We all have some hardening of our arteries as we age. But if you’re one of the 160 million Americans who are overweight, chances are your arteries are really feeling the strain.
Hardened arteries—caused in large part by your body trying to protect you from oxidized LDL cholesterol (oxLDL)—send your risk for serious heart problems including heart attack and stroke soaring.
As your arteries become blocked, it becomes more and more difficult for your heart to pump blood through them. And this causes your blood pressure to climb.
Your doctor will want to put you on some heavy duty drugs to combat the problem. Or maybe he already has.
Either way, sickening side effects are likely in your future. And in many cases, the pricey prescriptions don’t even work.
Heart protection in the produce aisle
But researchers have uncovered a solution that’s as simple as it is powerful. And best of all this grocery store remedy costs mere pennies a day.
As bizarre as it sounds, it’s pumpkin seeds.
Well, to be fair, it’s actually something INSIDE the seeds that does the trick.
I’m talking about magnesium. Pumpkin seeds are loaded with the stuff.
This critical mineral quite literally keeps your heart beating. Without it, you’d die.
Each time your heart beats, it burns through some of this vital nutrient. And experts say magnesium deficiency is the number two trigger for heart attacks, only lagging behind clogged arteries.
But now scientists say overweight folks might have even more reason to give this mineral a second look.
Common mineral reduced stroke & heart attack risk
According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, common magnesium could significantly reduce your risk for heart attack and stroke.
When volunteers took 350 mg a day for six months it slashed artery stiffness, sending heart attack and stroke risk plummeting by a healthy 14 percent.
Researchers raved about it cutting the volunteers carotid to femoral pulse wave velocity. Which I’ll admit sounds like a bunch of medical-ese gobbledygook.
But what they’re really talking about is a test that measures the time it takes for an arterial pulse to move between two arteries. And in this case, the test revealed that the arteries were far less stiff after supplementing with magnesium.
And that translates into a lower risk for major heart events. Which is all you and I really care about in the end.
Magnesium slashed high blood pressure risk in half
But the magnesium benefits don’t end there.
Earlier research revealed the mineral could also help folks fight heart disease. According to the study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, magnesium can significantly reduce calcification in the arteries.
In fact, in some cases it was so effective it slashed the risk of high blood pressure up to 50 percent.
But keep in mind, as impressive as magnesium is it isn’t a cure all. If you’re carrying around some extra weight it’s time to get serious about dropping those extra pounds.
But in the meantime, if your doctor gives you the thumbs up, magnesium could help give your heart the extra support it needs.
Just be sure to skip the magnesium citrate and pick up some magnesium glycinate instead. It’s better absorbed by your body, and easier on your tummy.
Eat more magnesium rich foods
And you can boost your magnesium levels by adding a few delicious foods to your diet as well.
Eat a quarter cup of those pumpkin seeds I mentioned earlier and you’ll be getting over 190 mg of magnesium.
Other magnesium-rich foods to try include…
- spinach at 156.60 mg a cup
- Swiss chard at 150.50 mg a cup
- sesame seeds at 126.36 mg a quarter cup
- black beans at 120.40 mg a cup
- cashews at 116.80 mg a quarter cup
- sunflower seeds at 113.75 mg a quarter cup
Avoid the pricey prescription drugs and the ugly side effects that come with them. Try natural and cheap magnesium instead.