Learning To Manage Hypertension
Nearly half of American adults have high blood pressure (BP) or hypertension. Only about a quarter of people with hypertension have the disease under control. While medication can aid in reducing blood pressure, a healthy diet and even certain supplements can help to lower systolic and diastolic figures and improve health outcomes. What vitamins offer the most benefit?
1. Fish oil supplements
Omega-3 fatty acids are naturally found in foods, especially plants and fatty fish like mackerel, salmon, and tuna. The essential nutrient can lower blood pressure and also bolster how some anti-inflammatory drugs work. Regularly consuming omega-3s can lower triglyceride levels or bad fats and further reduce the risk of developing heart disease or stroke. While a healthy diet is preferred, fish oil supplements can also offer the same benefit.
2. The sunshine vitamin
Vitamin D does more than improve immunity. Research has shown that regularly consuming vitamin D can reduce a person’s chances of developing high blood pressure. A recent study found a link between low levels of the nutrient and an increased risk of developing hypertension. The connection was especially profound in African Americans, who are more likely to suffer from a vitamin D deficiency. The vitamin can be obtained from the sun, diet, or a supplement.
3. Potassium to counter sodium
Another notable contender for reducing blood pressure is potassium. The nutrient works to encourage the body to eliminate sodium through the urine. Potassium also helps reduce the strain on the body’s blood vessels, ultimately helping to reduce pressure against arterial and venous walls. Research suggests the group most likely to benefit from the supplement are individuals with high blood pressure but who consume high-sodium diets.
4. Garlic to decrease stroke risk
More than just a flavorful ingredient for tasty dishes, garlic offers many other benefits. The pungent food has a documented history of improving health outcomes in people diagnosed with hypertension. Not only can garlic reduce BP, but the bulb can decrease the risk of suffering from a stroke, heart attack, or even coronary artery disease (CAD) by as much as 40%, a significant amount. To avoid smelly breath, skip the Italian food and take a garlic supplement instead.
A note on supplements
Ask any physician, dietician, or health expert, and these individuals will usually recommend that getting proper nutrients through a healthy diet is always preferable to supplements. Relying on supplements can also be tricky as the products aren’t well regulated by government organizations, and consuming too much or little of a nutrient is a real risk. However, a supplement can be beneficial for some people who may be at risk of deficiency.
Lower BP naturally
Although a single pill won’t cure high blood pressure, the above supplements have been shown to have a positive effect when taken consistently. In addition to a healthy diet and medication, adding fish oil, vitamin D, potassium, or garlic may be the best way to control blood pressure. Consulting with a physician or registered dietician (RD) before starting a new supplement routine for high BP is always the safest approach.