High blood pressure, or hypertension, occurs in one out of every three adults and 30 percent of these people don’t know they have it. This is why it’s called the “silent killer”. It often comes with no symptoms, yet it can lead to heart attack or stroke; two of the top three killers of adults in America. It’s advisable to test your blood pressure regularly and know what lifestyle is likely to keep you away from this insidious killer.
Blood pressure is expressed as a number or a ratio of your systolic over diastolic pressure. The systolic number measures the pressure during a heartbeat, while the diastolic represents the time when your vessels are filling back up.
Blood pressure is never consistent. Your blood pressure changes often during the day. It changes due to physical activity or lack thereof. It changes due to stress or emotional excitement. It changes due to food substances entering the blood stream. When one is diagnosed with blood pressure that is too high, it means that it is consistently too high.
But what is too high?
Normal blood pressure, numbers that doctors would not worry about, would be 115/75. This is the condition of young healthy arteries that have maintained their elasticity and remained unclogged, no matter what their age. Older arteries can maintain or re-gain these conditions through healthy diet and exercise. This will help avoid plaque buildup. Plaque buildup results in a smaller vessel to carry the same amount of blood. This makes the blood flow faster and faster, raising the blood pressure and eventually leading to organ damage.
If you’ve made all the diet changes that have been recommended and you’ve begun your fun exercise regimen but your blood pressure remains high, there are some natural supplements that may do the trick. The main ones are fish oil, CoQ10 and garlic. They are very effective at lowering mostly systolic pressure. If you need to lower both systolic and diastolic, there’s a supplement combination that is very effective when used together:
Dandelion leaf extract has a strong combination of vitamins that have a diuretic effect. This lowers blood pressure by removing liquid and salt from the system through the urine, relaxing the blood vessels.
Lycopene is a great antioxidant and free-radical scavenger. It’s used for lowering LDL cholesterol (the bad kind) and has a property that reduces the ability of platelets to stick to the sides of the vessel walls.
Stevia extract helps reduce any calcium buildup on the blood vessel walls, keeping them flexible, healthy and reducing blood pressure. In addition, it’s been found as a good controller of blood sugar levels and shows great promise as a treatment for Type-2 diabetes. It’s also a fairly good sweetener.
Olive leaf extract has many of the same properties of those above and adds to their effectiveness. It’s an antioxidant, it relaxes the blood vessels and prevents buildup of plaque in them, all of which lower blood pressure.
Hawthorn extract is an ancient herb used to promote a healthy heart for centuries. It improves blood vessel elasticity and has special improvements for arteries around the heart. In those it improves blood flow and the heart muscle’s contractions. It is also used for anxiety issues, blood sugar control and as an antioxidant.
All these items can be found at your local health food store or, if you live in an area without one of those nearby, the Internet makes every neighborhood your own! After taking them, you may notice a few more trips to the bathroom due to the diuretic effects of the dandelion extract, however, there should be no other adverse side effects.
You can monitor your blood pressure improvement with a home monitor. You can buy a satisfactory one in the $30 to $50 range in the United States. There are also drug stores that have good monitors available for free use for their customers. Since blood pressure numbers are such important numbers for everyone to know, many clinics offer free or very reasonably-priced blood pressure checks either periodically or every day.
Take advantage of these resources and be the first point of responsibility for your own health. Keeping track of your blood pressure is a critical part of this plan!