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Changes to your diet could reduce your risk of heart disease by bringing your blood pressure and cholesterol down. Some herbs and spices contain naturally occurring vitamins, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory substances to help boost your heart health.
Research from Penn State University revealed adding 6.5 grams of herbs and spices to your food each day could bring your blood pressure down.
In the study, the participants didn’t change any other aspect of their diet, but added more herbs and spices over a four-week period.
They found their blood pressure readings dropped at the end of the study, suggesting the extra herbs and spices had a positive effect on high blood pressure.
If you want to lower your blood pressure, eating more herbs and spices may well help you, but you should also eat more fruit and vegetables, and limit your salt intake.
If you are worried about heart disease, make sure you speak to your GP, as well as making healthy lifestyle changes.
What are the best spices for heart health?
Turmeric contains an active compound called curcumin, which is where this spice gets its powerful health-boosting credentials.
Curcumin is an effective anti-inflammatory substance and antioxidant.
Many studies have noted turmeric’s positive effects on heart health.
Curcumin improves the function of the lining of your blood vessels, helping healthy circulation.
Chop it up and add it to stir fries, curries or enjoy it freshly brewed in tea: ginger will boost your heart health.
Ginger has been shown to help lower your cholesterol reading, which in turn can reduce your risk of heart disease.
Like turmeric, ginger is also rich in anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants.
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This hot spice has been linked to a reduced risk of dying from a heart attack or stroke.
An Italian study of more than 20,000 people found regular chilli eaters had their risk halved.
It’s thought this is due to a natural compound found in chillis called capsaicin.
Fresh herbs contain loads of nutrients, but they shouldn’t be limited to just a garnish.
Many fresh herbs are high in vitamin C, another essential nutrient for a healthy heart.
You can make beautiful salads, like tabbouleh or fattoush, using large quantities of parsley, mint, basil: whatever your favourite herb is.
Perfect for adding to porridge or coffee in the morning, cinnamon is a sweet spice that can contribute to a lower risk of heart disease.
Cinnamon is thought to lower cholesterol and help bring down blood pressure.
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