Top Ayurvedic foods for heart health
World Heart Day, being observed on 29 September this year, will emphasise on prevention of heart disease among women and children. Stress, a sedentary lifesyle, unhealthy food habits, alcohol and smoking contribute to increased heart disease risk.
Dr. Gowthaman, Director, rVita, shares with you some common foods recommended by Ayurveda that can be included in your daily diet to keep your heart healthy.
Arjuna (Terminalia arjuna): Arjuna induces improvement of cardiac muscle function and subsequently improves pumping activity of the heart. The Arjuna promotes effective cardiac functioning, and regulates blood pressure and tones the heart
Ajamoda (Carum Roxburghianum): This is credited with stimulant and carminative properties and is prescribed as a sedative and tonic. This is prescribed as a decoction or as a liquid extract. The fatty oil from seeds is used in many medicinal preparations as an antispasmodic and nerve stimulant. This is also credited with diuretic properties which are essential in treating certain heart ailments.
Gokshura (Tribulus Terrestris): Tribulus Terrestris is considered as a miracle herb in India & used as a physical rejuvenation tonic. This herb is used in the treatment of urinary disorders and impotence, kidney diseases and gravel, diseases of the genito-urinary system, calculus affections, gout etc. It is also useful for diseases of the heart, and many other conditions
Dadima (Punica Granatum): Scientific research group tested pomegranate juice on both humans and laboratory mice which were genetically predisposed to develop heart disease. They found that pomegranate juice decreased LDL (“bad cholesterol”) and increased HDL (“good cholesterol”) by 20% in humans. The oxidation of LDL, which is believed by many researchers to be a major cause of heart disease, was reduced by up to 90%.
Draksha (Vitis Vinifera): Enhances capillary strength and vascular function which helps the heart and decreases PMS problems, bruising, edema from injury or trauma varicose veins, leg swelling and retinopathy, enhanced immune resistance, increased peripheral circulation, improved vision, reduced adverse allergic and inflammatory response, reduction in skin aging and loss of elasticity
Pippali (Piper longum): Inducing alterations in membrane dynamics and permeation characteristics along with induction in synthesis of proteins associated with cytoskeletal function resulting in an increase in the small intestine absorptive surface, thus assisting efficient permeation through the epithelial barrier. Pepper has long been known to thwart heart attacks.
Vasa (Adhatoda Vasika): The active alkaloid vasicine and its auto oxidation product vasicinone have shown bronchodilator and antihistaminic effects. Uterine stimulant activity and moderate hypotensive activity of the alkaloids were reported. It helps the marrow produce fresh blood cells.
Twak (Cinnamomum Cassia): Cinnamon is among the most efficient of aromatics. It is warm and cordial to the stomach, carminative, distinctly astringent, and, like most other substances of this class, more powerful as a local than as a general stimulant. Cinnamon has fat-burning properties by which it helps the heart.
Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia): Used in general debility, dyspepsia, fevers and urinary diseases. It is also used as a diuretic and thereby used in treating some heart conditions. The plant is used in ayurvedic rasayanas to improve the immune system and the body’s resistance to infections. It is used as immunomodulator in immunosuppression of obstructive jaundice, fibrosis, peritonitis and sepsis.