Owing to our fast-paced lifestyles, it goes without saying that unhealthy eating habits, and lack of physical activity forms an integral part of our everyday routine. The lack of exercise and a balanced diet not only affects our brain and skin but also has a significant effect on our heart health. And this is why cardiologists always recommend focussing on staying active and eating more vegetables, and fruits and nuts for a healthy heart.
Right from limiting the intake of salt to keep our blood pressure in control to keeping a close eye on our intake of oil to monitor our cholesterol level, most of us have already started to make these simple dietary changes in our lives. But did you know there are numerous heart healthy herbs and spices right in our kitchen? Yes, fondly called as ‘dadi ke nuske’, our kitchen cabinet holds route to myriad Indian spices and herbs which can keep our heart healthy and strong. Moreover, these herbs add a unique flavour to your food preparations and make it more delicious and healthy.
Heart Healthy Herbs And Spices
So what are you waiting for? Let’s explore these commonly available Indian herbs which are good for heart health.
A spice that tops the list when it comes to heart-healthy herbs is also a staple of Indian Cuisine. Garlic is said to boost cardiovascular health to a great extent by lowering LDL (bad cholesterol) in the blood. Garlic contains allicin which helps lower blood pressure and prevents thickening of the arteries. To get the best benefits, have 1-2 pods of raw garlic.
Known for its blood-thinning and anti-inflammatory properties, Ginger has proved to be beneficial in lowering the level of cholesterol and reducing blood clots. This is especially good for people who have serious heart issues like clogging of blood vessels which may lead to a heart attack in future. Add ginger to your tea, soups or to your cooking and reap the benefits that it has to offer.
Cinnamon helps to lower blood sugar levels and is packed with antioxidants. It is regarded as one of the top healing herbs and spices for increasing antioxidant levels in the blood which in turn promotes heart health. Sprinkle a pinch of powdered cinnamon on your breakfast cereals or add it to your tea or curd. You can also add a small piece of the whole bark to your cooking for that aroma and added taste.
Used as a flavoring element in many Indian curries, this healthy herb contains beta-carotene. Studies show that beta carotene helps reduce the effect of free radicals, making it a great supplement to prevent cardio vascular diseases. You can add it to your chutneys, salad dressings or for garnishing the dishes.
This is another great herb which primarily used during cooking for its distinctive color. Turmeric contains curcumin which has a lot of healing potential. This compound is also effective in enhancing cardiovascular health due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Have half a teaspoon of turmeric with a glass of milk daily for best results.
Also Read: Turmeric Benefits
Onion and garlic are from the same family of allium vegetables. So the benefits they bring to you after consumption are similar. Onion can remove all the unwanted fats in your body, prevent clot formation and reduce the blood pressure. The raw onion is believed to have more benefits than the cooked one. Have raw onions as salads or use them for garnishing your dishes.
The oil extracted from lavender is very effective in strengthening the heart’s cardiac muscles, which in turn improves contraction and relaxation of the heart’s arteries and ventricles. Lavender, which is also famous for its sedative properties, helps reduce palpitations and hypertension. Spray a puff of lavender oil on your pillow at bedtime and enjoy a relaxing deep sleep.
Mainly used for its aromatic properties, oregano can help a great deal in lowering cholesterol and is also a store-house of anti-oxidants. Anti-oxidants reduce the free radicals in the body thereby helping to fight inflammation and protect the heart against bad cholesterol. You can add oregano to your omelette, sandwiches, or sprinkle it over pasta and pizza.
Adding these herbs in the right quantities will go a long way in protecting your heart from various heart ailments along with keeping the heart healthy. These herbs not only improve your blood pressure level but also help in controlling your cholesterol level and help you to maintain a healthy heart score. It also improves blood circulation and aid in eliminating toxins from the body to keep the heart healthy. Moreover, these powerful herbs will help you to increase your immunity, protect against cancer, free the body of inflammation-causing free radicals and help you lead a healthy life. But do keep one thing in mind that just like any other herbs, it is important to eat these herbs and spices in moderation to reap its heart-healthy benefits.
Stay Healthy, Stay Happy!