Beat the damage of heart disease... naturally!

If you want to fight aging -- and who doesn't? -- forget the years on the calendar.

You're obviously not going to change those.

But you CAN take action against one of the other signs of aging, and it's the one responsible for just about all of the chronic diseases you face as you grow older.

Inflammation can play a major role in heart disease, heart attack, diabetes, arthritis, cancer, and more.

That gum disease that's threatening your teeth? Even THAT's a sign of inflammation!

Now, new research reveals a simple nutrient that can fight inflammation wherever it strikes, essentially slowing or even blocking one of the hallmarks of aging inside your body.

It's a carotenoid called lutein.

If the name sounds familiar, that's because it's a key ingredient in many vision supplements. Lutein and zeaxanthin are both found naturally inside the macula of your eye, and boosting your intake of both can slash your risk of macular degeneration and slow the progression of the disease if you have it.

But today, let's focus on the rest of your body, especially your heart, as the new study finds higher lutein levels can cut damaging inflammation down to size -- and not just in healthy people.

What makes this study truly exciting is that it zeroes in on the folks who TRULY need help most.

It examined nearly 200 older patients already suffering from some of the worst effects of inflammation: They all had coronary heart disease.

For these folks, cutting inflammation can be a matter of life or death in a very real way... and the lutein helped them do just that by slashing levels of interleukin-6.

IL-6, as it's known, is a major marker of inflammation that's strongly linked to heart disease and a risk of serious complications in folks who already have the condition, such as the people in this new study.

And of the six carotenoids tested, only ONE was able to slash those IL-6 levels: lutein.

If you're at war with heart disease, it's time to arm yourself for battle with this nutrient -- and the best way to do that is to eat more spinach. It's absolutely packed with the stuff.

You'll also find it in greens like kale and collards as well as certain herbs such as parsley.

Pumpkins, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, squash, and peas all contain lutein as well, but in much lower levels. A cup of spinach has about 15 times the lutein of a cup of broccoli.

All of those same foods will give you some other carotenoids as well, especially the zeaxanthin that so often goes hand-in-hand with lutein.

For a bigger boost, lutein is available in supplements, especially vision-protecting formulas.

Coming up later today, I'll have more on carotenoids and how they can protect against one of the nation's leading killers.

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