The following article was written by Heinen’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Todd Pesek, MD.
Today we are existing in world far different from that of our ancestors—one with nutrient-depleted soils, heightened stress, environmental toxins and a lack of nutrients and micronutrients. This reality is causing us to miss out on things that our bodies need to support healthful inflammatory balance and cardiovascular wellbeing.
Fortunately, whole food supplements can help fill those voids and give us that extra layer of insurance for good health.
These supplement recommendations have been categorized into good, better and optimal categories; however, it’s important to note that every incremental step you take has the power to decrease inflammation and support a reduction in your risk of cardiovascular disease. Please use the categories to guide your decisions based upon your current health and desired health.
A good place to begin is with omega-3 DHA and a whole food multivitamin with B-12.
As I mentioned above, modern diets and lifestyles expose the body to chronic inflammation. This is where omega-3 fats in the form of DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) come in handy.
The primary source of DHA is marine algae, which is eaten by smaller fish. When these fish are eaten by larger fish, the DHA accumulates. This is what makes salmon such a rich source of omega-3 fat.
The anti-inflammatory response of omega-3 DHA can support your health in truly remarkable ways, including:
- Reduction in Chronic Inflammation: the driving force behind many diseases.
- Lower Triglyceride Levels: a type of fat found in the blood. High levels are a major risk factor for heart disease.
- Higher HDL Cholesterol: HDL (high density lipoprotein) is also known as “good” cholesterol because it removes other forms of cholesterol from the bloodstream. Higher levels of HDL are linked with a lower risk of heart disease.
- Improved Brain Health: DHA is a component of every cell in your body, including your brain cells! It can improve symptoms of depression, anxiety, ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) and age-related mental decline.
- Lower risks of cancer
- Lower blood pressure
- Prevention of blood clots
- Improved skin health
- Improved insulin sensitivity and healthier blood sugar levels
I recommend a minimum of 150 mg (ideally 200-400 mg/day) of DHA each day, in addition to 3.5 grams of plant-based omega-3 fats from chia, flax or walnuts. You can achieve this amount by eating:
- 1.5-2 oz. of walnuts, about ¼ cup
- 1.5 Tbsp. of chia seeds
- 2 Tbsp. of ground flax seeds
Quality brands of algae-based DHA supplements at Heinen’s are Nordic Naturals Algae Omega capsules and Nutritional Roots DHA Omega-3 spray.
Whole Food Multivitamin with B-12
A whole food-based multivitamin with vitamin B-12 is essential to ensure balanced nutrient and micronutrient intake. Vitamin B-12 deficiency is common, especially as we age, yet it is necessary for healthy energy levels, metabolism and immune, digestive and cardiovascular health.
Take the first step towards decreasing inflammation and reducing your risk of cardiovascular disease with a daily supplement regimen of omega-DHA and a whole food multivitamin with B-12. Don’t forget to eat your omega-3’s too! Enjoy a handful of walnuts as a snack, add chia seeds to your morning smoothie or whip up a batch of these delicious Banana Walnut Muffins for breakfast.
Please check with your healthcare provider before beginning any new supplements.