NataliaLavrivNedashkivska/shutterstock Found naturally in fatty fish (think mackerel, tuna, salmon, and sardines), these healthy fats can reduce the inflammation tied to heart disease—among other benefits. “These healthy fats are not made by the body so you have to get them from food,” says Suzanne Steinbaum, DO, attending cardiologist and director of Women’s Heart Health program at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. She sometimes falls short of the American Heart Association’s (AHA) recommendations that call for eating fish twice a week, so she takes omega 3 supplements daily. If you don’t eat fish often, consider having your blood levels tested, she advises. These supplements may also lower the risk of dying after heart failure or a recent heart attack, according to the AHA.
Don’t like fish? Check out these omega-3 rich foods for people just like you.
Bozena Fulawkas/shutterstock Vitamin D is also known as the sunshine vitamin because the body produces it when skin is exposed to sunlight. The problem? The sunscreen we wear to stave off skin cancer may also prevent vitamin D absorption—and low levels of D are linked to a host of diseases and conditions including heart disease. “I wear tons of sunblock and a big wide-brimmed hat to protect my skin from cancer, so I take 2,000 international units of vitamin D a day to make sure my levels are where that need to be,” says Dr. Steinbaum. A simple blood test for vitamin D can tell you where you stand and whether you need supplements. This type of Vitamin D may be twice as effective as the one you’re taking.