Heart disease, stroke, dementia, and kidney failure are just some of the harmful effects of high blood pressure you can head off by keeping your levels low steady and low. Are your numbers rising? These high blood pressure home remedies can help ensure your numbers stay in the healthy range — or head back down if they're already creeping up.
Lycopene can lower BP
The same pigment that gives guavas, tomatoes, watermelon, red peppers, purple cabbage, and pink and red grapefruit their crimson hue is also a powerful antioxidant that can deliver an 11-point drop in your blood pressure (BP) if you eat a heaping cup of any of those foods daily, reports the American Heart Journal. Note: Because lycopene is released from plant cells during cooking, choosing foods like tomato sauce, tomato soup, or roasted red peppers can triple your absorption of it.
Warm baths boost blood flow
Soaking in a blissfully warm, tension-taming bath for 20 minutes prods your body to release a surge of nitric oxide, a molecule that relaxes blood vessels, improving blood flow enough to safely lower your BP for up to three hours, Canadian researchers say.
Barley and beans can trim away 10 points
Add two cups of barley and two cups of beans to your weekly diet and your BP could be the optimal range (120/80 or less) within three months. Both foods are great sources of fiber, which blocks sugar absorption, preventing the blood sugar surges that raise BP. The proof: In a Yale University study, 77 percent of women who ate barley and beans weekly saw a 10-point drop in their BP.
Motherwort can stop stress
Feeling frazzled? Supplementing with 400 mg to 800 mg of motherwort, an herb in the mint family, could lower your BP within 28 days by reducing your output of stress hormones, the journal Phytotherapy Research reports. The less stress hormones in your system, the easier it is for your blood vessels to stay open and for your heart to function properly.
Important: Always check with your doctor before starting a new supplement.
Chicken thighs help block bloatThey pack 10 times more taurine (an essential amino acid), plus twice as much zinc as chicken breasts, and that's key: Increasing your intake of both compounds reduces the fluid retention that can put pressure on your heart and blood vessels, says Michael Lam, M.D., co-author of How To Stay Young And Live Longer. How well does this trick work? Just eating chicken thighs two or three times a week could trim five points off your BP in one month, Texas Tech University research suggests.
So what are you waiting for? It's time to try these tips now!