Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States and the second leading cause of death in Canada. While genetics and a family history of heart disease play a part, most of the risk factors involved are preventable, such as smoking, being overweight, having high blood pressure, and consuming an unhealthy diet. Fortunately, Planet Earth also provides plants that can help maintain and improve heart health that we include in many of our natural organic vitamins and supplements. Here are 12 plants that promote heart health:
Acerola berries: We love acerola berries for their high Vitamin C content. These berries also contain a high amount of potassium, which helps to improve blood flow and lower blood pressure. With a variety of antioxidants, acerola can also contribute to lowering cholesterol.
Amla: Amla fruit is native to India and Nepal, and grows in trees that can reach 20-30 feet tall. This superfruit helps to strengthen the heart muscle and reduce cholesterol buildup throughout the cardiovascular system.
Bladderwrack: While it doesn’t have the best name, bladderwrack is a seaweed that grows along the coast in northern climates with numerous health benefits. In addition to helping lower cholesterol numbers, bladderwrack can also help maintain high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels, which are vital to cardiovascular health.
Cayenne: Not just a spice for cooking, cayenne peppers are great for your heart. Not only can cayenne reduce fatty buildup in arteries, but it can also prevent blood clots.
Dandelion: Many of us first think of a weed when we hear the word “dandelion,” but dandelion root provides several health benefits, including lowering cholesterol and blood pressure.
Garlic: Researchers have attributed raw garlic to lowering blood pressure, decreasing cholesterol, and reducing the hardening of arteries. Scientists believe this is due to the fact that crushed garlic releases hydrogen sulfide, which, in small quantities, protects the heart.
Grape Seed: Grape seed extract is full of antioxidants and can be used to treat a variety of health issues. These antioxidants can help to protect blood vessels, reducing blood pressure.
Hawthorn Berry: The Hawthorn berry has been used for hundreds of years to regulate cardiovascular health. Hawthorn berries have been shown to reduce cholesterol, improve circulation, and prevent irregular heartbeat.
Heal-All: The Heal-All plant, or Prunella vulgaris, was once considered to be a holy herb with the ability to cure any disease. This purple flower has been shown to decrease insulin resistance and reduce inflammation in the cardiovascular system.
Holy Basil Leaf: Holy basil is a plant found in India that has been used to treat the flu, diabetes, asthma, and headaches, in addition to heart conditions. It contains high levels of niacin, which boosts “good” cholesterol, improving heart health.
Jiaogulan: Jiaogulan is a leafy green plant that grows in Asia that is used to treat high cholesterol and blood pressure. It is also suggested that Jiaogulan is one of nature’s best adaptogens, substances that help the body respond to stress.
Lemon Peel extract: While most people think of Vitamin C as the main health benefit of citrus fruits, the peel of these fruits may help lower your risk of cardiovascular disease. Compounds in lemon rinds are believed to help lower cholesterol levels when included as part of your diet.
We use a combination of these plant sources (along with other organic ingredients) as part of our line of heart healthy organic vitamins and supplements. Have you tried any of these? Let us know what you think in the comments!