When it comes to heart health, everyone should know about these easy-to-find anti-inflammatories; they will assist that blood-pumping ticker of yours, by lightening the work load and also by helping prevent heart disease while promoting cardiovascular health.
Below, I’ll provide a few common, good ol’ heart healthy anti-inflammatory sources.
Omega-3 – I’m sure most of you have heard about the health benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids. The main benefit I’m focusing on right now, is its anti-inflammatory properties. This is an absolute blessing for heart health, and by gearing your diet towards a direction that is more in favor of Omega-3 as opposed to Omega-6 and the non-essential Omega-9, you will have significant benefits in the long run. One simple way to slowly work more into your system, if you do much frying/cooking, is by changing your cooking oil from corn or vegetable oil (commonly used – cheap oils on the market) to canola oil. Olive oil is often touted as being super healthy, and it is, but it is not good for high-temp cooking as this thin oil breaks down at high temperatures, into less friendly stuff.
You can purchase this product, fish oil, as a supplement or you can simply eat foods like shrimp, fish, oysters (most seafood in general), walnuts, flaxseed, soybeans, use canola oil (like I mentioned before), etc. To supplement your diet, it is easier to simply take it in pill form. If you’re not big on supplements, do a quick search query on the web for “foods that contain omega-3.” The drawback from eating tuna, king mackerel and other predatory fish that are higher up on the food chain, is that they often contain elevated levels of mercury – something you don’t want to consume in excess.
Green Tea– has many heart healthy benefits and anti-oxidant properties that is great for your general well-being. This tea has been shown to have significant anti-inflammatory properties, as well. If you favor black tea, due to its stronger taste, simply meet in the middle by making oolong tea. What’s oolong tea? To put it simply, it is basically a mix between green & black tea. Lets say, for example, you usually steep 12 black (or whatever your desired strength is) tea bags for each gallon. You could change this to 6 bags of green tea and 6 bags of black tea, add a little honey and/or sugar (if desired) and you have successfully compromised and now you have green tea into your diet. Although, green tea has a weaker taste, so you might have to up the number of bags being steeped.
You can also purchase this product as a supplement, but I’d recommend consuming it naturally for optimal benefits.
Black Cherry Extract – this source has been a fairly recent discovery for many, when it comes to its remarkable anti-inflammatory properties. Many people that have used this substance have claimed that it greatly improved their arthritic conditions. Some, even consider this to be an excellent alternative to arthritis medication; results may vary.
Alcohol – is well known for temporarily thinning the blood, raising you HDL cholesterol, and acts (in small dosages) as a heart healthy anti-inflammatory. On the other hand, if you abuse this substance, it tends to cause inflammation in the body and if you’re a habitual drinker it may lead to other health risks. As with most things, moderation is the key. Regardless, there are mixed reviews on this subject within the medical field. Personally, when it comes to drinking alcohol…I say, “cheers.”
Capsaicin – has analgesic (pain relieving) & anti-inflammatory properties. This is the ingredient that makes a chili pepper hot. You can purchase this as a supplement, but I’d recommend consuming it the natural way. Yes, the chiliheads are on to something…and, if your digestive tract permits, spice it up a bit!
Magnolia Bark Extract – is well known for its anti-anxiety properties and potential anti-cancer activity, but it also acts as an anti-inflammatory per recent studies. I did a post on this beneficial herb, a while back; just follow the link if you’re interested about this supplement, to read more…
81mg. Aspirin – is often recommended by cardiologists for people (middle age and up) to take one of these a day – due to its anti-inflammatory attributes from salicylic acid. Aspirin’s anti-platelet properties help prevent strokes and heart attacks, as this is very important, especially if you have existing risk factors, etc. Many people steer clear from aspirin if they have stomach trouble, but a coated 81mg. tablet is really small (baby aspirin) and shouldn’t cause any trouble, but use your own discretion or ask your doctor, if in doubt. If you’re already using a few of these sources, that I’ve listed above, to combat inflammation, you could probably skip the daily aspirin – especially if you’re regularly consuming alcoholic drinks and/or on a daily basis.