Millions of people throughout the world are suffering from blood pressure (hypertension). In fact, 1 out of 3 adults more than 20 years old most likely experienced high blood pressure (1).
Hypertension is considered as a silent killer because most people who suffer from it didn’t notice any symptom. When left uncontrolled or untreated, hypertension can lead to other health problems including stroke, heart failure, kidney disease and vision loss.
What is High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)?
The heart pumps the blood to the arteries that are responsible in transporting the blood all over the body. The force that pushes against the arteries walls is called blood pressure.
Healthy and elastic arteries expand as the blood flows through it. To prevent high pressure, it’s important to maintain the elasticity of the arteries. But, if the arteries become less flexible, hard and narrow, the pressure of the flow increases that may lead to high blood pressure.
The plaque accumulated within the inner walls of the blood vessels can make it narrow. The cholesterol, cellular waste, fibrin, fat, calcium and other substances present in the blood can develop into plaque.
The normal blood pressure of an adult is 120/80 mmHg. An individual whose blood pressure is above normal for a period of time seems to suffer from hypertension. It’s essential to maintain a normal blood pressure, otherwise high blood pressure can damage your heart or the entire vascular system. Keeping the blood pressure normal allows your body to receive fresh oxygenated blood.
What Causes High Blood Pressure?
Many people are vulnerable to hypertension, but they don’t know the potential risks that cause high blood pressure (2, 3). However, high blood pressure can be managed. Some factors that make an individual susceptible to hypertension includes the following:
- Family history
- Cigarette smoking and high consumption of alcohol
- Sedentary lifestyles
- Birth control pills
- Old age
- Diet high in sugar, saturated fat, trans fat and sodium
- Chronic diseases like kidney disease, diabetes and gout
As mentioned earlier, hypertension is manageable as long as you know what to avoid. Along with modifying your lifestyle, you can manage hypertension naturally. There are many home remedies for high blood pressure Let’s learn some.
Natural Remedies for High Blood Pressure
Carrots have high levels of beta-carotene, vitamin A and C. They prevent damage of the blood vessels and potential cellular death. The antioxidants also eliminate the free radicals inside your body.
This vegetable is also rich in potassium that keeps the fluid inside your body balanced and at the same time keep the blood pressure within the normal range. The pectin content of carrots regulates digestion that may result to less plaque buildup and low cholesterol.
All you have to do is to buy organic carrots and drink 1-3 glasses of juice without sugar throughout the day. Carrot juice is not recommended for people with diabetes as it contain high sugar. It should also be avoided during exacerbations of intestines and pancreas.
Garlic is popularly used to make the blood pressure low. This herb has blood thinning properties; thus it supports cardiac health.
It helps to eliminate excess water and sodium from your body due to its diuretic effect. With this, it prevents your heart to overworked that eventually lead to decrease in blood pressure.
The allicin present in this herb dilates the arteries and regulates the blood pressure. It is also a natural ACE inhibitor responsible for relaxing and widening the blood vessels. This will facilitate easier blood flow.
To obtain the health benefits of garlic it should be eaten raw. You can mince 2 cloves of garlic and add it to milk or water.
Tomatoes are rich in beta-carotene, antioxidants, potassium and vitamin E that work greatly to lower high blood pressure.
The lycopene content can lower bad cholesterol and prevents accumulation of fatty deposits in the arteries that may cause cardiovascular diseases like atherosclerosis.
You can consume a cup of fresh tomatoes or tomato juice or sauce once daily. Avoid consuming commercial tomato sauce as it is high in sodium.
Celery contain phthalides – phytochemicals that have the capability to relax the tissues of the artery walls. This reduces blood pressure and increases the blood flow.
It also contains 3nB, an important compound that also works in reducing the blood pressure. The other compounds present in celery provide relaxing effect and lessen the stress levels.
This vegetable works as a diuretic that’s why it eliminates excess water from your body and heart. This eventually results to lowering of blood pressure.
You can eat celery directly or tossed in salads. You can also try celery juice.
Hibiscus has been used in many Asian countries as a natural remedy to lower high blood pressure. Drinking hibiscus tea shows decrease of about 11.7% of systolic pressure and 10.7% of diastolic pressure.
It acts as ACE inhibitor that prevents constriction of the blood vessels. It helps to flush out excess water and sodium from the blood. Thus, prevents your heart from over working pumping the blood.
You can take 3 cups of hibiscus tea every day. But, may also depends on the age, weight and health condition of the person. Consult your doctor prior of taking hibiscus tea particularly if you’re taking medications as it may show adverse interaction.
Ginger provides many health benefits. It decreases cholesterol level, lowers blood pressure and prevents blood clots. It also decreases bad cholesterol level and prevents plaque formation on the arterial walls.
This spice also works as a blood thinner that’s why blood clot can be prevented. This reduces the risks of experiencing stroke or heart attack.
You can add fresh ginger when cooking your meal or add it into your juices or smoothies.
Consuming blueberry increases the production of nitric oxide in your body. The nitric oxide works to maintain the elasticity of the blood vessels. It helps to lessen the blood pressure levels by dilating your blood vessels.
Blueberries are also rich in flavonoids that act as antioxidants. The flavonoids prevent plaque formation in the arteries, thus promote healthy blood pressure.
You can eat either fresh or dried blueberries. Consuming blueberry smoothies won’t only satisfy your taste buds but also lower your blood pressure.
Consume 1 cup of fresh blueberries a day or 22 gms of dried blueberry powder.
Cayenne pepper contains capsaicin that has vasodilator effect. Consuming cayenne pepper can improve the blood flow as it expands the blood vessels. Efficient and faster flow reduces the pressure of the arteries. With this, blood presseure is also decreased.
This spice improves the blood structure, helps in detoxing the blood and creating new red blood cells. It can also remove plaque formation on the arterial walls.
Start taking organic cayenne pepper 1 teaspoon a day and increase gradually.
Using cardamom powder can decrease both the systolic and diastolic pressure, yet increase the blood clot-inhibiting activity. It is a best source of potassium that helps flushes out extra sodium from your body, thus lowers blood pressure.
IT also contains magnesium that prevents plaque accumulation and averts the heart to overwork while pumping the blood. The antioxidants content facilitates proper blood flow.
All you have to do is to mix a teaspoon of cardamom powder in a cup of warm water along with raw organic honey. Drink the mixture two times a day.
Dark chocolate (cacao)
The dark chocolate that is made from cacao is packed with anti-cancer substances including catechins, flavonoids and polyphenols.
The flavanols present in cocoa tree seeds stimulate the release of nitric oxide, a cancer fighting chemical necessary for intercellular health. When the nitric oxide is activated, it dilates the blood vessels thus circulation of the blood throughout your body becomes easier.
Widening the blood vessels lets the blood carry the important nutrients and oxygen all through your body efficiently. Dilated blood vessels reduces the risks of heart attack and stroke as well as maintain proper blood circulation.
It also reduces bad cholesterol level, boosts brain health, offers vital vitamins and minerals as well as protects and smoothen the skin.
Consume dark chocolate in moderation and ensure that it contains at least 50-80% (200 milligrams) of cocoa to obtain more flavanols.
This is an herbal medicine that has been used in Chinese medicine for neurological problems and hypertension. It dilates the blood vessels to lower blood pressure. It eliminates extra water and sodium from the blood to prevent high blood pressure.
Cat’s claw contains flavonoids and tannins that supports heart health. You can make a mixture of 1 liter of water and 2 teaspoons of dried cat’s claw. Bring the mixture to simmer and add honey. Drink it once a day.
However, if you’re taking medications for high blood pressure, you should not take cat’s claw as it may cause dropping of your blood pressure drastically.
Hawthorn shows significant results in improving the heart rate and lowering the blood pressure. It also dilates the arteries due to the oligomeric procyaninds and flavonoids present in it.
It effectively decreases the blood pressure levels as it works as an ACE inhibitor. Consuming hawthorn lowers the risk of developing blood clots due to the inhibit thromboxane production.
You can make hawthorn drink by boiling a cup of water and adding a teaspoon of lightly crushed hawthorn berries. You can add honey to improve the taste and drink it twice a day.
It’s not recommended to take hawthorn along with anticoagulants to prevent interactions. Avoid overdosing as it may result to dizziness and low blood pressure.
Turmeric contains curcumin that has antioxidant properties. It dilates the blood vessels and protects them from damage. It has anti-clotting and anti-inflammatory properties.
You can consume turmeric by adding it into juice, salads or daily cooking. You can also make turmeric drink by mixing a cup of boiling water and ½ teaspoon of turmeric powder. Drink it twice a day and you can add lemon or ginger.
However, too much consumption of turmeric can cause ulcers and upset stomach. It can lessen blood sugar levels when taken along with diabetes medications. But, it should not be taken along with anti-coagulant and antacid medications.
Study showed that taking vitamin D3 decreases the systolic and diastolic pressure from people suffering high blood pressure.
Vitamin D suppresses the production of renin that absorbs more water and sodium from the kidneys and blood. This, in turn lowers blood pressure. It also supports cardiovascular health by reducing the cholesterol levels.
You can obtain vitamin D naturally by exposing under direct sunlight at least 30 minutes daily. By consuming foods like egg, meats, fortified dairy products and fatty fish you can obtain vitamin D.
Omega-3 fatty acids
Consuming omega fatty acids improves cardiovascular health and eventually lowers blood pressure. It also reduces triglycerides and bad cholesterol levels.
Foods that are rich in omega fatty acids include sardines, salmon, herring, oysters, flaxseeds, anchovies, chia seeds, caviar, soybeans, walnuts and others.
However, when taking omega fatty acids, you should expect nausea and loose stools not to mention fishy breath.
Coconut water is packed with magnesium and potassium electrolytes that are beneficial for the heart muscle.
The potassium present in coconut water acts as a diuretic that helps to eliminate excess water and sodium from your body.
To obtain the best effects, you should drink at least 8 ounces of organic coconut water three times a day.
Sesame seed or oil
The sesame oil is rich in omega-6s, vitamin E, sesamin and polyunsaturated fatty acids. These substances are beneficial for lowering blood pressure and preventing cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
The sesamin content can reduce the blood pressure levels and at the same time prevents cholesterol absorption in the body.
Both the sesamin and PUFA work together to reduce blood pressure and relax the arterial wall. You can add one ounce of sesame oil or seeds when you’re cooking.
Pomegranates are high in antioxidants like anthocyanins and tannins as well as other nutrients. These fruits are also rich in flavomoids, phytochemicals, punicalagin and polyphenols.
The antioxidants prevent cells damage and fight against cancers and heart disease. The punicalagin present in pomegranates raises the good cholesterol, lowers bad cholesterol, averts arterial blockage, decreases high blood pressure and improves the functions of blood vessels and the heart.
You can make pomegranate juice or add the seeds to salad.
Radishes and beets
These vegetables are often overlooked in spite of the fact that they provide health benefits. Radishes and beets are rich in nitrates that improve vasodilation, thus lowers high blood pressure.
Nitric acids regulate blood pressure, widens the arteries and reduces endothelial inflammation. Both the roots and leaves of radish decrease high blood pressure.
All you have to do is to consume radish or beets juice daily. You can also add fresh radishes and beets to any dish.
If you’re looking for a natural way to lower blood pressure, you can consider mistletoe. This herb isn’t only use for decoration but also for many health benefits.
Aside from lowering blood pressure, this herb also boosts the immune system and helps to treat hepatitis and cancer. It also contains alkaloids that control the nerve impulses, arterial walls and the heart.
The effect of mistletoe can be experienced gradually yet long-lasting. Consult your doctor prior of taking the mistletoe extracts and avoid taking unprocessed or raw mistletoe.
Relax and listen to music
Stress can trigger high blood pressure. Music offers stress-relieving and calming effect. Thus, listening to music can decrease anxiety, slow down heart rate and decrease blood pressure.
Prevention of High Blood Pressure
Hypertension is a global health issue, but there are many ways to prevent developing hypertension. In some cases, high blood pressure has no apparent symptoms. But, there are underlying issues that cause this health condition such as obesity, age, alcohol and tobacco use as well as physical inactivity.
Here are some tips to prevent high blood pressure:
– The easiest way to prevent hypertension is to keep a healthy body mass index.
Engage in physical activity
– Regular exercise can help burn excess calories. It’s important to increase physical activity to avoid accumulation of fat in the blood vessels.
Limit alcohol and salt intake
– Excessive salt and alcohol intake can make you hypertensive.
- Consume a lot of vegetables and fruits.
– Make a habit to eat vegetables and fruits in your daily meal.
It’s essential to maintain normal blood pressure. There’s no quick solution for high blood pressure, but there are natural home remedies for high blood pressure. However, those natural remedies listed above won’t be effective when used alone.
Thus, it is also important to modify your lifestyle, follow good diet and perform regular exercise. Likewise, you should also find the best remedies that can help to reduce high blood pressure.
Dietitian with around 5 years of experience in assessing the nutritional needs of patients, counselling individuals, communicating the appropriate nutritional information to other members of the health care team and implementing nutritional care plans by following all the standards.