Let the Blood Flow
As quickly as it came, February has come to an end! With this self-proclaimed love month, it seems as though not only are people reviving the romance but are also considering their cardiovascular health. Whether it be to improve their athletic endurance or ensure they live a long and healthy life, there are many things that we can add to our daily routine for heart support. Here are some herbs and foods to keep those vessels pumping!
Green fruits and vegetables: We eat them almost every day; (pictured: broccoli, asparagus, Swiss chard, and cucumber), but these unsuspecting greens contain Chlorophyll. This self-proclaimed plant blood is high in alkalizing minerals, which help reduce inflammation, supports the liver in processing cholesterol, and provide nutrients to the vital blood cells. The soluble and insoluble fibre from these greens helps the liver excrete excess cholesterol, which can oxidize and clog up our arteries. Green fruits and vegetables also have an excellent ratio of calcium and magnesium. These are necessary to help our heart muscles contract and relax to move blood in our circulatory system.
Turmeric root: This bright and colourful herb is not only used in many Indian cuisines, but it has fantastic anti-inflammatory properties. The curcumin and curcuminoids found in this orange rhizome support whole-body circulation to improve cell turnover, provide antioxidant benefits to the heart, and prevents liver disease.
Cordyceps: With new research coming through these past years on medicinal mushrooms, we have noticed an increased interest in Cordyceps mushrooms. This fungus, which grows in high altitudes, has been used by athletes to improve oxygen intake, vital for them to improve their stamina in endurance sports. They affect mental and physical exertion, adrenal fatigue, or lung deficiencies to improve oxygen intake, cholesterol reduction, and stress management. Try out 500mg-1000mg per day for that energy effect.*
Garlic: The antioxidant Allicin found in garlic has a profound effect on the cardiovascular system for its ability to reduce free radical damage in the veins and arteries, lower cholesterol levels, and aid in liver detoxification. The best part is that this bulb can make a great addition to any savoury dish, and you don't need a lot of it to harness its heart-healthy benefits.
Hawthorn berry: These little berries have a profound effect on improving the vitality of this blood-pumping system. With their ability to dilate blood vessels, they help lower blood pressure. They also help reduce the build-up of LDL "bad cholesterol" by increasing its rate of elimination. A standard dose of 600mg per day will be adequate if applicable to your needs. *
Willow bark: Another herb that is fantastic for reducing inflammation and mild headaches! This natural aspirin contains tannins to tone and tighten the blood vessels to support blood flow throughout the body. Start with 100mg when feeling the pressure! *
Matcha green tea: Noted as a delicate and delicious ceremonial tea from Japan, this specialty green tea is beaming with health properties. It contains Theophylline which promotes relaxation in the smooth muscles of the bronchial tubes to reduce asthma attacks. The high content of vitamin E is helpful to reduce free radical damage. Most importantly, it slows down the oxidation of LDL cholesterol which becomes arterial plaque. Approximately one or two cups per day should be enough to slow down the chances of getting a stroke.
Almonds: What else is there to say about this nutritious plant-based powerhouse. This nut is full of good fats, protein, fibre, vitamin E, magnesium, and other minerals. Magnesium is fantastic for relaxing heart muscles and vitamin E to reduce oxidation. Good quality fats and protein make up building blocks for good cholesterol necessary for many body functions (hormone building, bile production, etc.). The fibre helps remove LDL cholesterol to eliminate the chances of turning it into artery-clogging plaque. A small handful of raw nuts will be sufficient for daily support.
So there you go, eat your heart out!
With love from Chloe
*Always practice precaution when taking supplements or cardiovascular support if you are already are on medication for high blood pressure or other heart conditions. Consult with your doctor or health care practitioner to see if these supplements are right for your heart condition.