Herbs for the Heart
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in America for both men and women. Unhealthy diets, lack of physical activity and excessive drinking are all poor lifestyle choices that cause individuals to be at a higher risk for heart disease. According to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention, major risk factors for heart disease also include high blood pressure, high cholesterol and smoking. The pressure from work and family only adds to the stress and strain on your heart. However, by taking a few moments to breathe each day, exercise and eat a balanced diet, you can alleviate a little stress on the body and your heart. In addition, there is a variety of herbs that help decrease blood pressure and blood sugar, help to lower high cholesterol as well as manage stress. Cinnamon and garlic are two popular and versatile herbs with great flavor and most likely already in your kitchen. Ginseng is another herb providing many benefits for your heart and can be added to tea and soups. By incorporating these multifaceted herbs into your diet, you’re providing your body with an amazing line of defense against heart disease and other illnesses.
Cinnamon is an incredible spice, high in antioxidants and posseses anti-inflammatory properties. The antioxidants in cinnamon help fight free radicals in the body that produce inflammation and cause heart disease. Additionally, cinnamon has been found to help lower glucose levels in individuals with type 2 diabetes. In the morning sprinkle cinnamon into your coffee, cereal or yogurt to boost your body with heart-healthy fuel.
For those feeling stressed, ginseng has been used for centuries to treat anxiety and stress-related fatigue. Ginseng is used to reduce anxiety, boost energy and enhance the immune system. Ginseng has also been found to help lower cholesterol. The roots of ginseng can be added to tea and soups, or the herb can also be taken in supplement form.
Known to help prevent and treat cardiovascular diseases, garlic is an outstanding herb. Clinical studies show garlic to have a notable impact on decreasing blood pressure and cholesterol. In addition, garlic has have been found to help lower blood sugar. An analysis of nine clinical studies published in 2017, reported 768 patients with type 2 diabetes having remarkable decreases in blood sugar levels as a result of taking a garlic supplement every day for at least two months. So start adding garlic into your meals not just for great flavor but also a healthy heart.
Written by Grace Maeda