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The Top 6 Herbs and Spices for Better Heart Health

23 May 2022

Heart health is a complicated subject, involving everything from exercise to diet. Staying healthy can seem like a full-time job. However, by developing food products that are optimized for heart health, living a healthy life can feel more attainable.

Herbs and spices are an essential part of cooking and food product development. They bring a depth of flavour that entices consumers and forms the foundation of your product’s signature taste.

Additionally, herbs and spices are fantastic for our health. There is a long history of these ingredients being used as natural remedies and part of a healthy lifestyle.

When developing new recipes and products, consider using some of these fantastic, flavourful, and healthy spices. They’re good for your heart—and your tastebuds!

Importance of Minimizing Inflammation

When we talk about using spices and herbs to keep our heart healthy, often what we’re talking about is minimizing inflammation. As you read through this list, you’ll notice that most boast anti-inflammatory properties. 

This is because inflammation is damaging to all organs and systems in the body. By eating food, spices, and herbs that reduce or prevent inflammation, we help our bodies stay healthy and disease-free.

1. Cinnamon

Cinnamon is a dynamic spice that appears in everything from breakfasts to rubs to curries. It has a long history of being used for its medicinal properties, as well as for its rich flavour and warm aroma.

Research has found cinnamon to be anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, lipid-lowering, and cardioprotective. It’s also anti-diabetic and helps lower cholesterol! 

In 2013, an analysis determined that daily cinnamon consumption reduces LDL (bad) cholesterol while improving HDL (good) cholesterol. Furthermore, cinnamon can improve insulin sensitivity even if you aren’t diabetic. 

All of this is good for your heart and reduces the risk of a heart attack.

2. Chilli peppers and cayenne

The pepper family is made up of bell peppers, jalapeño peppers, cayenne peppers, and chilli peppers. They all happen to contain a chemical called capsaicin.

Capsaicin is anti-inflammatory and can lower your blood pressure. Additionally, it can help manage serious health problems, such as diabetes, cancer, obesity, and cardiovascular disease.

Some studies have found that populations who consume hot red chilli peppers have a lower death rate, particularly from heart disease and cancer.

3. Turmeric

Turmeric has been heralded as a cure-all spice with powerful anti-inflammatory effects. This is due to the presence of curcumin, which is the active compound in turmeric. It’s also what gives turmeric its distinctive yellow colour.

Curcumin is widely believed to be an antioxidant, as well as anti-carcinogenic and antimicrobial. Furthermore, some studies have suggested that curcumin protects the heart by reducing inflammation and helping to prevent blood clots.

If you would like to learn more about turmeric, we published an article on the unique spice here.

4. Garlic

Garlic is an essential part of any kitchen and adds a depth of flavour to many recipes. It has also long been regarded as a cornerstone of good health. You can cook with raw garlic or use it as a dried powdered spice.

Making garlic a bigger part of your life can mean great things for your heart. 

This is because daily garlic consumption can lower cholesterol levels, as well as help prevent hypertension, dyslipidemia, cardiovascular disease, and other heart conditions. Additionally, garlic is anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antifungal.

5. Ginger

Ginger is a key component of Asian cuisine and a wide variety of other dishes. You can also frequently find it in tea and baked goods. Like garlic, it can be cooked raw or used as a dried powdered spice.

This spice is particularly good for heart health. It reduces oxidative stress that damages the heart by preventing the hardening of arteries to allow for good blow flow. 

Ginger is also anti-inflammatory, reduces cholesterol, improves liver function, and manages blood pressure.

6. Coriander

Coriander is also known as cilantro or Chinese parsley. This plant is used in a variety of ways to add flavour to dishes. In North America, we often gravitate towards cilantro leaves. 

However, most spice racks at home will have ground coriander seed or whole coriander seed. Coriander seed is an important part of Indian and Asian cuisines.

One key feature of coriander is its ability to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and blood pressure, thereby reducing the risk of heart disease.

Spices and Herbs for Heart Health

Cinnamon, chilli peppers and cayenne, turmeric, garlic, ginger, and coriander are powerful ingredients that improve flavour and contribute to a healthy heart. 

Including these spices in your custom spice blends or new food products only adds a delicious depth of flavour, while also appealing to health-conscious consumers.

At Hela Spice, we are one of the top spice suppliers in Canada. We specialize in crafting signature flavour profiles that stand out and represent your brand. Our expert team can help you develop the perfect blend of spices—one that impresses with its taste and its healthy properties.

To learn more about our custom spice blending at Hela Spice, visit us at www.helaspice.com or contact us here.

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