Known as the “silent killer”, high blood pressure typically has no symptoms. It can cause stroke, congestive heart failure, hardening of the arteries, mental declines, and even premature death. But fortunately, there are proactive things we can do to prevent and even reverse high blood pressure (also known as hypertension).
Are You at Risk?
We can’t see it, touch it, hear it, smell it, or taste it. That can make blood pressure easy to ignore. But, we can measure blood pressure, and the statistics are not looking good. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 90% of middle-aged American adults will eventually suffer from hypertension. And because blood pressure is so easy to ignore, almost 30% of people with hypertension are blissfully unaware of their own condition.
High blood pressure does not discriminate: it affects every social class, every race, and every age. However certain groups are especially vulnerable to hypertension, according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute:
- Men over 45 years old and women over 55 face a high risk of hypertension than younger people.
- Men are more susceptible to hypertension than women are.
- African Americans are more likely to experience high blood pressure than white Americans are.
- Those living on or near the poverty line are more likely to develop high blood pressure than those who are not poor.
- People with diabetes face a higher risk of hypertension.
- Overweight people are more likely to have high blood pressure.
Key Risk Factors
In addition to those certain groups that are especially vulnerable to hypertension, there are other key risk factors for hypertension.
An estimated 65% of Americans are overweight, and 31% are obese. The expanding girth of the American public has led to expanding rates of hypertension, as well as insulin resistance and chronic kidney disease.
Also known as insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome refers to a cluster of conditions that includes: obesity, high blood pressure, high triglyceride levels, and low HDL (“good”) cholesterol.
Living in our fast-paced world, most of us are all too familiar with stress. Yes, stress can literally send our blood pressure through the roof. The body responds to mental, emotional, physical, and environmental stress by generating a powerful hormone called cortisol. Cortisol pushes stored reserves of sugar, fat, protein, vitamins, and minerals into the bloodstream to the areas of the body that need it most. If stress is extreme and/or prolonged, cortisol levels stay elevated. This can lead to unhealthy behaviors or conditions that can increase the risk of hypertension.
Take Steps to Reduce Your Risks:
Improve Your Diet
A blood-pressure-friendly diet supports necessary weight loss along with healthy levels of blood sugar, lipids, and cholesterol. When you make smart dietary changes you’re creating a climate in which your body can find overall balance and well-being. Even modest weight loss–as little as 10 pounds–can normalize blood pressure readings. You can achieve weight loss through a diet high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy and foods low in fat, sodium, and refined sugar and flour.
Boost Prevention Success with Supplements
If you want to prevent hypertension or lower your blood pressure, the following supplements have been clinically researched for their blood pressure-balancing benefits. Be sure to inform your doctor about your supplement usage, and never stop taking a medication without speaking with a qualified healthcare professional first.
Aged Garlic Extract
Garlic is promoted for its LDL cholesterol-lowering properties, but it also demonstrates a mild blood pressure-lowering effect. Aged garlic extract (AGE), in particular, appears to lower blood pressure by increasing the flexibility of the arteries and improving blood circulation. An antioxidant-rich sulfur compound called S-allylcysteine is abundant in AGE, attributed to potentially ameliorating hypertension and delaying the progression of renal damage. Try incorporating a supplement like Kyolic 109 contains a unique and natural combination of nattokinase and sutheanine with aged garlic extract to help support healthy blood pressure through different pathways.
Derived from natto, a fermented soybean product popular in Japan, nattokinase is a potent dietary enzyme. Natto has been shown to lower systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure. Like aspirin, nattokinase helps thin the blood. In addition, it appears to dissolve the tiny fibers (fibrin) that hold blood clots together. Nattokinase also protects against hypertension by providing compounds called “angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors” (ACE). These compounds prevent against angiotensin, a polypeptide hormone, from increasing water and salt retention in the body. To gain the benefits of this potent dietary enzyme, consider taking a supplement that contains nattokinase, like Kyolic 109. This formula contains a powerful blend of nattokinase, sutheanine, and aged garlic extract to support healthy blood pressure levels.
*Note: Nattokinase is not recommended for anyone taking warfarin, aspirin, or any other blood-thinning agent, unless under a doctor’s supervision.
There are some risk factors we can’t do anything about like our age, race, or gender. But, we can control many of the other risk factors for hypertension, such as obesity, poor diet and lifestyle choices, and lack of proper medical care. When we start eating real food, taking high-quality supplements, and making smart lifestyle adjustments, we can prevent and even reverse high blood pressure. Begin today!
This article is for informational purposes only. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.