Vitamin D for Heart Health? Here’s What You Need to Know
How’s your heart health? That’s a question that usually gets a conversation started about your diet, exercise habits, and your weight. And it’s an important one.
- Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States.
- It claims the lives of an estimated 659,000 adults every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- Every 40 seconds, someone in the U.S. has a heart attack, according to the CDC.
- And 1 in 3 adults have high blood pressure.
In most cases, you might not even know you have a heart problem. So how do you assess heart health? The most common way is with a basic blood test that measures:
- HDL (good) cholesterol
- LDL (bad) cholesterol
- Total cholesterol
But there’s at least one more measure that can give you info about your heart health...vitamin D levels.
Your body needs vitamin D to support the immune system, strengthen bones and teeth, manage neuromuscular functions, and reduce inflammation.
Research also shows that low vitamin D levels may be linked to a higher risk for heart failure...your heart becomes too weak to effectively pump blood through your body.
However, increasing vitamin D levels by improving your diet, spending a little time in the sun, and supplementation (after consulting your doctor), can protect your heart.
Want to add some vitamin-D-rich foods to your diet?
Fish, eggs, and mushrooms are three common foods high in vitamin D. Give these meals a try:
- Salmon & Vegetable Linguini
- Salmon Caponata with Orzo & Spinach
- Baked Tilapia, Brown Rice & Minted Carrots
- Tilapia & Rice Pilaf with Mushroom & Artichoke Hearts
- Tilapia with Miso Ginger, Black Beans, Rice with Peas & Carrots
- Breakfast Scramble, Hashbrowns & Asparagus
- Cheese Omelet, Broccoli & Cinnamon Apples
- Fried Egg Patties, Sweet Potatoes & Asparagus
- Breaded Pollock, Peas with Mushrooms, Onions, Red Peppers, Carrots - Individual Meal
- Chicken & Mushroom Swiss Rice with Peas & Carrots and Stewed Tomatoes
Hungry for more heart-healthy food? Check out the complete Low-Sodium menu.