Minerals and the Heart
There are several minerals that are absolutely essential for maintaining our heart health. I’m going to go over the minerals, what else they are needed for and what food sources you can find them in! I’ll also list some herbs at the end that are great additions for those with concerns about heart health.
Magnesium is one of the most important minerals and it is the most common deficiency. We need magnesium for thousands of enzyme reactions and proteins in our bodies. Our soils are depleted of this nutrient, stress makes us burn through it, some heavy metals can bind with it and make it unusable, and with the over-abundance of calcium in our diets it is easy to become magnesium deficient.
Magnesium is need for energy production, cellular health, nerve/muscle/joint health, hormone regulation, and more. The heart is a muscle which is why magnesium is so crucial for it to function. Magnesium is also important to be in balance with the other electrolytes, which are also very important for heart health as well as blood pressure regulation.
Mag can be found in pumpkin seeds (raw and hulless), dark chocolate, unsweetened cacao, stabilized rice bran, seaweed, and pine nuts. As far as supplements go, I’m partial to magnesium oil. My favorite way to use mag oil is to make foot baths- work up to 2 ounces mag oil (1 cup of flakes), 1 cup of baking soda to aid absorption; add ½ cup of pink salt if desired. Epsom salts are also helpful for relaxation, although this form of mag is better for detox, not raising mag levels.
Potassium is needed for the proper functioning of cells, heartbeat regulation, muscle contraction, carbohydrate metabolism, nerve impulses, energy metabolism, and to balance hypertension. We can lose potassium under stress and with detoxing.. Most sources claim we need at least 4700 mg of potassium a day! In a modern diet, most people barely reach the 1000mg mark, so many people are lacking in this important mineral. It is very hard to get the proper amount without consciously making an effort. Usually aiming for at least 3000mg a day at first can help immensely for a lot of people.
Sodium (along with potassium) helps to maintain the body’s fluid balance. Also, sodium plays a huge part in nerve transmission, muscle contraction, and for the creation of hydrochloric acid. Sodium, potassium and magnesium have a delicate balance, and they all play a role in keeping our heart happy!
The easiest way to get more unrefined sea salt in your diet (other than salting your food-you can only use so much that way) is to make salt water sole.
To Make Sole :
- Fill a 1 quart glass mason jar about 1/3 full of unrefined, natural salt. Then fill jar with filtered water, leaving at least 2 inch gap at top.
- Cover with a plastic cap (metal is reactive to salt and de-ionizes it), shake it, and let sit for at least 24 hours.
- If all the salt crystals have dissolved after a full day, add a little but more of the salt crystals to the water. The sole will be ready when the salt no longer dissolves- this means the water has become fully saturated with the salt.
- There will always be some undissolved salt crystals on the bottom of the jar but this is proof that the water is totally saturated with salt. You can store the bottle covered on the counter indefinitely-salt has natural anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.
- Start small with sole, adding just ½ tsp to a glass of water in the morning upon waking. You can add more or less depending on your taste preferences- many find benefit adding a little bit to each glass of water!
This is the most abundant mineral in the body- 99% should be found in the bone (but over consumption is the cause of tissue calcification). The 1% not in the bones is needed for nerve transmission, blood pressure regulation, iron metabolism, proper cell division, plus healthy skin and teeth. Calcium can build up when magnesium and potassium are deficient and this is where is can be detrimental to heart health- we want balance in all things! An HTMA is the best way to determine your personal balance between calcium, potassium, magnesium and sodium.
Even a slight copper imbalance can contribute to impaired immunity, bone issues, and neurological and cardiovascular diseases. Copper helps certain gene transcriptions, plays a part in the production of melanin (helps skin pigmentation), and also has a huge role in Superoxide Dismutase, an important antioxidant.
Many people with copper dysregulation notice issues with heart rate. This is because anxiety and nervous system dysregulation are both very common when copper is imbalanced.
Herbs and Spices for Heart Health:
- Hawthorn Berry
- Lavender essential oil (topical use!)