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Top 5 Foods to Keep Your Ticker Tocking!

iStock_000006910346_MediumWe can live without a kidney, we can live without a lung, and we can live without a gallbladder, too. But, we cannot live without a heart.

So it’s best to learn how to support your heart right now, while it’s still ticking.

Here are my Top 5 Foods to start incorporating into your diet to give your heart the support it needs from you to keep doing its amazing job keeping you alive.

#1 Garlic (Allium sativum)

  • Antimicrobial
  • Antiviral
  • Antifungal
  • Diaphoretic (induces perspiration)
  • Hypocholesteroemic (lowers blood cholesterol)
  • Cholagogue (promotes flow of bile)
  • Hypotensive (lowers blood pressure)

Garlic is widely known for it’s use on cardiovascular health. It inhibits bacterial growth, parasites and viruses that can all promote heart disease. And, being diaphoretic (inducing perspiration), it naturally helps to reduce blood pressure, which is a major contributor to heart disease. You can eat garlic raw, pickled or cooked. Anyway you want it, just get it into your body on a daily basis.

#2 Rosemary (Rosmarinus Officinales)

  • Carminative (gas relieving)
  • Antispasmodic
  • Antidepressant
  • Emmenagogue (stimulates blood flow)
  • Rubefacient (increases circulation to the skin)

Due to it’s antispasmodic and carminative properties, rosemary has a calming effect on digestion. Many people suffering with heart conditions also suffer with digestive trouble (gas, bloating, indigestion, heart burn). Adding rosemary into your recipes can help counter those uncomfortable digestive issues. Rosemary also improves overall circulation, and you need that for good blood flow to the brain and heart. And, rosemary ointment (rubbed on the chest) is listed in German pharmacopoeia and used for heart complaints. So, if you don’t like the flavor, you can just rub this herb on your body to receive some heart healing benefits.

#3 Dandelion (Taraxacum officinales)

  • Diuretic
  • Laxative
  • Cholagogue
  • Antirheumatic
  • Bitter

Dandelion leaf is not only a natural diuretic, it’s also rich in potassium so it’s safe to use with water retention related to heart problems (edema). As a hepatic and chologogue, dandelion is helpful in reducing congestion and inflammation in the liver, which is imperative for heart health. The liver works to detoxify the blood that is put into circulation. As a bitter herb, dandelion also helps release heat and that helps cool the body. It’s time to chill out with a dandelion salad.

#4 Wild Salmon (Oncorhynchus)

  • Omega 3 fatty acids
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamins B12, B2 and B6
  • Selenium
  • Anti-inflammatory

Due to its rich source of omega 3 fatty acids, salmon decreases risk for heart attack and stroke by reducing clotting. Salmon also contains short protein molecules called peptides that have been shown to be bioactive and have important anti-inflammatory properties. The fat of the salmon (especially, under the skin), is a great source of vitamin D that helps improve mood. This fish (and all fish in general) are a great source of B vitamins that enhances overall energy. If you are having heart trouble, it would be wise to let this fish swim into your next meal!

#5 Wild Blueberries (Vaccinium)

  • Flavanoids
  • Antioxidants
  • Astringent (blueberry leaf)
  • Cooling

Blueberries, and many other berries, are rich in anti-oxidants that prevent oxidation and wear and tear in the capillaries. Berries are rich in Vitamin C that supports a healthy immune system, which is needed to reduce infections (bacterial, viral, parasitic) that can detrimentally affect heart health. Blueberries also contain high content of anthocyanins (flavonoids), which help to counter the buildup of plaque and improve cardiovascular health. And, the number one reason to eat blueberries for heart health is because it’s the choice food for the bears…. and they’re not dropping dead in the forest from heart disease.

With the right foods you can nourish your heart and keep your ticker tocking for a long, happy and healthy life. Want to learn how to prepare some of these delicious foods and herbs? Join me in my kitchen and let’s get cooking! Supporting Heart Health Cooking Class