World Heart Day 2019: Five spices to consume for a healthy heart

Published: Sep 29, 2019, 12:51 IST | mid-day online correspondent | Mumbai

On World Heart Day, it's time we take notice of the diet we consume and lifestyle we lead to filter our choices right. And it all begins with the spices, the basis of taste for our meals

This image has been used for representational purpose
This image has been used for representational purpose

Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food, this famous saying by the ancient-Greek physician Hippocrates emphasises how healthy food can act as medicine if consumed with responsibility. While most of us like our food to be garnished with herbs and spices, not all spices act like medicine on the body. Nature bestows on us a plethora of ingredients to choose from and make healthy meals that take care of our body, mind, and soul. It’s a responsibility to make a choice that best suits our health.

On World Heart Day, it's time we take notice of the diet we consume and lifestyle we lead to filter our choices right. And it all begins with the spices, the basis of taste for our meals. Here are five spices recommended by Dr Manoj Kutteri, Wellness Director at Atmantan Wellness Centre, that you can consume to make your heart healthy!

Cinnamon

Discovered in 2000 BC as a sweet-savoury inner bark of trees to flavour the food of the kings, Cinnamon has been popular for its distinct aroma and flavour. Counted as one of the healthy herbs for fighting nausea, vomiting, etc, Cinnamon is a promise for a healthy heart. It is known to help lower the blood sugar levels, triglycerides, LDL cholesterol, and overall cholesterol. Being one of the few herbs that have a sweet pungent taste, this herb goes well with fruits, dairy products as well as vegetables. And hence it is used widely in Indian desserts, rice, and even curries. Cinnamon can be great for heart health as it helps balance the blood pressure and also controls the probable cause of a cardiac arrest.

Turmeric

In ancient Ayurveda, turmeric has been used as a healing agent with medicinal properties that cures inflammation, injuries, pain, and infections. Belonging to the ginger family, turmeric contains curcumin, a compound that heals. Turmeric forms part of the Indian kitchens as one of the 9 most important herbs that go into the dishes for flavours and colouring. It contains antioxidants that reduce the risk of heart diseases. Consuming turmeric raw or as an addition to curries, milk, etc can help reduce the LDL cholesterol, and C-creative protein i. e. responsible for inflammation associated with the heart. Above all, it helps reduce stress, fatigue and relaxes the blood vessels, thereby aiding better hart functioning.

Garlic

Garlic is one of the most used Indian spices that are under the research radar for its potential health benefits. The compounds of Allicin and sulfur are powerful antioxidants that help reduce cholesterol levels and blood pressure in the body. These compounds found in garlic are also great for inhibiting the platelet aggregation powering heart to pump blood easily. Garlic helps in the improvement of blood circulation, lower blood pressure and cholesterol too.

Ginger

Ginger is a root spice that has been widely used in Asian and Western countries for its anti-inflammatory properties and delirious flavour. While in Asia pacific region it is used in savoury dishes, in countries like the UK and America ginger is used to flavour the desserts. Gingerol, the bioactive compound of ginger is known to be rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties that help decrease the level of triglycerides, and cholesterol in the body. Adding ginger to the body helps improve blood circulation, lower blood sugar levels, and cholesterol thereby reducing risk of heart diseases.

Chilli Peppers

Piperine in chili peppers like black peppers, cayenne pepper, etc help in creating a cardioprotective action. Pepper contains vitamin C, potassium, and capsaicin, etc that help improve the endothelial function i.e. expansion and contraction of blood vessels which aids blood circulation. It protects from oxidative damage as well as improves cardiac function for recovery from myocardial function. Choose to add heart-healthy spices to your food to fight the potential hart risks and lad a happy and healthy life. This World Heart Day promise yourself and your family a healthy heart!

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The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. 

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