High blood pressure, or hypertension, is sometimes referred to as the silent killer because it typically shows no symptoms until damage has been done to arteries and the heart. Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the walls of the arteries as the heart pumps blood. If the pressure is too great for an extended period of time it can be damaging to the body in many ways.
Hypertension can have serious causes and ramifications on a one’s health, but it can also be due to common, easily addressed causes such as stress, poor nutrition and lack of exercise.
High blood pressure is all too often treated with pharmaceuticals when, in fact, many people can easily control their blood pressure with some simple changes to diet and lifestyle.
There are many alternatives to using prescribed medications to help lower your high blood pressure. Which of the suggestions below you can incorporate into your lifestyle to improve your health?
1. Cut the Salt
Salt is not the problem when it comes to high blood pressure, per say, but rather its chemical component sodium. A little bit is fine, but too much sodium disrupts the balance of fluid in the body. Intensive research has shown that the more salt you eat, the more you need. If you eat less salt, you only need to add less to your food or have less in your food, to be satisfied with a smaller amount.
2. Sip Some Hibiscus
Cultures across the world have used hibiscus to naturally manage blood pressure. First, hibiscus acts as a diuretic, which draws sodium from the bloodstream, thus decreasing the pressure on the arterial walls. Even more interesting is how it can mimic angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors. As a result of this inhibition, blood vessels relax and blood volume is lowered, decreasing blood pressure.
3. Drink Coconut Water
Coconut water is found inside the shell of green, unripe coconuts that retains its natural benefits in organic and raw form. It contains potassium and magnesium, both of which relate to regular muscle function, and of course, the heart is a big giant muscle.
4. Fabulous Fish Oil
Fish oil and its bountiful omega-3 fatty acids are a beautiful thing when it comes to your heart. It has been viewed as successful when it comes to lowering blood pressure, while also reducing triglycerides and increasing HDL (“good”) cholesterol.
5. Heart Healthy Hawthorn
Hawthorn is a staple herb when it comes to heart health as it is rich in flavonoids, namely, oligomeric procyandins (OPC’s) and quercetin. You can enjoy hawthorn in the form of a tea or in the form of “balls”.
You will need…
-4 tablespoons of powdered hawthorn berry
-1/2-1 tablespoons of cinnamon powder
-Cocoa or carob powder
Place the cinnamon and hawthorn powder in a bowl and mix the two together. Add just enough honey and water to make a paste. Thicken the mixture with cocoa powder or carob powder until it has formed a dough that you can cleanly roll into small balls no bigger than your index fingernail. Place them on a cookie sheet and dry in an oven at a very low temperature (not more than 150 degrees Fahrenheit) until dry. Store indefinitely in a glass jar out of direct sunlight and in a cool place.
Nothing can replace what exercise does for the body, and in a society where we are becoming increasingly sedentary, it can take a bit more effort to get out and get moving-but it’s worth it, especially if you have high blood pressure. The heart is a muscle, and it will grow stronger with exercise. Exercise is, in many cases, all that you need to get your blood pressure back on track.
7. Go For Garlic
Garlic is one of those home remedy staples. It is rich in beneficial constituents that address a wide range of ailments, one of which happens to be hypertension. There is just one little catch though. Allicin, the organosulphur-sulfur containing- compound responsible for several of garlic’s health benefits, doesn’t fare as well in the human body when garlic is eaten raw. However, when taken in tablet form, there is a guaranteed allicin yield that ensures you get the proper amount to have solid results when it comes to lowering blood pressure.
8. Melon in the Morning
Every morning, be faithful to watermelon. An organic compound called citrulline, an a-amino acid, was first isolated in 1914 from watermelon. Once ingested, the body can convert citrulline to the amino acid L-arginine, which is a precursor to nitric oxide. It will widen blood vessels, which lowers vascular resistance, which ultimately lowers blood pressure.
9. Ginger-Cardamom Tea
A study done in December of 2009 published in the Indian Journal of Biochemistry & Biophysics gave a group of participants 1 teaspoon of cardamom powder daily for several weeks. The results showed a significant reduction in blood pressure. Combined with ginger and cinnamon, both warming spices that improve circulation, you can make a lovely tea to help your heart get healthy.
10. Cat’s Claw Decoction
Cat’s Claw (Uncaria tomentosa) is a woody climbing vine found in South and Central America, with its most notable use being in the Amazon rainforest. It has been used as a traditional remedy in its native habitat for a long time, but test tube studies finally revealed evidence for promising benefits, one amongst them being lowering blood pressure. It can also act as a mild diuretic, getting rid of unneeded salt and water in the body, which can again reduce hypertension.
11. Beautiful Blueberry Syrup
The “syrup” that you see on grocery store shelves may not be the best, but made at home it is a wonderful (delicious) way to give yourself a natural boost. Blueberries are rich in the flavonoid quercetin, the benefits of which are explained in remedy number 5, as it is also found in hawthorn.
You will need…
-8 tablespoons of dried blueberries OR 4 tablespoons each of dried blueberries and elderberries.
-4 cups of water
-1 cup of honey
-A pot, strainer, and glass jar with an airtight lid
Add the dried berries to the water and bring to a simmer over low heat. Continue to simmer until the liquid is reduced by half. Strain the solids out, pressing on them to extract any extra juices, and pour the liquid back into the pot. Stir in the honey, warming the mixture just to ensure the two blend together thoroughly. Here there are two different paths you can take. For thicker syrup, heat the honey and berry juice over medium-high heat for 20 minutes. If you’d rather not cook the syrup, and are ok with one that is slightly thinner, skip this step. Once mixed, bottle and label and store in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 weeks. Take 1 tablespoon twice daily.