If you’re battling high blood pressure, you already know how tough an opponent it can be. And let’s not sugarcoat things, eating healthy and regular exercise ARE at the heart of bringing your blood pressure in line.
But they’re far from the only remedy for fighting hypertension. And in fact, in many cases they’re not nearly enough.
As we get older, our once elastic arteries tend to become far less flexible. This hardening of the arteries, technically known as atherosclerosis, is one of the most common causes of high blood pressure.
Home remedies for high blood pressure to try
If you’re already working on your diet, and you’re making an effort to keep moving, it might be time to try some additional home remedies for high blood pressure.
Following are four surprisingly effective home remedies for high blood pressure. While these natural solutions may be a bit off the beaten path trying them could soon put you on the road to perfect blood pressure.
1. Citrus peel:
According to regular Healthier Talk contributor Dr. Glenn Rothfeld, a compound found in citrus peels can help relax stiffened arteries. The extract, called hesperidin, is a natural bioflavonoid that’s concentrated in the membranes and peels of the fruits.
In an animal experiment at the University of Kentucky, scientists divided older mice with stiffened arteries into two groups. One group received hesperidin supplements for a month and the others did not.
The critters which got the citrus peel extract had significantly less stiffness in the main artery that carries blood from the heart throughout the body. Plus the hesperidin dosed mice had their levels of blood-vessel-clogging advanced glycation end products (AGEs) plummet.1
You can get more hesperidin in your diet by using lemon, lime and orange zest in your cooking. Fresh zest adds a delicious zip to everything from oatmeal to chicken. There are also bioflavonoid supplements available which contain hesperidin. Check online and in health food stores.
And green and yellow peppers, apricots, plums and whole grains contain the compound as well.
2. Spicy foods:
While salt doesn’t drive up everyone’s blood pressure if you’re already battling hypertension watching your sodium levels is always a good idea. And it turns out there’s an effortless way to cut back on added salt without compromising flavor.
A recent study found that chowing down on spicy foods can slash your salt cravings and that could keep your blood pressure down.2 When researchers surveyed hundreds of adults on their spicy food preferences, use of added salt and blood pressure the spicy food fans used far less salt on average.
When the scientists peeked at the brain activity of the heat seaking folks as they nibbled on hot foods they found something incredible. The very same area of the brain that lights up when we eat salt lights up when we eat hot foods. Which means adding a bit more heat to your meals may keep you from reaching for your salt shaker.
And when it comes to effective home remedies for high blood pressure the spicy food technique isn’t just a theory. It gets real world results. The study participants who were big spicy food fans also had significantly lower blood pressure than those who avoided the heat.
So go ahead and ramp up the heat in your own meals. And replace your salt shaker with a bottle of your favorite hot sauce.
3. A hearty breakfast:
If you usually grab a piece of toast as you run out the door in the morning… or skip eating altogether… it’s time to change your breakfast habits. Because according to the experts tucking in for a hearty breakfast could be the key to keeping your blood pressure in check.
A study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology gathered data on the breakfast habits of over 4,000 adults. When the researchers crunched the numbers, they found folks who regularly skipped out on breakfast were significantly more likely to develop the hardening of the arteries that leads to high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke.3
In fact, the breakfast skippers were less healthy all the way around with bigger bellies, higher BMIs, raised blood sugar levels and unhealthy cholesterol numbers.
Folks who grabbed a light on-the-go type breakfast such as a slice of toast and juice didn’t get a clean bill of health either. They were also more likely to have artery damage than those who stopped for a complete breakfast.
Talk about home remedies for high blood pressure that I can fully get behind! Delicious filling eggs with sautéed veggies? Yes, please. An egg stuffed avocado? Sign me up. (Click here for an easy recipe.) Or a healthy smoothie made with coconut milk and fresh berries? I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait.
4. Slash stress levels:
It turns out stress can send your blood pressure climbing too. But not just for the reason you might be imagining. According to recent research, certain strains of gut bugs can commandeer your stress hormones and send your BP climbing.
In a University of Illinois and Brown University study researchers discovered that some gut bugs can convert cortisol (the “stress hormone”) into other hormones which are produced in our adrenal glands. This, in turn, blocks our kidneys from purging excess sodium.4 And, as you know, a buildup of sodium can cause blood pressure in salt sensitive folks to climb.
In other words, even if you’ve been doing everything right… eating healthy, exercising and watching your salt… you may still find yourself struggling to keep your blood pressure in check. But there’s a simple two part solution: reduce stress levels to bring your cortisol levels down and support a healthy gut bug balance.
Life delivers stress to our doorsteps whether we like it or not. But adding some stress relieving habits to your regular routine can help.
Here are two to try…
One minute “meditation”:
Find a quiet spot to sit undisturbed for a minute. Close your eyes if you like. Clear your mind of all thoughts. Focus on your breathing as you take deep breaths in through your nose and let them out through your mouth. After about a minute open your eyes and return to your regular activities feeling calm and refreshed.
Calm down with chamomile:
The chamomile plant contains the bioflavonoid apigenin, which experts say is a natural anxiety buster. Whenever you feel your stress levels start to climb, stop and take a chamomile tea break. You’ll feel your tensions ease with each comforting sip. There are also supplements available.
And to support a healthy belly bug balance check out our free report 6 ways to supercharge your good gut bugs.
It’s true that hypertension can be a tough problem to tackle. But these home remedies for high blood pressure can help.
Be sure to check with your doctor before trying them. And because they can be very effective, it’s a good idea to take your blood pressure several times a day to make sure it doesn’t drop too low.
1. “Hesperidin reverses perivascular adipose-mediated aortic stiffness with aging,” Experimental Gerontology, Volume 97, 15 October 2017, Pages 68-72
2. “Enjoyment of Spicy Flavor Enhances Central Salty-Taste Perception and Reduces Salt Intake and Blood Pressure,” Hypertension. 2017;70:1291-1299
3. “The Importance of Breakfast in Atherosclerosis Disease,” Volume 70, Issue 15, 10 October 2017, Pages 1833-1842
4. “Identification and characterization of a 20B-HSDH from the anaerobic gut bacterium Butyricicoccus desmolans ATCC 43058
She is an advocate of self-education and is passionate about the power of group knowledge sharing, like the kind found right here on HealthierTalk.com. Alice loves to share her views on holistic and natural healing as well as her, sometimes contentious, thoughts on the profit-driven inner workings of traditional medicine.
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