Nutrition and diet are the basis of a healthy lifestyle. We provide our body and immune system with the nutrients it needs to protect us by fighting against all kinds of illnesses through the food we eat. But even beyond the direct impact of good nutrition, our diet and lifestyles contribute to our blood pressure.
High blood pressure (HBP) is a medical condition that affects nearly half of American adults. This condition is also called hypertension, marked by the high rate of pressure at which blood flows through the veins.
The consequences of high blood pressure range from mild to severe. In fact, some of the conditions associated with it are:
2. Kidney damage
4. Heart failure
Although there is no current cure for HBP, doctors, and other experts in the field recommend medications and appropriate lifestyle changes to lower one's blood pressure. It is at this stage where nutrition and natural herbs can help.
For example, eating food rich in sodium can lead to higher blood pressure, whereas having a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can have the opposite effect. Stress and anxiety are also known to contribute to higher blood pressure.
In particular, natural herbs have been used by many populations all around the world for their numerous health and wellness benefits. From better digestion to a strengthened immune system, oriental herbs' qualities go beyond simple food flavoring.
In fact, through their specific compounds and nutrient composition, herbs, although not having been medically proven to reduce high blood pressure directly, can help control it. Some examples include:
When it comes to blood vessels’ health, one of the essential molecules is nitric oxide. This particular enzyme that is naturally produced by the body acts as a vasodilator, which means that it relaxes the muscle cells within the vessel walls, thus leading to the widening of blood vessels.
Through this process, nitric oxide contributes to reducing blood pressure and optimizing oxygen and nutrient delivery. Garlic, mostly known for its flavorful taste, is a natural nitric oxide boost. It, therefore, helps control blood pressure by providing support in the production of nitric oxide.
Additionally, a study on a group of patients suffering from hypertension reported that garlic preparations reduced systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
Finally, garlic is composed of nutrients such as Vitamin C, Folate, Magnesium, and Potassium, all of which help lower blood pressure.
Garlic can be consumed in several ways. You can chop some raw garlic, add it to a salad, pasta sauces, make a garlic toast, use it for a marinade, and even brew a garlic tea.
Native to southeastern Asia, various cultures use ginger for its healing properties.
Fresh ginger is actually composed of a unique compound called gingerol, which exhibits antioxidant qualities. Through it, ginger helps protect the body's cells against free radicals, which are harmful molecules that can lead to certain heart damage types.
Additionally, its antioxidant properties allow gingerol (and, therefore, ginger) to counteract the production of chemicals in our bodies when we feel stressed. And because stress is a known contributing factor regarding high blood pressure, adding ginger to your diet might help you better control it.
Ginger is also loaded with nutrients such as Potassium and Magnesium, which can help control blood pressure.
So whether eaten fresh, dried, as a seasoning, or even in a juice or tea, ginger can be used in various ways to help your body stay healthy.
Holy basil is a plant from the mint family. Although it shares similar tastes and features with sweet basil, this Asia native plant is more commonly used in herbal treatments.
Known as tulsi in Hindu, holy basil is praised for being an adaptogenic plant. This designation means that it adapts its function based on what the body needs. More specifically, adaptogens are substances that help the body better deal with stressors by supporting its natural ability to react, resist, and respond to them. For some cultures, holy basil is the "Mother Medicine of Nature."
Holy basil is also composed of eugenol, which is a powerful antioxidant that, as mentioned before, helps protect the body against the effects of free radicals.
By drinking a tea made of holy basil's leaves, eating a dish made of it, or even using it as an essential oil, one can gain its numerous health benefits.
Commonly used as an essential oil for aromatherapy, lavender is a plant whose qualities go beyond a nice fragrance. Lavender can reduce stress and anxiety levels.
In fact, a study was conducted on 90 open-heart surgery patients to measure the effect of lavender essence on their anxiety and blood cortisol level. After the test, during which a group of the patients was to inhale 2 drops of lavender for 20 minutes before the surgery, they observed a significant decrease in anxiety and cortisol level. More specifically, the inhalation of lavender caused a reduction of 69.6% of blood cortisol.
Because cortisol is the body's main stress hormone, a high level of cortisol will lead to high levels of anxiety, stress, and therefore of high blood pressure. By using lavender for aromatherapy, you can then directly reduce stress levels and better control blood pressure.
Other natural ways to lower blood pressure
Along with nutrition and dietary improvements, there are other natural ways to reduce one's blood pressure. These options include:
- Exercising regularly
- Practicing a relaxation activity (yoga, meditation, etc.)
- Avoid stressors
- Eat fruits and vegetables
- Reducing sodium intake
- Using herbal supplements from the best herbal companies in CO.
High blood pressure is a common condition that can lead to various health complications if not taken care of early in the disease progression. But while there is no cure for this condition fully, there are many natural ways other than medication to help control it. By balancing one's diet and supporting our body with the right food and nutrients such as oriental herbs in Lafayette, CO, lowering one's blood pressure is possible.
It is all a matter of being mindful of what we consume and making the best of what nature has given us.