Hypertension or high blood pressure is one of the most common lifestyle diseases globally. Given the fast paced life and impact of food habits, sedentary lifestyle, lack of exercise, tobacco and alcohol consumption, chronic stress etc. which are not uncommon, people have become more susceptible to blood pressure problems.
According to a recent survey done by eKincare across IT companies in Hyderabad, India, 51% of the employees had high blood pressure, which is the leading cause for various cardiovascular diseases. A blood pressure over 140/90 is a risk for stroke, kidney disease and heart disease.
Alternative therapies are beneficial in hypertension, especially in early or mild hypertension (<130/90mm of Hg) that doesn’t need prescription treatment.
Certain foods and herbs have chemical and relaxation functions similar to anti-hypertensive medications.
Chlorogenic acid (CGA): it is a family of chemicals found in plants such as coffee beans, apples, pears, tomatoes, blueberry, potatoes, peanuts, Chinese parsley and eggplant. The daily human dose is up to 1 gm/day. CGA is anti-hypertensive, anti-cancer, lowers blood sugar and increases immunity . CGA levels are high in an extract of green coffee beans.
Garlic: The crushing of garlic (Allium sativum) releases medicinal effects. it has a number of effects and is degraded by cooking. The strongest anti-hypertensive effect of garlic is in 2-6 hours and lasts for 24 hours. There is evidence that garlic is antioxidant. Not all studies show that garlic reduces blood pressures.
Onion (Allium cepa) : Onion has been shown to be anti-hypertensive in numerous animal studies. The active ingredients may be destroyed by cooking. Quercetin, a phenol, is one of onion’s active ingredients which have been shown as anti-hypertensive.
Tea (Camellia sinensis): Tea contains green tea catechins (GTC) which reduce blood pressure.
Natto, a fermented product of boiled soy beans with Bacillus, produces ACE inhibitor activity.
Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) enriched tempeh can lower blood pressure.
Ginger (Zingiber officinale) can lower blood pressure.
Fish oil : it contains Omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA which lowers blood pressures.
There are a number of functional foods and nutraceuticals which reduce blood pressures, through ACE inhibitor activity, modulation of Nitric oxide activity, free radical scavenging and improved endothelial function.
Right diet along with right exercise can help you prevent hypertension and several other cardiovascular problems. In order to keep a track of the vital parameters of your health, get your complete health checkup done on a regular basis. You can upload your medical reports on eKincare – Your Personal Health Manager & stay updated about your health indicators and take steps to stay healthy.
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Chen, ZY, et al. The Chinese Univ. of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China.