There are numerous natural, healthful ways to achieve protection against inflammation and issues like atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), with diet playing an especially important role. Just one solution revolves around the spice turmeric and the herb bay leaves, with one recent study finding that combining the two can have remarkable effects on reducing the risk factors for heart disease – reducing plaque build up and reducing blood sugar.
The study, published in the Journal of Medicinal Food, focused on zebrafish fed a high cholesterol diet (HCD) and then tracked for health changes. Some of the fish were given turmeric and bay leaf extracts, while the others did not.
As reported by NaturalNews, the results were remarkable:
“Compared to zebrafish that did not consume the extracts, those that received either turmeric or laurel experienced a 14 percent or 12 percent decrease, respectively, in their overall weight and height ratios. The turmeric and laurel groups also experienced a respective 48 percent and 28 percent reduction in cholesterol levels, as well as a respective 68 percent and 56 percent decrease in plasma triglycerides.”
The researchers found that these extracts and their strong antioxidant concentrations suppressed the incidence of atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries. This is a significant risk factor for heart disease, and when paired with the other benefits noted in the zebrafish, the findings could translate to important advances in the prevention of heart disease in humans.
Turmeric in particular has been shown to offer these protective qualities. Other research found that spices such as turmeric, cinnamon, and cloves normalize insulin and triglyceride levels while boosting antioxidant defenses. Keeping triglyceride and insulin levels low effectively reduces your risk for numerous health conditions like metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and the number one leading killer — heart disease.
Fortunately, both of these foods are easy to find and easy to incorporate in your diet. Bay leaves are commonly put in soups and meats, and can be added to numerous other dishes. Turmeric is most commonly used in Indian food, but is versatile as well; it can be added to everything from eggs to green smoothies, to chicken dishes to beans.
Conventional treatments for heart disease prevention, including cholesterol drugs like statin drugs, come with a slew of side effects. Lifestyle changes and natural solutions can help prevent heart disease without these drugs and without their financial and physical costs.
Turmeric has received a lot of attention in the past few years, as Western science strives to catch up with folk medicine, finding out the root is loaded with concentrated health benefits. Bay leaves, also known as laurel leaves, however, don’t get as much attention. Now we can see how both the spice and herb can work together to boost heart health and protect against disease.