High blood pressure (or hypertension) affects more than 3 million people in the U. S. each year. Because it doesn't typically produce symptoms, it is often called the "silent killer." If left untreated, hypertension can lead to heart disease or stroke. While some prescribed medications reduce blood pressure, changes in the diet can help as well. Adding certain herbs to the grocery list makes a natural alternative for a high blood pressure diet plan.
A plant that comes from India, cardamom is part of the ginger family and often used in South Asian cuisine. A study examining the health benefits of cardamom found that consuming a powdered form each day for several months lowered blood pressure in study participants. Cardamom makes a good ingredient for spice rubs, soups, and stews, and it brings a delicious and unique flavor to baked goods.
Celery seed makes a great addition to a high blood pressure diet plan. Tasting and smelling like its whole vegetable counterpart, the seed has been used since ancient times to treat hypertension in China, and several studies back up its effectiveness. People consume the seeds, seed extract, or juice the whole plant to gain benefits. Celery seed makes a good ingredient for soups, stews, casseroles, and salads.
While garlic is known for its pungent aroma and bold flavor, it also offers medicinal properties. Because the active ingredient, allicin, relaxes and dilates blood vessels, garlic may help to lower blood pressure. A scientific review of 21 studies found that dried garlic supplements containing specific amounts of allicin consistently lowered blood pressure in the people taking it. Garlic makes a delicious ingredient in a variety of savory dishes from pastas to soups.
An evergreen native to North America, yucca goes by the nickname "ghosts in the graveyard" due to its tall white flowering stalks. People consume the whole plant ─ mashed, fried, and grilled ─ or its extract as a supplement. A study examining the anti-inflammatory effects of yucca extract found that it reduces blood pressure, cholesterol, and the incidence of migraine headaches. Its anti-inflammatory benefits also help people with osteoarthritis, colitis, and poor circulation.
In addition to adding flavor, certain herbs offer medicinal properties like the ability to lower blood pressure. Cardamom, celery seed, garlic, and yucca all make good choices for a high blood pressure diet plan. Whether using the whole herb or a supplement, consult with a health care professional first. Used in large quantities, some herbs may interfere with certain medications or produce side effects.