HealthSpice up your heart health: How everyday herbs can fight cardiovascular disease

Spice up your heart health: How everyday herbs can fight cardiovascular disease

Which products are good for the heart?
Which products are good for the heart?
Images source: © Licensor | Qin Ningzhen

12:59 PM EST, January 15, 2024

Given the continuous rise in the occurrence of cardiovascular diseases, prevention and control of these conditions has become a top priority for healthcare systems worldwide.

Diet and lifestyle factors play a critical role in managing the risk of heart disease. Herbs and spices are garnering more attention as potential natural tools for heart health.

The variety of herbs and spices is amazing, as well as the variety of their bioactive ingredients. These ingredients can have a beneficial effect on the heart through their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, hypolipidemic (lipid-lowering), and hypotensive (blood pressure-lowering) actions.

Ginger

Ginger contains bioactive compounds, including gingerols and shogaols, which have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. They can also influence the reduction of cholesterol levels and inhibit platelet aggregation, thereby decreasing the risk of clot formation and cardiovascular diseases.

A meta-analysis from last year, which included as many as 24 studies on the health benefits of this spice, was published. It confirmed that ginger consumption positively influences blood sugar and lipid levels, degenerative joint disease, blood pressure, weight control, and inflammatory state biomarkers.

Garlic

Garlic can lower levels of LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) and blood pressure. It also serves as an antioxidant and may prevent the formation of atherosclerotic plaques. A study in 2021 involving data from 4,329 adults indicated that individuals who consumed raw garlic (from one to three times a week) had thinner inner and middle layers of the carotid artery.

Chilli

Chilli contains capsaicin, an ingredient that might affect heart health via its blood pressure-regulating properties. Additionally, capsaicin exhibits anti-inflammatory effects, which could be beneficial for heart conditions.

Turmeric with black pepper

The active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin. It's a powerful antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties. Research suggests that it could have health benefits, including reducing inflammation in the body, supporting the immune system, and protecting cells from oxidative damage.

To reap the full health benefits of turmeric, it's crucial to consume it along with black pepper. The compound piperine, found in black pepper, enhances the absorption of curcumin from turmeric.

Black pepper is also a source of antioxidants, helps reduce inflammation, aids digestion, and possesses antibacterial properties.

However, it's crucial to note, despite encouraging research results, herbs and spices don't substitute conventional medical therapy. Their use should complement a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle.

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