That’s right…I’m having a love affair with some of my favorite spices! And these spices love me back by helping my heart. I’ve always used spices to add flavor to my meals, but after I learned they’re specifically helpful in maintaining a healthy heart, I’ve made sure to use one or more of my top-five heart-healthy spices each day. Many herbs and spices are beneficial to the heart, fight inflammation, and reduce cell damage. Plus, because recipes made with spices are so flavorful, it makes is easier to cut back on less healthy ingredients like salt and sugar. Fortunately, it’s been pretty easy to use them daily.
5 Spices Your Heart Will Love:
Cinnamon: Sugar and spice and everything nice…although sugar is optional if I’m adding cinnamon! Cinnamon helps lower blood sugar and reduce the risk of diabetes. Cinnamon also helps to reduce bad LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels. So skip the sugar and add a sprinkle of cinnamon to your coffee, stews, chilis or your morning oatmeal.
Turmeric: The golden orange of this fragrant spice makes me think of watching beautiful sunsets with my sweetie. The curcumin found in turmeric helps reduce inflammation, which in turn, helps reduce LDL cholesterol. Found primarily in Indian dishes and in curry, it is also very tasty sprinkled over roasted veggies or added to a hot drink.
Ginger: I’m sweet on ginger, but I also love ginger in many savory dishes. Ginger has amazing properties that can help reduce nausea, lower LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, and reduce inflammation. The ginger root is most commonly ground into a powder, but you can use sliced or grated fresh ginger in recipes or tea.
Garlic: Kiss me if you’ve had garlic! Research has linked garlic intake with keeping blood vessels flexible, especially in women. In addition, studies suggest that eating garlic may reduce LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. Garlic in its many forms is among the most common recipe flavor enhancer. Search in your DinnerTime Recipe Box for hundreds of delicious recipes using garlic.
Cayenne: Pepper me with your love! The capsaicin in cayenne is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory that also helps improve circulation by relaxing and expanding arteries. Plus, capsaicin reduces pain by sending fewer pain signals to the brain. This is helpful with everything from arthritis to general pain. And if you have less pain, it’s easier to get heart-healthy exercise. Increased use of pepper also helps suppress cravings for fatty, salty, and sweet foods.
Spice it up for your heart!
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