We all know there is plenty you can do to keep yourself healthy. Stopping smoking, taking more exercise and eating a diet rich in fruit and vegetables are often cited as ways to improve general health and ensure your heart functions efficiently.
You may think that heart disease is something that only affects older people, but the reality is it can strike at any age and it is never too early to start looking after your heart.
Your heart is a giant muscle that pumps blood around the body, transporting oxygen and vital nutrients required to keep you alive and prevent disease. In order for circulation to be effective, your blood vessels and arteries must be healthy and free from obstruction.
Although maintaining a healthy lifestyle and exercising are proven to keep your heart pumping efficiently, you may be interested to learn that taking certain herbs has been linked to a healthy cardiovascular system. If you want to give your health a boost, here are five herbs that may help to set you up for good heart health.
Disliked by vampires and loved by chefs, garlic is one of the most commonly used herbs in the kitchen. Garlic has been widely studied and its health benefits are scientifically proven. Garlic can help to widen blood vessels, which can encourage a healthy circulation and has been shown to reduce cholesterol and blood pressure.
A 2006 study showed that Hawthorn could help to reduce blood pressure. Hawthorn improves circulation and relaxes blood vessels, which can protect them from damage and protect the heart. Hawthorn berries can be used to make a tasty jam.
Did you realise your plate of spicy curry could have health benefits? Cayenne pepper is made from dried pods of chilli peppers and studies indicate it can lower cholesterol and prevent blood clots. Cayenne benefits the entire cardiovascular system, keeping arteries, veins and capillaries healthy and helping to lower blood pressure.
Bilberry is a strong antioxidant that can benefit your circulatory system. The fruit contains chemicals called anthocyanosides, which are responsible for keeping capillaries flexible and increasing blood flow. Other brightly coloured berries such as blueberries have similar health enhancing properties.
Motherwort is actually a weed that grows freely across Europe. It is commonly used to treat heart palpitations and anxiety. Some studies have shown that it can help to prevent blood clots, relax the heart muscle and lower blood pressure.
Herbs have been used for thousands of years to treat common ailments and many are scientifically proven to improve heart health. If you have yet to discover the health benefits of herbs, many are found in the kitchen and can be used to flavour food instead of salt.
You can also add spice to curries using cayenne peppers and use brightly coloured berries, bursting with antioxidants to make healthy smoothies and jams.
Gemma Mitchell is a health writer who writes about health related issues, problems and tips. For more information about keeping your heart healthy please visit this great heart information resource I found.