Blood Pressure Solution Secret 1: Tomato Extract
Tomato extract contains carotenoids such as lycopene, beta carotene, and vitamin E. These are known to be effective antioxidants that can slow down the development of atherosclerosis.
Researchers from the University of Negev in Israel have shown treatment with tomato extract rich in antioxidants to reduce blood pressure in patients with stage 1 hypertension.
In a small study, a group of people with stage 1 high blood pressure took 250 milligrams of tomato extract, containing 15 milligrams of lycopene, daily for eight weeks. The daily intake of tomato extract was linked to a drop of 10 points in systolic blood pressure and a drop of 4 points in diastolic blood pressure.
Although researchers are currently unsure as to the exact way in which the consumption of tomato extract or regular tomatoes can help lower blood pressure, lycopene is credited with the blood pressure-lowering effect.
Further research is needed to confirm this and to make definitive recommendations. Despite this, getting enough lycopene in your diet is definitely good for the health of your heart. The antioxidant can be found in red fruits such as tomato extract, tomatoes, pink grapefruit, and watermelon.
Please note however that tomato extract is not a substitute for adopting healthy lifestyle recommendations, and neither for your doctor’s recommendations.
Blood Pressure Solution Secret 2: Grape Seed Extract
Grape seed extract has also shown to have a blood pressure-lowering effect.
A study from the University of California has evaluated the ability of grape seed extract to lower blood pressure in individuals with hypertension.
The subjects across the board experienced an average drop of 12 points in their systolic blood pressure and an average reduction of 8 points in diastolic blood pressure.
The scientists from the university concluded grape seed extract to be a safe way to reduce blood pressure in people with hypertension. The extract is thought to have a blood pressure-lowering effect through helping arteries dilate.
If you are thinking of taking grape seed extract to treat hypertension, it is nevertheless strongly advised to talk to your doctor first. Lastly, it is important to note that the above study was funded by Polyphenolics Inc., a producer of grape seed extract.
Blood Pressure Solution Secret 3: Cocoa
Although officially unconfirmed, cocoa is thought to be an important mediator that has beneficial effects on blood pressure, platelet and vascular function, and insulin resistance.
Researchers from the Cochrane Library have found that dark chocolate and cocoa have had slight blood-pressure-lowering effects. This is because these foods both contain flavanols that boost nitrous oxide production in the body that causes arteries to relax and open.
Cocoa flavanols are therefore thought to help lower blood pressure by increased flow-mediated vasodilation as well as improve blood cholesterol.
Vasodilation is the dilatation of blood vessels that has the effect of lowering blood pressure.
Long-term trials are still needed to investigate the definite effect of cocoa on cardiovascular health.
Chocolate and cocoa products that are rich in flavanol are nevertheless shown to lower blood pressure by as much as 2 – 3 mm Hg in the short term. It is important to note that only high-quality cocoa or dark chocolate counts.
Blood Pressure Solution Secret 4: L-arginine
L-arginine is an amino acid that, with mixed results, has shown to lower blood pressure in some people.
The amino acid is available as a supplement but it also found in foods such as whole grains, beans, dairy products, soy, nuts, fish, and red meat.
L-arginine converts to nitric oxide which can help lower blood pressure by opening and relaxing arteries. Most people will naturally produce all the L-arginine they need. Larger studies are needed before we can positively determine whether or not L-arginine can reliably and safely lower blood pressure.
L-arginine supplements can interact with other medications, including some high blood pressure medications and some health conditions. Because of this, it is crucial to always talk to your physician before taking any nutritional or herbal supplements. This is particularly important if you are currently on medications or undergoing another health therapy.
Blood Pressure Solution Secret 5: Pycnogenol
Pycnogenol is an antioxidant supplement derived from the pine bark.
Research that appeared in the journal Life Sciences suggests that pycnogenol can help people control their blood pressure as well as reduce their dependence on blood pressure medications.
In a study with people with high blood pressure who have been prescribed blood pressure medication, the supplement has shown to lower their dependency on medications. After 12 weeks, those with the antioxidant supplement were able to keep their blood pressure within the normal range with a 15-milligram dose of blood pressure medication compared to the average 21.6-milligram dose of medication in those who took the placebo.
Pycnogenol is thought to have antioxidant effects, stimulate the immune system, and contain substances that improve blood flow.
As with other supplements, due to potential adverse effects as well as interactions with other medications, it is strongly advised to speak to your doctor before taking pycnogenol.
Caution and an initial consultation with your doctor is of utmost important – particularly with regards to children, pregnant women, and people with diabetes or other health complications.