What do tooth brushing, chili peppers, and meditation all have in common? They all protect your precious heart in one way or another. You know that diet and exercise play a key role in heart health. But there are many other things you can do to show your heart some TLC. We’ve put together these 8 little-known tips for total cardiovascular health.
Natural Tips to Protect Your Heart Health
1. Eat Blueberries
Here’s some good news: Eating 1 cup of blueberries daily can lower risk factors for heart disease by 15 percent. A study was performed at the University of East Anglia, in collaboration with colleagues from Harvard.1 Interestingly, researchers found no benefit to a smaller daily serving, such as a half-cup of berries. There are several superstar nutrients in blueberries, particularly vitamin K and antioxidants. Vitamin K plays a crucial role in heart health — if you are deficient in this vitamin, your body can move calcium from your bones to your arteries, which is dangerous.
2. Try Amla
This vitamin-C rich berry (Phyllanthus emblica) does a heart good, according to research published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. This placebo-controlled study involved 98 participants with markers of high lipids such as triglycerides, fat phospholipids, and/or cholesterol. Of the 49 people taking a full-spectrum alma extract (500 mg twice daily), 73 percent experienced a significant reduction in their total cholesterol levels. And 44 of the 49 participants in the alma group lowered their triglycerides.2
3. Boost Your Collagen
You might associate this popular supplement with hair, skin, and nail health, but it also offers substantial heart health benefits. For starters, research has shown that collagen, when taken at breakfast and dinner (16 grams daily), helps lessen arterial stiffness. Other studies link collagen use to a better balance of LDL and HDL cholesterol levels, as well as reduced blood pressure among those with mild hypertension. Perhaps most impressive: collagen can help block inflammatory chemicals involved in atherosclerosis.
Meditation’s effect on the heart is pretty impressive. It helps thwart our body’s “flight-or-fight” response, associated with increased stress hormones. In turn, this helps reduce heart rate and blood pressure. Meditation also boosts your mood, making it easier to stick to positive habits such as following a heart-healthy diet. In a study from the Journal of Nuclear Cardiology, patients with coronary heart disease who included Transcendental Meditation (TM) in their cardiac rehabilitation program increased blood flow to the heart by more than 20 percent.3
5. Try Aged Garlic Extract
If you have heart disease or type 2 diabetes, you may find that wounds don’t heal as quickly as they should. The problem? The microcirculatory system that carries blood from blood vessels to the tissues can be compromised, limiting blood flow to the site of wounds. Garlic to the rescue: According to research done at Lund University’s Skane University Hospital in Sweden, Aged Garlic Extract (AGE) helps increase microcirculation in at-risk patients.4 Other research on AGE also supports its use for maintaining healthy blood pressure levels.
6. Eat or Cook with Chili Peppers
Spicy hot equals heart-healthy. According to a large-scale Italian study in the Journal of American College and Cardiology, people who eat more chili peppers on a regular basis have a whopping 40 percent reduced risk of dying from a heart attack. The chance of stroke was nearly 50 percent lower among chili pepper lovers too.5
7. Brush Your Teeth
Regular tooth brushing helps your heart and may keep A-Fib away. A study in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology found that people who brushed their teeth three or more times daily have a 10 percent reduced risk of A-fib and a 12 percent lower chance of heart failure. “Poor oral hygiene can provoke transient bacteremia and systemic inflammation, a mediator of arterial fibrillation and heart failure,” says study author Dr. Tae-Jin Song of Ewha Womans University in Seoul, Korea.6
8. Try Researched Padma Basic
Strengthen your heart and boost circulation with a powerful botanical and mineral formula called Padma Basic. Based on a traditional Tibetan longevity formula, Padma Basic is a blend of 21 botanicals and minerals. This heart supplement is particularly rich in health-promoting antioxidants and phytonutrients. Most impressive: more than 30 published clinical studies have shown that Padma Basic helps deliver critical benefits for cardiovascular function and circulation, as well as joint comfort and other essential areas of health.7
A clinically-proven herbal supplement based on a classical Tibetan formula, shown in over 50 published studies to provide comprehensive support for cardiovascular, immune and other key areas of health.*
Supporting your cardiovascular function is essential to staying healthy. Adding these daily steps can help keep you protected and your heart strong.
- Curtis PJ, van der Velpen V, Berends L, et al. Blueberries improve biomarkers of cardiometabolic function in participants with metabolic syndrome-results from a 6-month, double-blind, randomized controlled trial. Am J Clin Nutr. 2019 Jun 1;109(6):1535-1545.
- Upadya, H., Prabhu, S., Prasad, A. et al. A randomized, double blind, placebo controlled, multicenter clinical trial to assess the efficacy and safety of Emblica officinalis extract in patients with dyslipidemia. BMC Complement Altern Med 19, 27 (2019).
- Bokhari, S., Schneider, R.H., Salerno, J.W. et al. Effects of cardiac rehabilitation with and without meditation on myocardial blood flow using quantitative positron emission tomography: A pilot study. J. Nucl. Cardiol. 28, 1596–1607 (2021).
- Wlosinska M., Nilsson A C, Hlebowicz J, et al. The effect of aged garlic extract on the atherosclerotic process-A randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial. BMC Complementary Medicine and Therapies, (2020) 20(1), .
- Spence J, et al. Chili Pepper Consumption and Cardiovascular Mortality. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2019 Dec, 74 (25) 3150–3152.
- Meyre P, Conen D. Does tooth brushing protect from atrial fibrillation and heart failure? Eur J Prev Cardiol. 2020 Nov;27(17):1832-1834.
- Regli C, Groechenig E. Padma 28--a useful supplement in the treatment of... Forsch Komplementmed. 2013;20 Suppl 2:22-4. German. doi: 10.1159/000350748. Epub 2013 Jun 14. PMID: 23860109.