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May is Measure Month, aiming to encourage everyone to have their blood pressure checked. There’s good reason for this because over 100 million lives are lost worldwide to high blood pressure. In fact, it’s the leading cause of preventable death. Yet estimates suggest half of all people with high blood pressure aren’t aware they have it.
In this article, you’ll discover some natural ways to keep your blood pressure within a healthy range.
High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, puts extra strain on your heart and blood vessels. It’s often called the silent killer because you might not know your blood pressure is too high. It doesn’t usually cause any symptoms until it’s very severe.
When you get checked, you’ll have two readings, the systolic and diastolic values. Systolic refers to the pressure in your arteries when your heart beats, while diastolic is the pressure between beats when your heart is resting.
A healthy blood pressure is around 120/80, although it does increase with age when arteries tend to lose their natural elasticity. The systolic reading is the higher number and comes first in the equation. High blood pressure is defined as when your readings consistently exceed 140/90.
High blood pressure occurs when there is insufficient room in your arteries for the volume of blood.
Hypertension can be controlled by medical drugs, but several herbs, nutrients and foods can help naturally control high blood pressure by keeping your blood and arteries healthy. Another advantage of these natural substances is their benefits aren’t restricted to lowering your blood pressure. They’re packed with beneficial antioxidants, needed by your cells to combat damage and ageing.
Why not use nature’s wisdom to help ensure your blood pressure remains healthy?
This is number one on the list because magnesium deficiency is very common. If the muscles in your artery walls can’t relax properly, the diameter of your arteries will narrow. This will cause the pressure in your arteries to increase, as there’s less room for your blood. Magnesium is needed to allow muscles to relax properly and this includes the muscles in your artery walls. Find magnesium in leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds and legumes. To counteract high blood pressure, a supplement of magnesium is often recommended.
This delicious ingredient has been seen to reduce blood pressure in trials. It seems to function as a natural calcium channel blocker, preventing calcium from entering the cells of the heart and arteries. Calcium works in the opposite direction to magnesium; in other words, it helps your muscles to contract. By preventing calcium from entering muscle cells, you are encouraging them to relax.
This staple ingredient of a healthy kitchen has numerous health benefits. Scientists discovered people taking garlic extracts experienced a decrease in their blood pressure comparable to taking a blood pressure medication 1.
Regular intake of green tea has been shown to reduce hypertension. Green tea is packed with antioxidants and is lower in caffeine than regular tea.
Hibiscus is a perennial plant native to Africa. Its dried flowers can be made into a beautiful red tea, also known as sour tea. Just two cups per day were found to decrease blood pressure.
Researchers have found this delicious spice can reduce blood pressure, possibly because it helps to relax blood vessels 2.
A supplement containing extract of olive leaves reduced both systolic and diastolic blood pressure readings in studies. The results were similar to using a common antihypertensive drug.
This substance is a powerful antioxidant with many roles in the body. It’s so crucial your body makes it for you, but production slows after you hit forty. A review of trials concluded co-enzyme Q10 supplements had a beneficial effect on high blood pressure, particularly the systolic readings 3.
Lemon balm or Melissa officinalis is a herb belonging to the mint family. The powdered leaves are associated with reductions in blood pressure and can be drunk as a tea.
A healthy diet is important for healthy blood pressure, too. Plenty of potassium from fresh vegetables, omega 3 from oily fish or flaxseed, and avoiding sugar are key. These recommendations underpin the DASH diet (short for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension), a general healthy eating plan aimed to prevent or reduce high blood pressure.
You are unique, so no one-size-fits-all diet or supplement regime will be suitable for everyone. Functional medicine believes in personalised health tailored to your circumstances and health goals. If you’ve been struggling to reduce your blood pressure, we can help.
Do you need support for your blood pressure? Then book a free 15-minute discovery call to see if Functional Medicine is for you.
Please enter your details below and we will get back to you as soon as we can.
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