids are essential fats meaning the body does not synthesize them and they must instead be consumed. Omega 3 fatty acids, including EPA and DHA, are one of the best types of nutrients for the heart all around. They have been shown to stabilize heart rhythm, prevent heart arrhythmias, and lower the overall risk of AFib events. One likely reason for this is that they are highly effective in lowering cellular inflammation, a major trigger for an irregular heart rhythm.

    Best supplement: Omega DHA 2-3 caps per day with food

    Best food sources: Wild caught fatty fish including salmon, sardines, herring and mackerel. We love Vital Choice for our seafood!

  3. Potassium

    Role of potassium for AFib: Potassium is a key mineral that plays a role in every beat of the heart. Potassium is one of the main controllers of the electrical signals that occur in your heart. These electrical signals are responsible for the heart beating at the right rate and rhythm. Potassium also assists with a proper heart rhythm through relaxation and contraction in heart muscle cells. If potassium levels get to be too high or too low, then an irregular heart rhythm, like AFib, can result.

    Best supplement: Potassium Boost ½-1 scoop per day depending on need

    Best food sources: Avocados, sweet potatoes, leafy greens and bananas

  4. Magnesium

    Role of magnesium for AFib: Magnesium is a key mineral for regulating heart rhythm through relaxation and contraction of the heart muscle. One of the main ways that this mineral supports a normal heart rhythm is that it acts as a transporter. Magnesium is responsible for shuttling other electrolytes, such as potassium and calcium, into cells to allow for proper heart beats.

    Best supplement: Magne 5 2-4 caps per day, depending on need and taken before bed

    Best food sources: Avocados, leafy greens, nuts and fatty fish.

  5. Acetyl L-Carnitine

    Role of L-carnitine for AFib: Acetyl-L-carnitine has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects that protect the heart. As a result, it boosts heart muscle cell function, and eradicates free radicals and oxidative stress. When it comes to AFib, Acetyl L-carnitine is an essential nutrient as it stabilizes cell membranes and can aid in reducing arrhythmias.

    Best supplement: Acetyl-L-Carnitine 1 cap 3x per day with food

    Best food sources: Animal products such as grass-fed beef are the best sources (the redder the meat, the more carnitine typically).

If you have AFib and need nutrition or supplement guidance, consider booking a free call with one of the NHD coaches here.

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