Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in the U.S., with 1 in every 4 deaths in being attributed to cardiac causes. One of the best ways to reduce your risk of heart disease is by making healthy lifestyle changes like increasing your aerobic activity and cleaning up your diet. Fresh foods are always your best option, and using fresh herbs and spices is a great way to ensure your healthy meals are full of flavor.
Here are 7 delicious heart healthy herbs and supplements you can easily incorporate in your diet.
7 Heart Healthy Herbs
Many homes already have fresh cloves of garlic or dried garlic on hand, so this is a great heart healthy herb to start with. The allicin in garlic gives off that signature garlic aroma and is also the source of many heart-healthy benefits. If you’re not used to using fresh garlic in your home, start with refrigerated, garlic in a jar before moving on to fresh cloves.
Curcumin is a powerful anti-inflammatory that has been shown to be helpful in supporting healthy blood flow and may be useful for managing heart disease and other cardiac conditions. Curcumin is naturally found in the spice turmeric, which is sourced from the Curcuma longa rhizome (stem). This golden spice is easy to add to your diet in curries or in creamy, golden milk tea.
Some studies show that the spice cardamom may be helpful in lowering blood pressure, likely due its high antioxidant content. This spice has an intensely sweet flavor and is delicious when added to baked goods and curried chicken dishes.
Sourced from a flowering plant, ginger root is a spice widely used in cooking, teas, and natural medicine. Studies suggest that cooking with ginger and using ginger supplements may help reduce plaque formation in the arteries and balance blood pressure. There are many ways to cook with fresh or dried ginger, and it can also be made into a tea by steeping a few slices in hot water. You can even eat crystallized ginger for a sweet treat.
Naturally occurring in goldenseal and Oregon grape plants, berberine has been proven effective at balancing blood levels. A natural alkaloid, berberine has been used successfully in Chinese medicine for more than 2,500 years to support heart health.
A study from Harvard Medical School showed that drinking green tea may help lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels. The catechins and active polyphenols in green tea are associated with lowered risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Quality green tea is available at most supermarkets worldwide, but it does contain caffeine so don’t enjoy a mug right before bed.
Which of these heart healthy herbs will you try first? Do you have any favorite recipes that feature these herbs? Share your ideas and recipes with us in the comments section below.