High Blood Pressure is a common health issue today, including adults, teens and kids. Reasons are varied: Unhealthy and uncontrolled food habits, hush rush lifestyle, lack of sleep, genetic reasons, etc. While there are ample medications available to control high blood pressure, nothing can beat the effects of natural alternatives.
According to a Harvard study, high blood pressure offers a contribution of more than 15% of deaths in the United States. While there are no symptoms, high blood pressure increases the risks of life threatening diseases like heart attack and stroke, cognitive decline, and kidney failure.
According to the American Heart Association, 28% of Americans have high blood pressure and they don't even know it. There are many effective medications available to control blood pressure. While medications can lower blood pressure, these may cause side effects such as dizziness, leg cramps, and insomnia.
Luckily, people can bring down their blood pressure naturally with home remedies for high blood pressure. Try these natural alternatives and reduce your risk of heart disease.
Number of studies show that garlic may lower blood pressure, especially systolic blood pressure. The active constituents in garlic are believed to be the sulfur-containing compounds that include allicin, which may act on the body’s nitric oxide system. These help in relaxing the arteries and lowers systolic blood pressure.
However, Garlic isn't safe for use with many medications and certain conditions, so it's important to talk to your doctor before using it.
- Alcohol in Moderation
Some studies suggest that moderate alcohol consumption, especially red wine, is associated with increasing levels of HDL and a little reduction in blood pressure. However excessive consumption may increase triglyceride levels and raise blood pressure.
- Vitamin D
Vitamin D is found in fish, fortified milk, eggs and cod liver oil. It is produced naturally during exposure to the Sun. Inadequate levels of vitamin D may also have a role in the development of high blood pressure. Studies note that blood pressure is often high when there is reduced exposure to sunlight/vitamin D. The difference in systolic blood pressure is around 5mm Hg.
- Chocolate / Cocoa Extract
Several studies in humans have found that eating dark chocolate or cocoa products rich in flavonols may slightly lower blood pressure in people with high blood pressure. Consuming 50g cocoa per day is associated with a 2-3mm Hg reduction in blood pressure. However, a lot more research is required because not all human studies have found an effect.
Chocolate tend to affect the nitric oxide system that results in vasodilation and lowers blood pressure. It also may inhibit angiotensin-converting enzyme. The key thing to keep in mind is that chocolate also contains caffeine and sugar. Large amounts of caffeine can alleviate blood pressure and the sugar content may affect blood sugar levels.
- Reduced Sodium Intake
Too much sodium may lead to fluid retention causing a rise in the blood pressure, especially in people who are sensitive to sodium. About 60 percent of people with essential hypertension may reduce their blood pressure to some degree by reducing their sodium intake.
Low potassium can raise sodium in cells as sodium and potassium balance each other.