Medicine or Malarkey: Will Garlic and Turmeric Help My Heart?
Starting to think about easy and long-term ways to improve your heart health? Valentine’s Day isn’t the only “matter of the heart” in February—it is also American Hearth Month!
If you have a family history of cardiovascular disease, stroke, or high blood pressure, you may want to start by reducing your risk of developing heart conditions and utilizing your diet to improve your health. The question is… can certain foods, such as garlic and turmeric, help on your journey to better heart health?
Understand more about the relationship of garlic and turmeric as it impacts heart health, and learn how to incorporate more of this into your diet today.
What Are the Heart Health Benefits of Garlic and Turmeric?
Garlic and turmeric can add flavor to an otherwise dull meal, but can these ingredients make a meal tastier and keep hearts healthy? When it comes to garlic, a compound known as allicin can potentially reduce the risk of developing heart disease and help regulate high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Chopping or crushing the garlic clove will help you benefit from the compound.
Turmeric may seem like an exotic spice, but research shows that the antioxidant curcumin — found in turmeric — may ease inflammation, reduce pain, and even decrease the likelihood of heart attacks. This is great news for individuals of any age who want to take natural measures to maintain and even improve the health of their heart.
Easy Ways to Consume More Garlic and Turmeric
Many who begin to incorporate more herbs and spices in their diet find that they need less of the unhealthy ingredients, such as sugar or salt, to boost the flavor of food. Some such herbs and spices, like garlic or turmeric, may also provide even more benefits when combined in a meal. There are a number of easy ways to get started with incorporating more garlic and turmeric in a diet. A few suggestions include:
- Start the day right. Create a turmeric paste with ground turmeric, cinnamon, extra virgin coconut oil and black pepper. Use the mix in a healthy golden milk latte when your body craves a pick-me-up. The pepper boosts absorption and the healthy fat is also useful for absorption of certain key vitamins. Those who want to start simpler can make a tea using a pinch of turmeric with lemon.
- Turmeric can be added to almost any savory meal. However, start with smaller amounts to see how it complements a specific meal and individual palate. Try starting with a mere eighth of a teaspoon (you can always increase the amount). Add it to scrambled eggs, roasted chickpeas or soups. This makes it easy to eat for breakfast, a healthy lunch or a quick snack.
- Raw garlic. Those who cannot stomach the idea of chomping on cloves can add raw garlic into homemade salsa, a vinaigrette, or to mashed potatoes for additional flavor. Garlic also complements many common Italian dishes with a tomato base.
There are many pantry staples that can be used for their medicinal benefits. Improve your heart’s health and reduce the risks of other conditions with a diet rich in an array of fruits, vegetables, proteins, and naturally-occurring herbs and spices. With routine wellness checks and diagnostic services such as cardiac panels, a healthcare professional at CareSpot Urgent Care can also provide additional support to help guide you toward better heart health today.