Heart :- Herbs and Spices for You
Heart :- The heart is a muscular organ, about the size of a fist. It pumps blood through a network of arteries and veins called the cardiovascular system to the rest of the body. This blood provides the body with oxygen and nutrients, and helps in the removal of metabolic wastes.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 611,105 people die each year of heart disease.
Heart disease refers to problems that affect the structure and functioning of the heart as well as blood vessels.
Some common types of heart conditions include coronary artery disease, ischemic heart disease, irregular heart rhythm, atherosclerosis, angina, myocardial infarction (commonly known as a heart attack), hypertensive heart disease, congenital heart disease, and peripheral artery disease.
The risk of developing heart problems increases with factors like excessive smoking, a sedentary lifestyle, aging, a family history of heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity and excessive alcohol or caffeine intake.
Some common symptoms that may signal heart trouble include persistent coughing, chest discomfort, anxiety, fatigue, rapid or irregular pulse and shortness of breath.
As the heart functions 24×7, it is important to keep it healthy. Improved heart functioning depends highly on the quality of blood and blood flow.
A healthy, balanced diet and a healthy exercise regime can help you reach your goal. You can also incorporate certain herbs and spices into your diet to improve your heart health.
Garlic is highly beneficial for heart health due to its anti-inflammatory, antithrombotic and antiplatelet properties.
A 2006 review study published in the American Society for Nutrition journal showed a strong correlation between garlic consumption and heart benefits.
Garlic is effective in treating raised serum total cholesterol, raised bad (low-density lipoprotein or LDL) cholesterol, increased platelet aggregation and hypertension, thus reducing the risk of heart disease.
- Eat 1 or 2 freshly crushed garlic cloves daily.
- You can opt to take garlic supplements. Consult your doctor for the correct dosage.
Note: Garlic may interfere with certain medications due to its blood-thinning properties. Consult your doctor before taking it.
Turmeric has a compound called curcumin that possesses powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Curcumin enhances cardiovascular health and reduces the risk of many diseases related to the heart.
Turmeric helps increase blood circulation and prevents blood clotting to prevent heart attacks. It even controls inflammation that can lead to heart disease. In addition, it prevents hardening of the arteries by inhibiting fat oxidation and lowering cholesterol.
- Use turmeric in your cooking or drink a glass of warm turmeric milk daily.
- As a nutritional supplement, you can take 250 to 600 mg standardized curcumin capsules 3 times daily. Consult your doctor for proper dosage.
3. Green Tea
Green tea is very good for your heart due to its flavonoids and antioxidants. It improves the health of cells that form the innermost lining of the heart and blood vessels. This plays a key role in reducing cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
A 2008 study published in the European Journal of Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation reported that regular intake of green tea improves blood vessel functioning. By drinking more than 5 cups of green tea daily, you can lower the risk of death from a heart attack or stroke by 26 percent.
- Drink 4 to 5 cups of green tea (preferably caffeine-free) daily.
- You can even take 100 to 750 mg standardized green tea extract per day after consulting your doctor.
This well-known spice can provide protection against heart disease. It inhibits the release of inflammatory fatty acids from the blood’s platelet membranes, which helps maintain the proper thickness of the blood. This in turn reduces high blood pressure, which can damage the arteries and other organs.
In addition, it helps lower triglycerides as well as LDL cholesterol, which is important for your heart to function properly.
- For medicinal benefits, consume ½ to 1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder per day. Sprinkle cinnamon powder in your oatmeal, tea, smoothies, soups and salads.
- Add a cinnamon stick while making a cup of warm tea, such as black, ginger or any other herbal tea.
Note: People allergic to cinnamon must avoid this spice. In addition, those taking blood thinners must consult their doctor before taking this spice.
Ginger has natural blood-thinning and anti-inflammatory properties that can lower LDL cholesterol. The active ingredient in ginger is gingerol, a compound that helps relax blood vessels and stimulate blood flow throughout the body.
In a 2000 study published in the Journal of Nutrition, researchers found that regular intake of ginger extract reduces plasma cholesterol, inhibits LDL oxidation and attenuates development of atherosclerosis.
- Make ginger tea and drink it hot or cold, 2 or 3 times a day.
- Use fresh ginger root in your cooking by adding it to sauces, stir-fries, soups and even fruit and vegetable drinks.
- You can also take a ginger supplement, after consulting your doctor.
Note: If you take blood thinners, consult your doctor about how much ginger you should consume in food or supplement form.
Source :- http://www.top10homeremedies.com