High blood pressure is touted as the “silent killer”. Many of us are unaware that we may already have a ticking time bomb in our bodies. With barely any symptoms of their presence, elevated levels of blood pressure can suddenly trigger cardiovascular problems and other disorders that can be fatal. Controlling these levels is of utmost importance if one wishes to live a long and healthy life.
Fortunately there are many ways on how to keep blood pressure in the safe zone. Hundreds of drugs are available in health stores that promise to keep things in check, and nature also has its own stock of blood pressure supplements that come with other health benefits. Read on and find out what supplements are ideal for lowering your high blood pressure.
Best Supplements for High Blood Pressure
Garlic is well-known for the benefits it provides to the cardiovascular system, not to mention its anti-inflammatory, antiviral, anti-bacterial, and potential cancer-fighting properties. Multiple studies have proven the allium’s efficacy in lowering blood pressure levels, but this particular benefit is linked to higher dosages of garlic which can only be obtained in pill form. For maintenance, consumption of garlic to keep proper blood pressure levels require careful preparation as cooking destroys its allicin content. Allicin is the active ingredient found in the herb that is responsible for its powerful health benefits and unique scent, and it is released when raw garlic is crushed or chopped.
This mineral is crucial in the formation of bones, maintenance of nerves, conversion of energy derived from food, and many other important processes in the body. Magnesium also protects the heart and the blood vessels from diseases, and of course reduces hypertension through dosages derived from supplementation. Food sources of the mineral include green vegetables, nuts, and whole grains but the catch is that these foods must be organic as processing reduces their nutrient content.
The berries of Crataegus have been renowned as cures for circulatory diseases ever since the first century. Some cultures call the fruit a remedy for a broken heart, which may be true if you are talking about the muscle. It is chock full of antioxidant flavonoids that are good not only for the heart but for overall health as well, and its proanthocyanidin content works to lower blood pressure by enhancing blood flow. Hawthorn berries are available in dried form, while its leaves are sold for steeping into tea. For those who want it already prepared, there are extracts and supplements in many health stores.
High blood pressure has many triggers and one of the major culprits is salt. A flavor enhancer used worldwide, too much salt paves the way for many health complications that may prove fatal in the end. One of the ways to reduce the amount of sodium in the body is by increasing the intake of potassium. The mineral enhances proper urination, and this biological process is a way of getting rid of sodium. But if more sodium is present in the body, potassium levels go down. Some sources of the mineral include bananas, avocados, spinach, and yogurt. Pineapple is an excellent source of potassium, as you might have noticed that many products with this fruit advertise its capabilities of lowering blood pressure. There are potassium supplements available but this may be problematic for people with kidney disease as they might not be able to reduce excess potassium levels.
Also known as Indian snakeroot and sarpagandha, this plant is part of the most important herbs in Chinese medicine and has been used throughout history as an antivenom and remedy for many illnesses. The herb is rich in alkaloids, flavonoids, glycosides, resins, and tannins which are all responsible for its numerous health benefits. It is sold raw, its roots can be chewed or pounded into powder, while supplements can be purchased to avoid such lengthy preparations. A word of warning though. It is very important to determine the dosage of snakeroot as large quantities of it can induce unpleasant side effects, nor should it be taken with other blood pressure medication or alcohol. Children and pregnant women are also not advised to take the herb.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
These fatty acids are popular for their benefits concerning cardiovascular health, proper brain function, and many other factors. In lowering blood pressure, omega-3’s get the job done by inhibiting the excessive production of series 2 eicosanoids, or hormones that constrict the blood vessels for clotting. Essential as it may be, having too much of this kind of eicosanoid is linked as a trigger of high blood pressure. Omega-3’s also helps the body lose weight by combating inflammation that plagues the fat cells, and we all know that being overweight can send blood pressure levels through the roof. An excellent way to get the most of omega-3’s aside from taking supplements is by consuming its food sources like seafood meat and oils (halibut, mackerel, tuna, and salmon to name a few), walnuts, flaxseed oil, and mustard oil.
Sometimes called CoQ10, it is a vital antioxidant that is naturally produced in the body. Not only does it serves as a potent antioxidant that protects the body against free radicals, it also helps in the conversion of energy from the food we eat. It is believed that CoQ10 is highly beneficial for the heart as it helps the cardiac muscles meet their high metabolic needs. Studies have shown that maintaining adequate levels of CoQ10 improves blood pressure, and this is more evident as CoQ10 diminishes with age hence older people are at greater risk of hypertension. Organ meats, spinach, cauliflower, broccoli, and sardines are some of the best food sources of CoQ10. In supplement form, it is suggested that dosages should be split and taken throughout the day in smaller doses.
This vitamin can help protect against the common cold, promotes healthier skin, faster wound healing, stronger bones, and it can even lower blood pressure levels. The vitamin acts as a diuretic when taken in supplement form, thus encouraging elimination of excess sodium through urination. Natural sources will not induce such effect but you should still make it a habit of eating foods rich in vitamin C for its antioxidant properties. Try foods like papaya, bell pepper, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, oranges, cauliflower, and pineapple.
Quercetin is a flavonoid, or pigments that give fruits and vegetables their unique colors. These flavonoids also act as antioxidants in the human body with protective benefits. Consumption of foods rich in quercetin has been linked to a reduction in cholesterol and blood pressure levels, but for the latter it only worked for people who are already hypertensive. Non-hypertensive patients who took quercetin supplements did not show any changes to their blood pressure levels. Apples, citrus fruits, onions, red wine, dark berries, and parsley are among the food sources of the flavonoid. Its supplement form is sometimes combined with bromelain, a pineapple enzyme that is also an anti-inflammatory.
Please be aware that this article is written for informational purposes only based on research and should never be substituted for actual medical advice from a professional. Always seek the opinion of an expert regarding these supplements to determine which is best for your situation, the right dosage, and to avoid possible complications that may arise.
Have you tried any of these supplements for high blood pressure? Do you know other supplements that may be of help? Let us know in the comments.