5 Herbs and Spices for a Healthy Heart
A healthy heart starts with a healthy diet. Plenty of vegetables, fruits, beans, whole grains, healthy fats, and lean protein is a mandatory requirement in preventing heart diseases. Apart from these, you can also take the help of certain herbs and spices that aid in maintaining a healthy heart.
Here are 5 of those that give your heart a health-boost:
This aromatic spice can do a lot for your heart health. Several studies have shown that a small daily dose of cinnamon helps to decrease the levels of total cholesterol, “bad” LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides - a harmful type of blood fat. It is also found to help lower blood sugar by supporting insulin sensitivity and function, thus protecting against diabetes, which increases the risk of heart attacks. It is super easy to include cinnamon in your daily diet. You can sprinkle it on your breakfast cereals, or add it to smoothies and coffees, or use it as a spice in several dishes.
Curcumin, the substance is found in turmeric which is responsible for its rich, yellow color has several benefits for the heart, according to researches. Apart from preventing dangerous blood clots, lowering cholesterol, and reducing inflammation that leads to heart attacks, it also helps the heart when it isn’t pumping as much blood as it should. Certain studies also show that curcumin is beneficial in keeping the blood vessels in perfect condition. Turmeric can be added to several Indian dishes and can also be drunk as a health potion mixed with milk.
Garlic is easily one of the most powerful ingredients when it comes to heart health. A review of 20 studies shows that garlic significantly lowers blood pressure. It was also proved to lower total and LDL cholesterl by as much as 10% in those who had high cholesterol levels to start with. Being a powerful antioxidant and blood thinner, garlic can even lower blood pressure as effectively as some drugs, according to studies. This flavour-packed ingredient can be added to soups, stews, curries, chutneys, and almost any spicy dish you make.
Ginger is also a natural blood thinner and is commonly used as a digestive aid and is particularly helpful for treating nausea, cold, flu, etc. Research shows that this spicy root may reduce the risk of high blood pressure. About ½ teaspoon to a teaspoon of ginger a day is recommended to help with heart health. Ginger can be added to sauces, stir-fries, soups, and even fruit and vegetable drinks and smoothies. One can also make ginger tea with some honey and lemon for a power-packed drink.
A commonly found herb used in Chinese, Mexican and Indian cuisines, coriander not only packs flavour but also several amazing benefits for the heart. It is high in beta-carotene, and hence can help lower risk of cardiovascular issues and prostate cancer, and also increases one’s immunity to cold and flu. As a powerful detoxifying agent, cilantro is also used to help chelate mercury from the body. This humble herb is especially beneficial for diabetics whose bodies produce more toxic metabolites.
In addition to using these herbs and spices, healthy food and regular exercise together make heart-healthy lifestyle a breeze!