Every single day, we are smothered by responsibilities, fears, and worry. In a fast-paced urban life, we can barely catch a break between the morning shower and the cup of tea in the evening. These concerns do not disappear from our life, either – from exams and job interviews to getting your kid to school on time, life will not let us rest. If you were to get diagnosed with high blood pressure tomorrow, would you know how to handle it? Do you know what the best supplements that lower blood pressure are?
Regardless of whether you have high blood pressure or not, stress can cause your heart rate to spike up, and this might end up harming you in the long run. It can damage your kidneys, blood vessels, your heart, and even shorten your life expectancy. Because of this, it is important to keep your blood pressure under control and know what to do in case you end up diagnosed with high blood pressure. But don’t worry – we’ve got you covered!
In this article, we will explain to you the specifics of blood pressure, what causes it and with what risks it comes. After that, we will inform you of what you can do to keep yourself healthy and your heart pumping. We will recommend some natural ways to do so, as well as some of the supplements that can help you lower your blood pressure.
What is a high blood pressure?
The purpose of your heart is to pump the oxygenated blood through your body and deliver it to your organs and tissue. To accomplish this, the heart creates pressure by beating which then pumps blood through blood vessels. Thus, blood pressure is the pressure of blood pushing against the walls (the insides) of your blood vessels.
To have high blood pressure (also known as hypertension) means that your blood pressure is constantly too high, which makes your heart and vessels work much harder and less efficiently.
The longer you suffer from high blood pressure, the more the arteries get damaged from the increased blood flow and cholesterol. And as these two continuously affect the arteries, their insides grow smaller, in turn increasing your blood pressure even more. Needless to say that something like this can negatively impact your entire body and cause a series of problems in the long run.
What are the causes of high blood pressure?
While the exact causes of HBP (high blood pressure) are still a mystery, some factors increase the chances of an individual having HBP. They are usually either a marker of an unhealthy lifestyle or are a result of too much stress. Sometimes it’s both. Some of these factors are stress, smoking, increased alcohol consumption, increased salt consumption, being overweight and a lack of physical activity.
However, some other factors are difficult or impossible to control, and they might also contribute to HBP. These factors include genetics, family history of HBP, being of older age and adrenal and thyroid diseases. High blood pressure whose cause isn’t known is called essential hypertension. It often runs in the family of the affected, and the chances of having it increase with age.
What are the risks of high blood pressure?
While HBP has its risks, it is even more dangerous if not controlled or treated. That is why it is vital to inform yourself and eliminate any doubts or concerns about whether you have HBP or not. Remember, the risk of suffering from it increases with age, so it is a good idea to go to a check-up if you feel something’s amiss or if you want to be sure about your condition.
HBP can damage your heart and arteries, causing chest pain, arrhythmia, an aneurysm, or even a heart attack. You may suffer from enlarged left heart or even end up with heart failure. Your brain can be affected too, and in that case, the risk would be a stroke, a mini-stroke (transient ischemic attack), or dementia. Kidneys aren’t safe either – you may experience kidney scarring (glomerulosclerosis) or even kidney failure.
Next, your eyes are full of small blood vessels that may be affected, causing nerve damage, fluid build-up under the retina or damage to the retina itself, which in the worst-case scenario can cause complete vision loss. Finally, you may experience sexual dysfunction – erectile dysfunction, dryness, or difficulty reaching an orgasm.
With all of that in mind, why take the chance? You can severely damage your health by not getting a check-up and by choosing not to take preventive action if there’s a possibility that you could suffer from HBP.
How to lower your blood pressure the natural way?
We usually only realize how precious our life is when we face death or serious medical emergency, be it our own or of someone we know. To have a good and long life, we need to make sure that we lead a healthy lifestyle. This can also significantly decrease the chance of getting HBP.
Learning how to manage stress is one of the things that you can do to lower the risk. Not only is stress harmful on its own, but it can also make you do some other harmful things, such as smoke cigarettes. To relieve stress, explore yourself and figure out what works the best for you. Take a walk in nature or listen to music, try meditation or deep breathing techniques. The most important thing is to take a look at your schedule and firmly cross off (or adapt) things that needlessly stress you out.
It is also important to eat well, in regards to HBP but also in general. You should keep an eye on your sodium intake if you’ve been diagnosed with HBP and especially avoid processed foods, which contain a significant amount of salt. By eating unprocessed foods and fresh vegetables you will lower your sodium intake and also ingest potassium, which lowers blood pressure.
Next, make sure you ingest enough magnesium, as a lack of magnesium might cause HBP. You can find magnesium in legumes and whole grains. Calcium-rich foods are also important for maintaining good blood pressure. You should avoid added sugar, as an increased intake of sugars has been linked to HBP. If you wish for another treat to replace the high-sugar soda, then we recommend that you reach for dark chocolate or cocoa, which will help your blood vessels dilate and relax.
Keeping your body in check is also important for preventing HBP. Regular exercise is very important for a healthy and functioning heart, and if you are overweight, then you should consider losing weight. Sweating off just a bit of it can do miracles in the long run, by helping your heart pump blood more easily.
Finally, it is time to cross off any addictions which could seriously be harming your health. If you are a smoker, then for your own sake as well as the sake of everyone around you, you should consider putting the cigarettes away for good. While there is no clear-cut connection between smoking and HBP, cigarettes damage your heart. Alcohol is a common cause of HBP. Try not to drink more than 1-2 glasses of alcohol per day, or better yet, try do drink as little as possible, or stop drinking alcohol completely.
Lastly, monitor your caffeine intake as well – while it can even help prevent heart disease, people who don’t ingest it often might be more sensitive to it.
Best supplements that lower blood pressure – updated in 2020
If you want to be extra sure and help your blood pressure as much as possible, you should consider taking some supplements too. In this segment, we will present to you a review of five different supplements, as well as their characteristics.
1. HFL Blood Pressure Optimizer
This supplement’s tagline is ‘’helps you easily & naturally achieve total blood pressure health’’. What HFL aims for is not to focus only on blood pressure, but to have a good impact on arteries as well. The company claims that these pills stabilize both systolic (top) and diastolic (bottom) numbers.
The top number shows how much pressure is in your arteries when your heart contracts and the bottom number shows the blood pressure when the heart is between beats. Both are important for your health.
The pill is also supposed to promote healthy circulation and blood flow, proper water balance, blood vessel strength and elasticity, and to relax and dilate the vascular and arterial walls. It is supposed to address not only the physical but also the emotional causes of hypertension.
Blood Pressure Optimizer contains grape seed extract, hawthorn berry extracts, celery seed extract, and pomegranate extract. It also contains L-Arginine-Alpha-Ketoglutarate, Lycopene, Magnesium, Calcium, Potassium, and vitamins B6, C and D3.
What is interesting is that the company offers its customers a full refund plus an additional 100$ back if the product doesn’t work for them in 30 days.
The reviews reveal that the majority of the customers are satisfied. Those that were not satisfied complained that the pills didn’t work for them or that they didn’t lower the blood pressure enough. Still, the reviews are mostly positive and praising.
2. Blood Pressure Support
Blood Pressure Support states on their site that its core purpose is to support blood pressure levels which are already at the normal range. This means that this product shouldn’t be used to lower blood pressure – its purpose is to maintain good blood pressure and keep your cardiovascular system working like a well-oiled machine. That means that this product isn’t for you if you already have some cardiovascular health problems.
The product comes in capsules. The capsules are meant to be taken 1-3 times a day, preferably with meals. The pills contain vitamins C, B6, B12, niacin, folate, garlic powder, buchu leaf, uva ursi leaf, juniper berry, hawthorn extract, olive leaf, and hibiscus flower.
3. PurePremium Blood Pressure Support
PurePremium boasts that its product is natural, containing natural anti-hypertensive herbal compounds and essential vitamins. They claim that their product will help widen your blood vessels, which will then lower your blood pressure.
The capsules that their product comes in are easy-to-swallow and non-GMO. They contain Folic Acid, Vitamin B12, garlic powder, hibiscus flower powder, olive leaf, hawthorn extract (leaf and flower), buchu leaf, uva ursi leaf, juniper berry powder and green tea leaf (decaffeinated). One bottle of the product contains 90 capsules. You are supposed to take one to three pills daily.
The company also offers a full No-Questions-Asked refund policy. On their Amazon page, 76% of the users have given a 5-star review, and in general, most reviews are positive. The negative ones mention that these pills had a too strong taste, garlic flavor, and in a few cases, that the pills even increased blood pressure instead of lowering it. However, these reviews are a minority.
4. The Genius Brand – Genius Heart
The pills that come from The Genius Brand branch out when it comes to their effect – the company calls them ‘’an all-in-one solution’’. They help treat high blood pressure, boost circulation, expand blood vessels, increase blood flow, decrease arterial stiffness, combat varicose, lower cholesterol, boost cardiovascular endurance and performance, increase cellular energy, boost strong bones and boost mental clarity. They also improve athletic performance and combat inflammation. In short, these pills help more than just your heart and vessels – they help your general health.
One pack contains 60 pills. They are vegan and gluten-free. The Genius Brand also boasts that the pills contain four clinically proven ingredients – Pantesin, MenaQ7, CoQ10, and Meganatural BP grape seed extract.
While most of the reviews are positive, some of them contain complaints about the price, some side effects, or the fact that it didn’t work.
5. Now Foods – Blood Pressure Health
The blood pressure supplement from Now Foods promotes cardiovascular health and healthy arterial function, helps maintain blood pressure already within the healthy range (so it is not meant for people who already know theirs is above average), and promotes general health. It is vegetarian/vegan and non-GMO.
The pills contain MegaNatural-BP (grape seed extract) and hawthorn extract. You are supposed to take 1 capsule 1-2 times daily. 90 capsules come in one pack.
This product has a 4.2-star rating on iHerb. Most users are satisfied, and those that are not satisfied simply claim that the product didn’t work for them.
What is a blood pressure supplement?
A blood pressure supplement is a product that you consume to support good cardiovascular health. Supplements are not medicine or substitutes for food. They usually come in the form of pills or capsules, and sometimes as powders, drinks, and bars. Some people take them along with blood pressure medication, while others use them alone.
Remember to always talk to your doctor if you plan on starting a supplement – whether you can take it depends on the pills you’re already taking (if any). In case of a more serious medical condition, you might be asked by your doctor not to take a supplement at all but medicine.
What are the benefits of blood pressure supplements?
Blood pressure supplements combine several ingredients that are beneficial for your health in a nifty pill or capsule. While some ingredients that are beneficial to your health can be accessed easily, some like olive leaf and hibiscus flower aren’t as easy to find.
Another reason is the fact that supplements use extracts that are much more powerful than just ingredients alone. Finally, taking a pill twice a day is much faster than having to prepare an additional dish to boost your health.
Which ingredients should you look for?
Many ingredients can boost your cardiovascular health. Some of the best-known ones are potassium, CoQ10, fiber, garlic, hawthorn, and celery seed.
Do blood pressure supplements cause any side effects?
Side effects are always possible, and that is why you should talk to your doctor before taking a supplement, especially if you are taking other medications. Even supplements with a seemingly singular purpose (like blood pressure supplements) contain different ingredients when compared between different brands, so you have to do a bit of research on the product you are interested in.
Don’t forget to check the label of the product that you are planning to use and consider whether there are some ingredients that you might be allergic to. Remember that in most cases you will be able to contact the company of the product and ask them if the product contains something you cannot take because of medical reasons or personal preference.
Our heart is a vital organ that we should take good care of if we want to live a long and happy life. A little bit of exercise and good food goes a long way, and our health can be ensured furthermore by taking supplements.
Don’t forget to consult your doctor if you plan on taking any, and make sure to visit a doctor if you suspect that something might be wrong with your blood pressure, heart, or cardiovascular system. Life is precious, so make sure that you are taking good care of yourself.
I’m Emily! Simply Gourmet in Southie is a blog devoted all of my favorite things in life: cooking, exploring new restaurants, my home city of Boston, my travels, my fitness journey and my passion to create clean eating recipes that taste like they should be bad for you. I get inspired by many things and I am here to inspire YOU both in and out of the kitchen!