Heart disease remains the number 1 cause of death worldwide, accounting for around 16% of all deaths. Look after your heart with our list of the 5 best herbal teas for heart health.
Heart disease has been the top cause of death globally for over twenty years, and the number of people killed by it continues to rise, according to the World Health Organisation. So, it is clear that taking care of our heart health should be a priority for us all.
Although genetics can play a part, heart disease is known as a lifestyle disease for good reason. Risk factors for developing heart issues are strongly associated with our lifestyle choices, especially our diet, blood pressure, exercise regime, and whether we smoke.
The good news here is that your lifestyle is easier to change than your genetics. Eating a balanced diet with plenty of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains; moving your body regularly; giving up smoking; and finding healthy ways to manage your stress levels can all help to lower your risk of developing cardiovascular issues in the future.
When it comes to diet, saturated fat and LDL cholesterol are the big ones to watch. Both are associated with a higher risk of developing atherosclerosis – a condition where fatty deposits build up in our arteries. These fatty deposits, known as plaque, narrow the arteries and reduce blood flow to vital organs. They also increase the chances of a blood clot, which could in turn lead to a heart attack or stroke.
Choosing foods that are low in saturated fat and LDL cholesterol can help us lower our risk of heart disease. And there are also some herbal teas that may be able to help, as part of a wider lifestyle intervention.
This is our list of the five best herbal teas for heart health.
1. Green Tea
One of our favourite herbal teas, green tea has so many benefits for our health, including our hearts. According to one very large study, drinking more than five cups of green tea a day can lower the risk of dying from a heart attack or a stroke by as much as 26%.
There are a few reasons that green tea benefits our heart health. Firstly, drinking green tea helps to reduce LDL cholesterol, reducing the risk of atherosclerosis. Secondly, the catechins in green tea also relax the blood vessels, lowering our blood pressure. And finally, green tea can boost our metabolism and increase fat burning, potentially helping us to maintain a healthy weight.
Ok, technically cinnamon is a spice instead of a herb, but that doesn’t make it any less delicious in a herbal tea blend. We love this warming spice for the natural sweetness it lends our teas. And it is also a great choice for those looking after their heart health.
Cinnamon has antioxidant properties and acts as an anti-inflammatory, so it can help reduce the symptoms of chronic inflammation (lowering your risk of cardiovascular disease). Cinnamon also reduces levels of LDL cholesterol, while increasing HDL cholesterol. This reduces the risk of plaque building up in your arteries.
The hawthorn tree is a favourite of herbalists because the leaves, berries, and flowers all have medicinal properties. Traditionally, hawthorn is particularly prized for its ability to protect our heart health, lower blood pressure, and improve circulation.
Packed with antioxidants, hawthorn berries (also known as haws) may help lower the risk of atherosclerosis and heart disease. The flavonoids from this herb act to relax the arteries, increasing blood flow and lowering blood pressure. And this plant is also associated with lowered anxiety and depression – which may in turn help us to manage our stress levels and protect our heart health.
Packed with fibre, fenugreek seeds have the unusual property of making your sweat smell like maple syrup – if you eat enough of them, that is. Their slightly sweet, nutty flavour also makes fenugreek seeds a lovely addition to herbal tea blends, especially those aimed at protecting your heart.
Like many other herbs and spices, fenugreek has antioxidative and anti-inflammatory properties, both of which may reduce the risk of developing heart issues. It also helps to control the amount of lipids, such as cholesterol and triglycerides, in your blood. In turn, this lowers the risk of developing the plaques that narrow your arteries and increase the risk of heart disease.
While each of the herbal teas on our list has benefits for our heart health on its own, we prefer to combine different herbs into a single tea blend. Not only does this lead to a better-tasting brew, but it means it is easier to incorporate multiple heart-protecting herbs into each cup of herbal tea.
Our premium tea blend aimed at protecting your heart health is NutraLipid. This tea contains herbs and spices that help lower cholesterol and fight inflammation. As well as cinnamon, fenugreek, hawthorn, and green tea, NutraLipid contains ingredients like holy basil, garlic, and artichoke leaf that support heart function and help to keep your blood lipid levels in check.