Plant-based supplements – crafted from ancient herbs, fruits, and plants to harness the healing power of mother nature. Recently we have seen a spate of heart-related deaths and many viral videos show how victims just fall on the floor leaving their families and friends shocked and alone. Heart diseases are the leading cause of deaths worldwide, and Indians are especially inclined to have heart problems because of their genetic predisposition. This is where plant-based supplements have come to the limelight, can they actually keep your heart safe?
Understanding a healthy heart
The heart is a vital organ working tirelessly, beating an average of 100,000 times a day, pumping oxygen-rich blood to every cell of the body, however maintaining a healthy heart is a complex topic (and endeavor) that involves a lot of factors related to your mind and body. Many people make the mistake of looking at these factors in isolation – some people would work out and not care about their stress levels. While some people may have lower stress levels but ignore their bodies. Everything is connected and when you understand the key elements that support and nurture your heart health you will be able to take proactive steps to create a better heart. Let’s explore a few heart-related issues:
a) Cholesterol: Although cholesterol is necessary for certain bodily functions but this waxy substance gets accumulated and form plaque in the arteries. However, we need HDL, or good cholesterol which removes LDL or bad cholesterol from the arteries.
b) Blood pressure: the force on the walls of the arteries. It’s one of the most common problems and consistent high BP can damage blood vessels increasing the risk of heart disease.
You’ll realize that these two conditions get the most attention in the media but there are other conditions as well which impact the heart health. Let’s look at them.
c) Inflammation: although it is a natural immune response when there’s chronic inflammation in the body it can damage the vital organs and heart.
d) Oxidative stress: chemical reactions going on in each cell releases harmful free radicals. Although our body has the ability to neutralize them with the help of antioxidants obtained through food. But poor lifestyle choices mean these free radicals are left to attack the body and contribute to the development of cardiovascular diseases.
Additionally, chronic stress and poor sleep can also negatively impact your heart health.
Some plant-based supplements to support your heart
Garcinia Cambogia is a popular supplement from a fruit known as Vrikshamla in Ayurveda. Apart from the dual benefit of weight loss, it balances the body’s energetic forces (doshas) and supports a healthy metabolism. It’s well known for reducing cravings and removing toxins from the body. Moreover, studies have found that this supplement can improve your lipid profile reports by reducing bad cholesterol and triglycerides along with increasing good cholesterol.
Curcumin is a bioactive compound in turmeric, and although turmeric is found in every Indian home, turmeric contains only 1%-4% of curcumin. Even that amount is mostly digested by the body, this means your body doesn’t get to fully experience its well-known antioxidant properties and shield against harmful free radicals. It also lowers the inflammation and cell damage thus protecting not only our heart but also our blood vessels.
Moreover, research has found that nano-curcumin with biopreine is what gives you the biggest health benefit as it’s easily absorbed by the body.
Ashwagandha Chronic stress releases cortisol, the stress hormone, which increases blood pressure negatively impacting your heart. Ashwagandha KSM-66 is a high-grade adaptogen created from the roots of the herb, rich in nutrients as they are closer to the soil. Thus they maintain the overall balance of the body and mind supporting your cardiovascular health.
Shilajit Even though Shilajit, isn’t directly obtained from any plant but it’s formed over millions of years from the decomposition of plant material. And it’s well known for its antioxidant powers. It not only reduces oxidative damage to the heart cells but it also supports them by providing them with the nutrients and minerals needed for their proper functioning and strength.
Biotin with Collagen: Although both are mostly promoted for hair and skin health they actually improve blood vessels and metabolism. Both of them work together in synergy to improve metabolic functions of the body thus reducing the risk of lipid imbalances and heart diseases. And they also play a crucial role in arterial functions – expansion and contraction of the vessels, blood clotting, etc.
Vitamin B12: reduces the risk of heart disease, especially for vegans by reducing Homocysteine, an amino acid, which is produced as a byproduct of the biochemical processes in the body. Elevated levels of homocysteine increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases. It can damage blood vessels, and promote inflammation, and blood clot formation. That’s why homocysteine must be broken down, however, to achieve that we need various vitamins, including B12 which is only found in animal products. Thus supplementing with B12 is crucial for those who mostly eat veg food.
Dates like Medjool Dates and Ajwa Dates: they are not only useful snacks but they are rich in nutrients good for the heart like potassium and fiber. Potassium helps in regulating BP and counteracts the harmful effects of sodium (found in junk food). They’re also loaded with dietary fiber, which aids in maintaining cholesterol levels.
Safed musli has a long history of use in Ayurveda. It improves blood flow and oxygen delivery to the heart. And it has been studied for its potential anti-arrhythmic effects, which help the heart maintain a regular rhythmic beat.
By now you have realized how plant-based supplements can help you achieve holistic health and improve all aspects of wellness. Additionally, as you probably know it’s not just about having any supplements – you want high-quality supplements without any contamination and are created by using ancient wisdom and modern science.