15 of the Best Herbs and Spices for a Healthy Heart (#10 is Little Weird)

Photo credit: bigstock.com

Photo credit: bigstock.com

10. Ginger

The spice most people think of for nausea is also a natural anti-inflammatory with  blood-thinning compounds that can lower bad cholesterol (LDL). Ginger contains an active compound called gingerol, which stimulates blood flow and relaxes the blood vessels, lowering blood pressure. The Journal of Nutrition published a study in 2000 where researchers discovered that regular consumption of ginger extract reduced cholesterol levels, inhibited the development of atherosclerosis, and slowed LDL oxidation. Drink two or three cups of ginger tea throughout the day or add fresh, organic ginger root to your cooking.

 

11. Green Tea

There are so many benefits when it comes to green tea that it would be hard to list them all! However, as far as your heart is concerned, green tea is loaded with healthy antioxidants and flavonoids. Green tea improves the health of the lining of your heart and blood vessels while reducing triglyceride and cholesterol levels. The European Journal of Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation published a study in 2008 showing that regular intake of green tea can improve the function of blood vessels. In fact, studies show that you can lower the risk of dying from a heart attack or stroke by as much as 26 percent by drinking five cups of green tea each day.

 

12. Hibiscus

Many followers of traditional medicine believe that hibiscus can reverse heart disease. The water extracts from the flowers of this plant do affect the hardening of the arteries, lower blood sugar levels, and lower blood pressure. In 2003, The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry published a study which showed that hibiscus extract inhibited the development of atherosclerosis in rabbits that were fed a high-cholesterol diet. Drink two cups of hibiscus tea twice each day for best results.

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