If you don’t have high blood pressure and believe this article isn’t for you, think again. New research finds that over 17 million Americans are walking around at this very moment with hidden hypertension, according to a new study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.1,2
And although your high blood pressure may be silent, it’s no less deadly. Your body is still under strain and you’re still at risk for heart disease, organ damage and even death.
You may have heard of the white coat effect before. That’s when you don’t normally have high blood pressure, but the stress of being in the doctor’s office sends your blood pressure climbing.
Well hidden, or masked, hypertension is white coat’s even uglier cousin. It’s when your blood pressure dips down into the normal range when you’re in the doctor’s office, but runs high at other times. That’s what makes it so dangerous.
Your doc can determine if you have hidden hypertension but it requires running a 24-hour monitoring test. You’ll be fitted with a blood pressure cuff that you keep on for an entire day as you go about your normal activities.
If there’s a history of high blood pressure in your family, you get elevated readings with your own device at home or you’re simply just concerned about hidden hypertension talk with your doc about whether or not you should consider getting tested.
But in the meantime consider these powerful natural hypertension fighters that could help you tame your blood pressure, no drugs required.
Grape seed contains a number of compounds that naturally relax arteries, including catechins, epicatechins and oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPCs). OPCs are also potent antioxidants that help protect your blood vessels against damaging free radicals and inflammation, which left unchecked can lead to hypertension. Research has shown grape seed extract can be a safe and effective way to lower blood pressure.3,4,5 In fact, in a recent study published in the British Journal of Nutrition volunteers taking 150 milligrams of the extract twice a day for six weeks had their average systolic blood pressure drop 5.6 percent, while their average diastolic blood pressure dropped 4.7 percent.6 The majority of folks taking the grape seed extract had their blood pressure return to the normal zone by the time the study ended.
Garlic helps battle hypertension by triggering your body to release natural blood vessel relaxers hydrogen sulfide and nitric oxide.7,8,9 In a meta-analysis published in the journal BMC Cardiovascular Disorders folks with hypertension who took garlic saw their systolic blood pressures drop 8.4 points on average, while their diastolic numbers dropped an average 7.3 percent.10 And in a UCLA study published in 2016 garlic extract was shown to slow down the buildup of arterial plaque and reverse hardening of the arteries by an incredible 80 percent.11
A growing stack of research has revealed that anti-inflammatory beet juice can be an effective way to nudge your blood pressure back towards normal.12,13 Beets are brimming with dietary nitrate which your body converts into blood vessel dilating nitrite (NO2) and nitric oxide (NO). In one randomized controlled study around 8.5 ounces of beet juice daily was shown to significantly lower blood pressure.14
Studies show dark chocolate can help relax blood vessels allowing blood to flow easier, significantly lowering your blood pressure as a result.15,16 In fact, just three ounces of a quality dark chocolate a day could reduce your blood pressure by up to 10 points in just weeks, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.17 Dark chocolate is rich in polyphenols, such as epicatechin, which most experts agree is likely the key to its hypertension fighting abilities. But remember, the darker the chocolate the better.