The recent times have seen rapid increase in the cases of heart attacks and the precedent heart diseases owing to the kind of unhealthy food habits and sedentary lifestyle people have adopted to. Heart diseases come knocking on your door unannounced but if you keep tab on your heart’s performance, you can reverse the condition. One of the common heart diseases in atherosclerosis that cause plaque to build up in the walls of arteries thereby increasing the risk of stroke or heart attack. Some other common heart diseases include coronary heart disease, arrhythmia, heart valve issues, congenital heart disease, etc. Cause factors of common heart diseases include smoking, high blood pressure, genetic factors, diabetes, excessive alcohol and caffeine, stress, drug abuse, etc. Heart diseases can be prevented as well as reversed with the help of various home remedies. Here are some of the best of them.
Garlic reduces high blood pressure and levels of cholesterol in blood thereby minimizing the risk of coronary heart disease. It prevents hardening of arteries, improves blood circulation and thus prevent atherosclerosis. Garlic has amazing antiplatelet aggregatory as well as antithrombotic effects. You can eat garlic cloves raw or add them to soups, curry or salads. One should consult the doctor prior to including garlic in diet as it has blood thinning properties and may interfere with certain medications.
With its strong antioxidant properties, fenugreek proves to be an excellent home remedy for heart diseases. It effectively modulates lipid levels in the blood and thus prevents the risk of atherosclerosis. Fenugreek accounts for lesser platelet aggregation and hence lower blood clotting levels. This attribute of fenugreek helps it to shield the heart against strokes and heart attack. It reduces excess fat from body, lowers blood glucose level and decreases blood cholesterol levels. Soak some fenugreek seeds in water for the entire night. Eat these soaked seeds in empty stomach the following morning.
This amazing herb has been a part of Indian medical tradition since ancient times. It is a potent natural cardiotonic and cardiac restorative. Arjuna is proved to reduce angina – tightness in chest and pain. Doctors prescribe nitroglycerin to prevent angina attacks. Arjuna herb too behaves in the same manner but does not leave side effects such as nausea, headache, etc. Arjuna normalizes irregular heart rhythms, prevents formation of blood clot, prevents hardening of arteries and promotes overall health of the heart. It also reduces LDL levels and blood pressure and accounts for weight loss – all of which are potential risk factors of heart diseases.
This particular herb has amazing benefits for your heart’s health. It not only improves blood circulation to heart but also boost contraction of cardiac muscles. Hence, it improves the way heart pumps blood to the crucial organs. By improving cardiac output as well as performance, hawthorn steadies the heartbeat and hence has anti-arrhythmic effect. Hawthorn can be taken either in fresh form or extract form. Make sure that hawthorn extracts you buy must contain at least 3% flavonoids. Recommended daily dosage is 600 mg.
Curcumin – the active ingredient in this magic spice turmeric – promotes overall health of the heart. Turmeric reduces oxidation of cholesterol, prevents clotting and minimizes the chances of plaque buildup on arteries. Turmeric lowers low density lipoprotein in blood. Turmeric also has strong anti-inflammatory properties apart from antioxidant properties. Thus turmeric minimizes dangers of free radicals in deteriorating heart health. You can add turmeric as a spice to your dishes or mix one teaspoonful of it to warm milk for best results.
By reducing formation of plaque on the arteries and minimizing LDL levels, alfalfa combats heart diseases effectively. It limits progression of atherosclerosis. The best way to take alfalfa for preventing heart disease is in the form of tea or juice. Sip on fresh cup of alfalfa tea several times a day to reap its benefits. Alfalfa supplements are also easily available in drugstores.
Broccoli contains calcium – a heart friendly nutrient. So, it is a good choice for people with lactose intolerance. However, the primary heart healthy compound in broccoli is sulforaphane which prevents inflammation in those arterial areas which are more vulnerable. Plaque builds up particularly in the branches of arteries because Nrf2 – the protective protein – is inactive here. Sulforaphane in broccoli activates Nrf2 thereby preventing inflammation as well as plaque build up.
With strong antioxidant properties, green tea very well tackles the risks of heart diseases. It reduces triglyceride levels in blood and keeps cholesterol levels at low. Apart from controlling blood glucose levels, it boosts metabolism both of which are associated with various heart diseases. Sip on several fresh cups of green tea during the day to keep heart disease risk at a minimum.
Although it is weaker than the Korean ginseng, it is included in this list as it is a mild stimulant and is better suited for heart patients especially from the US. It reduces cholesterol levels, promotes overall health of your heart and normalizes blood pressure – all three being key triggers of heart diseases.
Cayenne contains capsaicin which is proved to have benefits for heart health as well as blood circulation. It treats one of the most common heart diseases called arrhythmia (irregular heart beat). It reduces cholesterol levels. Cayenne contains several phytochemicals that discard impurities present in blood. Cayenne is available in powder and capsule form.
This high fiber food along with others of its family like bran, whole grains, barley, beans, etc. regulate cholesterol levels in the blood which is one of the primary reasons of heart diseases. The antioxidant compounds in oats are called avenanthramides that prevent oxidation of LDL cholesterol by free radicals.
Drinking red wine in moderation and accompanied with regular exercise can actually put you at lower risk of heart disease. Red wine consists of polyphenols – antioxidants – that protect blood vessel lining. One such polyphenol is resveratrol which reduces LDL, prevents blood clotting and protect blood vessels from damage. Antioxidant properties of red wine prevents diseases like diabetes and control obesity, both of which are potential risk factors of diseases of the heart. It also reduces chances of blood clotting and prevents inflammation which again lead to heart disease.
Chinese hibiscus have proven anti-atherosclerosis activity. With strong antioxidant properties, hibiscus prevents oxidation of LDL (the bad cholesterol) which is a prime reason for atherosclerosis and related heart diseases. Hibiscus infusion also brings down high blood pressure. To prepare this infusion, boil fresh hibiscus flowers in boiling water, Strain the mixture, add few drops of honey if you wish. Consume this infusion at least once daily.
It is a potent blood thinner and it regulates blood pressure. The antioxidant properties of vitamin E that attack LDL lipid peroxidation triggered by free radicals. It thus shield cell membranes against oxidation and thus reverse heart degenerative diseases. It also reduces platelet aggregation and blood clotting. It is also a potent remedy against platelet enlargement. Anti-inflammatory properties in vitamin E prevent heart diseases arising out of such triggers. Women should avoid using vitamin E especially during periods as it would lead to heavier bleeding. Some of the best natural sources of vitamin E are almonds, spinach, sunflower seeds, etc.