Enchanted SpiceBox

Improve Heart Health: The Simple Guide To Foods That Reduce Heart Inflammation

Anti-inflammatory Foods

Inflammation is at the basis of many types of heart disease, but eating certain foods can reduce heart inflammation. This simple guide explains why anti-inflammatory foods improve heart health and how to eat enough heart healthy foods to make a difference. It’s not as hard as it sounds!

Do you suffer from heart disease, or know someone who does? It seems like every family these days has at least one member who is troubled by some kind of heart ailment. The words “myocarditis” and “heart inflammation” are all over the news lately.

This is because the age range of people experiencing heart issues has widely expanded over the last few years.

Heart inflammation is most often a side effect of:

  • Infections: bacterial, fungal or viral
  • Surgical procedures
  • Vaccinations
  • Some autoimmune diseases
  • Excessive stress, anger, anxiety

Inflammation, once you have it, can cause:

  • Myocarditis
  • Pericarditis
  • Endocarditis
  • Heart Attack
  • Angina (some forms)
  • Arrhythmia

The issue is – what can we do to about it?

If you have myocarditis, you may have already seen our article on the 9 most powerful natural remedies for myocarditis. If you haven’t, it’s a really comprehensive post that offers some excellent remedies. You can see that article by clicking or tapping on this box:

Healing heart inflammation or any type of bodily inflammation is not an overnight quick deal. Natural remedies and wholesome diets are key to good health, and in our years of experience, we have seen some amazing miracles occur through the use of natural solutions. However.

Healthy changes in our bodies occur over time. That time frame varies from person to person, depending on condition, severity and dedication to working on your health.

If you already have inflammation and resultant conditions, you’ll have to take a varied approach to improving your health, over time. The important thing is to get started as soon as possible!

How Diet Affects Heart Inflammation

Eating anti-inflammatory foods can greatly reduce uncomfortable and sometimes dangerous heart symptoms.

Before you get started on adding certain foods to your diet, I’ll make one more important point:

The very first thing you can do to help heart health is to minimize those foods that are known to cause inflammation.

If you don’t do this, all of your good efforts of adding in healthy foods will basically be canceled out by the baddies. Just in case you’re not sure what foods cause inflammation here’s the short list:

  • Fried foods
  • Junk food
  • Foods high in refined sugar
  • Low quality vegetable oils
  • Foods that contain artificial and often toxic colorants, flavorings and sweeteners
  • Factory farmed meats and fish
  • Processed foods and preserved meats
  • Sugary colas, syrups and bottled drinks

Not to be extreme, an occasional treat of these items will not overload your system and cause inflammation. But regularly filling your diet with these items is going to have negative results over time.

There are many reasons and lots of research explaining why these foods are bad for health. I’ve already written about some foods and in this article, about some ingredients (down in the section about lifestyle tips at the end).

So, now let’s find out how you can get enough of the best anti-inflammatory foods into your diet…

Anti-inflammatory Foods Raspberries-heart

Foods That Reduce Heart Inflammation

The best anti-inflammatory foods fall into the category of “superfoods.”

I’ve talked about some healing foods in other articles because superfoods are just that: super-concentrated powerhouses of nutrients that are excellent for many reasons. And, most of them help more than one health problem.

So, let’s go over the list and learn what each food can do for your heart health.

1. Green Cruciferous Vegetables

Cruciferous vegetables are members of the Brassicaceae family. These plants are also known as Cruciferae (or cruciferous) as they can be identified by their flowers that have four petals resembling a cross, as in the image below:

Aside from being packed with essential fiber and essential vitamins A, C and K, green cruciferous veggies contain numerous anti-oxidant plant chemicals.

These natural plant constituents include nitrates, sulfur-containing glucosinolates, and polyphenols. They have fantastic anti-cancer properties and they also reduce inflammation. That means they’re very important for heart health.

This plant family includes veggies and greens such as:

  • kale -all varieties
  • turnip greens
  • collard greens
  • broccoli
  • brussel sprouts
  • bok choy
  • arugula
  • cabbage – all varieties (juice)
  • radish greens (juice)
  • mustard greens

Now, here’s the vital point. Some “experts” such as nutritionists and dietitians say that all you have to do is eat about a cup of green veggies per day to “prevent heart problems.”

Ok. But what if you already have heart problems?

Granted, eating a diet full of healthy foods can help avoid inflammation and help to keep you healthy. But if you already have an inflammation-based heart (or other organ) ailment, you can get an additional punch of green veggie goodness by taking a concentrated green veggie powdered supplement along with your fresh wholesome veggie-infused diet. (see link in next section)

You need a huge punch of green veggie nutrients every single day to correct a previous inflammatory problem! Green veggie powder can be added to smoothies, juice, or protein drinks.

Note: if you have an underactive thyroid, you should avoid eating large quantities of raw cruciferous vegetables and raw cruciferous leafy greens because they can additionally slow down thyroid function.

2. Non-cruciferous Dark Green Leafy Vegetables

Anti-inflammatory Foods

Non-cruciferous dark green leafy veggies are also high on the list because they, too, have super-high vitamin levels. They are packed with fiber and anti-oxidant compounds that help reduce heart inflammation.

These veggies include:

  • spinach
  • bok choy
  • Swiss chard
  • watercress
  • dandelion
  • cilantro
  • lettuces
  • wheat grass
  • barley grass
  • beet greens

We suggest a mix of cruciferous and non-cruciferous green veggies such as the excellent product in the link below. You can use it every day to get a substantial amount green veggie goodness (it also contains spirulina and berry powder that adds even more benefit and helps to mask the “green” flavor – good natural “medicine!”

Amazing Grass, Green Superfood, Berry, 8.5 oz ✓

3. Spirulina

Anti-inflammatory Spirulina

This brilliantly colored blue-green algae powder is chockfull of protein and antioxidants. Phycocyanin, (the phytonutrient that makes spirulina green) is known for its ability to reduce inflammation. It also activates nitric oxide that allows blood to flow more easily. Plus – you’ll get more energy! Spirulina can be taken as a single supplement powder like this fantastic Hawaiian spirulina and is often an ingredient in super-greens mixes as in the one linked above:

Nutrex Hawaii, Pure Hawaiian Spirulina, 400 Tablets ✓

4. Berries, Cherries and Grapes

Blueberries, acai berries, aronia berries, blackberries, raspberries, and others (most “bush berries”), plus cherries and grapes are powerhouses of anti-inflammatory nutrients. Red, purple and blue berries are high in antioxidants that increase nitric acid activity and relax blood vessels.

Anti-inflammatory Foods Berries Cherries

This increased blood flow counteracts inflammation. Berries also contain high amounts of phenols that improve heart function. Everyone should regularly eat lots of fresh berries to prevent heart disease… but, again, if you are already suffering from heart inflammation, you need more than a few berries sprinkled on your cereal in the morning.

As mentioned in the section above on cruciferous vegetables, you may not be able to get enough fresh berries into your meals every day. But – if you also include a spoonful of high concentrated berry powder every day, you can make more headway in reducing heart inflammation. The tastiest way to eat concentrated berry powder is to add it to yogurt, smoothies, protein drinks, oatmeal and overnight oats, pudding – you name it! We love maqui berry powder – it contains even more antioxidants and anti-inflammatory polyphenols than blueberries!

Sunfood, Superfoods, Raw Organic Maqui Berry Powder, 4 oz ✓

or this one is also great:

Navitas Organics, Organic Superfood+ Berry Blend, Acai + Goji + Blueberry, 5.3 oz ✓

5. Fatty Fish/Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 acids found in fatty fish, eggs, edible algae, some vegetables and certain nuts and seeds, are fantastic for reducing heart inflammation. Most people who live in North America, South America and Europe don’t get enough omega-3 fatty acids in their diet. It’s not surprising that so many people in these areas suffer from heart disease.

Prevent Sunburn-Omega-3

If you want to add more omega-3’s to your diet, the easiest way is to eat more omega-3 rich fish. You’ll want to look for natural wild caught salmon, tuna, mackerel, sardines and other fatty fish, because they contain a higher level of anti-inflammatory nutrients. Farm-raised salmon don’t have the same diet or environment, so their nutritional profile isn’t as effective when it comes to healing.

If you don’t want to eat salmon or other fatty fish every day, try your best to eat fatty fish at least a few times every week. You can also take omega-3 oil supplements. Then you will get a measured amount of concentrated omega-3 oil every day.

Omega-3 oil supplements are available in a few different forms.

You can get liquid omega-3 fish oil (like cod liver oil) and take it by the spoonful, but most people don’t really enjoy the taste. And they also don’t appreciate the smell or the “fish burps” they get after taking it.

So, I’m suggesting to take your omega-3’s in soft gel form. That way, you get all the benefit without the unpleasant taste/smell. Here’s an excellent, high quality omega-3 fish oil supplement from Sports Research. It is sustainably sourced from wild caught sardines, mackerel and anchovies:

Sports Research, Omega-3 Fish Oil, Triple Strength , 180 Softgels ✓

Krill Oil

You could also try krill oil, which is super-high in omega-3 fatty acids. Krill are tiny crustaceans that live near the bottom of the ocean. They feast on algae to get their omega-3’s, and they are different from fish, that contain omega-3 fatty acids. Krill omega-3 oils are more bio-available.

Here’s why: The omega-3 oil in fish oil has to be converted to phospholipids in our bodies before we can make use of it. However, in krill, the omega-3’s are already naturally present in phospholipid form. They are therefore available to us without requiring an extra process of digestion.

Additionally, krill oil is a more concentrated form of omega-3’s and a lower dosage will accomplish the same as a higher dose other fish oils. Krill oil also naturally contains astaxanthin and choline.

Anti-inflammatory Foods Krill OIl

Astaxanthin is a phytonutrient that contains carotene, a naturally reddish pigment that comes from micro-algae. It’s what makes krill oil red. Fun fact: It’s also what makes pink flamingos pink! Because flamingos eat such a huge amount of algae and pink shrimp (that also eat the algae)!! 🙂

Aside from its pretty color, astaxanthin is a powerful antioxidant that scavenges free radicals that contribute to heart inflammation.

Choline is understood to be a “macro-nutrient” – sort of in between a vitamin and a mineral. Choline improves cardiovascular health and reduces inflammation.

So with krill oil, you get the additional benefit of two other nutrients that support heart health, among other excellent health benefits.

Here is an excellent krill oil supplement:

Sports Research, SUPERBA 2 Antarctic Krill Oil with Astaxanthin, 500 mg, 120 Softgels ✓

Vegan Omega-3 Supplements

If you are vegan or vegetarian, you can take vegan omega-3 oil that comes directly from algae. Vegans comment that it is better and easier on the digestion to get your omega-3’s from algae, rather than by eating the fish that eat the algae.

Here is a great vegan omega-3 oil supplement that you can add into your diet:

Sports Research, Vegan Omega-3, 60 Veggie Softgels ✓

6. Sweet Potatoes

High fiber sweet potatoes are tasty, healthful root vegetables. They are often misunderstood as being part of the potato family, but in reality, they are part of the morning glory (bindweed) family. Sweet potatoes are great for heart health, as well as having other health benefits.

Sweet potatoes contain about 21% carbohydrates and only an insignificant amount of fat.

Sweet potatoes are high in choline (we mentioned choline above) that reduces inflammation and provides protection to cellular walls. They are also high in potassium that helps to reduce blood pressure.

Darker colored sweet potatoes are high in antioxidant beta-carotene, that helps the cardiovascular system. They are also high in Vitamin C, providing additional health benefits to the eyes and immune system.

7. Hemp seeds, Flax Seeds and Chia Seeds

Hemp seeds, flax seeds and chia seeds are all powerhouse superfoods that have so many health benefits that make them outstanding as heart healthy, anti-cancer, pro-digestion, pro-weight loss foods.

Hemp Seeds

ANti-inflammatory Foods Hemp Seeds

I’ve written an entire article on the benefits of hemp seeds, because hemp seeds are a nearly perfect plant-based complete protein. Hemp seeds are rich in Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, so you get a lot of heart healthy nutrients, plus necessary dietary fiber. They are great for reducing inflammation and boosting immunity, while providing energy and improving brain health.

Hemp seeds are tasty and can be eaten (hulled) like nutty seeds as a snack, or when ground into powder to be sprinkled on yogurt, cottage seeds, in smoothies, etc.

Flax Seeds

Anti-inflammatory Foods Flaxseed

Flax seeds, like hemp seeds and chia seeds, are high in omega-3 fatty acids, perhaps even having more than the other two! They are also highest in ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) that is super anti-inflammatory! Flax seeds should be ground to a powder to gain the most nutrients, mixing it with yogurt or cottage cheese, in smoothies or sprinkled on other foods. Flax seeds are high fiber, so they are also great for weight loss, digestion, autoimmune health, heart health and more.

Or, you can add flax oil to your diet, as a supplement or as a condiment, although it is not recommended for cooking due to its low oxidation rate. It’s better used as a drizzle on cooked vegetables or as a replacement for butter on toast. Flax oil should be tightly sealed, refrigerated after opening and used within six to eight weeks for best freshness.

Note: If you are taking prescription medications, please check with your doctor if you intend to take flax seed oil as a supplement as it could cause interactions with some prescriptions.

Chia Seeds

Anti -inflammatory Foods Chia Seeds

Tiny chia seeds are also packed with omega-3’s and help the heart in many different ways. Their high anti-inflammatory and antioxidant content helps to reduce blood pressure and maintain blood cholesterol levels. It’s important to eat chia seeds with a lot of liquid, or they are harder to digest.

Chia seeds are often ground into powder, as are hemp seeds and flax seeds, and mixed into protein drinks, juice, smoothies, etc.

Another popular way to eat chia seeds is to make chia “pudding” by mixing chia seeds with some form of milk, (either dairy milk or plant milk, like oat or almond milk) fruit, and natural sweetener (optional) and letting that set overnight. The chia seeds expand as they absorb the liquid and take on a gel-like texture that sets up like pudding.

Product Suggestions:

Manitoba Harvest, Hemp Hearts, Organic Shelled Hemp Seeds, Delicious Nutty, 12 oz ✓

Organic Traditions, Sprouted Chia & Flax Seed Powder, 8 oz ✓

Deva, Premium Vegan Flaxseed Oil, 90 Vegan Caps ✓

Solgar, Earth Source, Organic Flaxseed Oil, 16 fl oz ✓

8. Olive Oil

Olive Oil Anti-Aging Oils and Butters for Skin Care

Olive oil has been a main ingredient of the healthy Mediterrean diet for thousands of years. Olive oil contains an abundance of phytonutrients (natural plant chemical compounds) that are fabulous for preventing or treating numerous health issues – from reducing risks of certain cancers to protecting brain health, while reducing risk of heart attack, and lowering cholesterol.

Olive oil is also heart healthy because it contains a rare compound, oleocanthal, that is a strong anti-inflammatory agent.

To reduce heart inflammation, replace other low quality oils in lower heat cooking. However, olive oil is best when drizzled on salads or as a replacement for butter on foods like toast or baked potatoes.

You don’t want to increase your overall fat intake… just exchange lesser oils for healthy olive oil!

The best grade of olive oil to reduce heart inflammation is cold-pressed, extra virgin olive oil (EVOO). It is the least processed and contains the most polyphenols and oleic acids. That said, due to the abundant benefits of olive oil, all grades of olive oil outweigh many other cooking oils when it comes to overall health benefits.

9. Almonds

Antioxidant almonds are excellent for reducing heart inflammation and reducing blood cholesterol. They contain unsaturated fatty acids and other plant chemicals known as phytosterols that protect the heart.

Adding an ounce of almonds to your diet every day is a great way to tone down inflammation and reduce heart risks. You can also try adding pistachios and walnuts, but almonds are more effective.

10. Garlic

Another factor in the healthy Mediterranean diet is lots of garlic! Garlic is one of those miracle plants that is antibacterial, antioxidant, anticancer, antiviral and anti-inflammatory.

Garlic’s superpowers are in large part due to allicin, a particular sulfur compound it contains that does most of the heavy lifting when it comes to curing diseases.

Not only does pre-biotic garlic reduce inflammation that occurs in joints and muscles, but it is widely known to reduce heart inflammation and reduce blood cholesterol, while reducing risk of stroke and heart attack.

You can feel free to add garlic to your diet. Crushing a raw garlic clove and letting it sit for a few minutes will release the allicin. You can then eat the garlic (one to three cloves of raw garlic per day) and gain the benefits. If the idea of eating raw garlic puts you off, you can peel and chop garlic, let it sit for 5-10 minutes to activate the allicin, and then cook it into any recipe.

You can also make use of the natural benefits of garlic to fight infections by making a large jar of “Fire Cider” a home-made herbal oxymel (vinegar recipe). It’s made of vinegar, peppers, ginger, garlic and a few other ingredients. It’s a great antibacterial, immune-boosting anti-inflammatory heart healthy tonic remedy.

If you don’t happen to like the taste of garlic, you can also take garlic tablets like the ones below, and you can get the deodorized variety that doesn’t give you “garlic breath” if that’s a deal-breaker for you. 🙂

Kyolic, Aged Garlic Extract, One Per Day, 1,000 mg, 60 Caplets ✓

11. Functional Mushrooms

Of the thousands of varieties of edible mushrooms available in the world, hundreds of them have medicinal value! This group of functional mushrooms go beyond providing the nutrients of culinary mushrooms. They contain amazingly powerful phytonutrients and have been used over millenia for healing serious diseases.

I wrote a detailed article covering four of the most powerful functional mushrooms; Reishi, Lion’s Mane, Chaga and Turkey Tail. These mushrooms each have incredible anti-inflammatory properties and successfully treat heart inflammation. They also treat pain-related inflammation, such as that experienced with fibromyalgia or rheumatoid arthritis, and brain diseases like Alzheimer’s. Plus, these mushrooms also have strong anti-cancer properties!

You can check out that article about functional mushrooms for all the details here:

Here is a list of high quality products that we recommend in that article:

Reishi Mushroom Powder ✓

Mix of 10 Medicinal Mushrooms Powder ✓

Turkey Tail Mushroom Capsules ✓

Lion’s Mane Mushroom Capsules ✓

Chaga Mushroom Capsules ✓

12. Pineapple/Bromelain

This popular tropical fruit is not only delicious, but also happens to contain bromelain, an enzyme that promotes general wellness, while also treating some serious health problems. Bromelain’s anti-inflammatory actions support cardiovascular health and reduce heart inflammation.

Bromelain’s benefits include reducing pain caused by inflammation and reducing dangerous blood clotting.

Interestingly, bromelain is often promoted as a digestive aid for its benefits when taken with food. However, its ability to reduce inflammation is released when taken in-between meals.

Pineapple can be eaten as often as you like, without any negative side effects, so it’s a great food to add to your diet to fight inflammation. Just eat some pineapple chunks or drink some juice an in-between-meal snack.

If you want to keep a steady supply of bromelain in your system, bromelain supplements can also be taken regularly to counteract inflammation. Dosages are as per packaged recommendations, but may vary depending on specific conditions, weight, etc.

Paradise Herbs, Bromelain+, 60 Vegetarian Capsules ✓

13. Dark Chocolate/Cocoa

If you’re still with me,, you’ll be happy to hear about one delicious way to reduce heart inflammation through diet!

Yes, believe it or not, good quality dark chocolate (minimum 70% cacao) is a mineral rich, antioxidant, immune-boosting, anti-inflammatory food. Eating just a little bit (no more than 20 grams, 2-3 times per week) will help not only ease heart inflammation, but can also improve mood and memory.

We’re not talking about junk chocolate here – if you indulge, (for health purposes, of course!) choose a high quality, organic chocolate bar, chocolate chips or cocoa powder. You should also choose a product that is either unsweetened, or sweetened with organic natural cane sugar or another natural whole food sweetener. Choosing chocolate sweetened with synthetic or “undigestable” no-calorie sweeteners is not going to help your health.

Anti-inflammatory Foods Chocolate Chips

I like to get the simplest dark chocolate bars, or dark chocolate chips when I’m eating them for health.

You can probably find good quality chocolate bars at your local health food market or grocery store, but I’ve added a few choices below from iHerb. If you order any other items on this list, you can add in a chocolate bar or two with your order… you might get free shipping, if the order is over $25.00! (see what conditions apply, but there are usually discounts and free shipping through iHerb!)

Dark Chocolate Suggestions:

Alter Eco, Organic Dark Chocolate Bar, Super Blackout, 90% Cacao, 2.65 oz (75 g) ✓

Equal Exchange, Organic, Dark Chocolate, Panama Extra Dark, 80% Cacao, 2.8 oz (80 g) ✓

Equal Exchange, Organic Baking Cocoa, 8 oz (224 g) ✓

And if you want a little extra flavor in your chocolate, here’s one with raspberries:

Endangered Species Chocolate, Tart Raspberries + Dark Chocolate Bar, 72% Cocoa, 3 oz (85 g) ✓

Conclusion

It’s likely that inflammation is at the basis any heart condition. If you are looking for natural ways to heal your heart, this simple guide to foods that reduce heart inflammation will get you on your way!

Heart inflammation can be a very serious disease and you will probably need to approach it from various angles if you want to heal your heart naturally. Changing your diet is a great way to help your heart condition to heal.

Additional articles below provide more information about heart inflammation and some powerful natural remedies and supplements that can help the condition:

Turmeric Benefits: The Best All-Round Herb (11 Reasons)

Add This Natural Remedy To Your Arsenal For Cancer, Arthritis And Heart Disease

Ginger Benefits And A Refreshing Ginger Citrus Juice Recipe (Gnamakoudji)

Radish Greens: 11 Amazing Health Benefits

Thank you for reading! If this post has piqued your interest and you find it useful, inspiring or otherwise magical, please pin it and follow us on Pinterest and/or share it on Facebook via the icons to the left… And we’re always happy to hear from you via the Contact page.

Disclaimer

This website is for informational purposes only. Any material herein is the expressed opinion of the authors and is not a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment, nor has it been evaluated by any regulatory agency. All use of site information is solely at the risk and discretion of the reader. Also, this website participates in affiliate programs. Purchases through links or ads with a Check Mark ✓ may earn us a small commission at no cost to the site visitor. See other important links below.
Copyright © 2020-2022  EnchantedSpiceBox.com   All Rights Reserved