Why Blood Pressure Matters
If nearly 60 million Americans came down with a deadly fever, it would be the plague of the century. That’s a quarter of the adult population. We’d immediately mobilize every medical resource to bring the problem under control.
But what if a quarter of our population were walking around with a problem just as deadly… but it didn’t have any outward signs?
That’s a situation you don’t have to imagine, because it’s happening today. 59.4 million Americans – 1 of every 4 adults – have high blood pressure. And as you’ll see in a moment, that’s a problem of the highest order.
But first, let’s look at what high blood pressure is. And later, I’ll show you some simple steps you can take to promote healthy blood pressure levels.
Think of your blood vessels as a series of hoses strung together. When your heart pumps, it forces blood to move through your “hoses” – just the way turning on the tap forces water through a garden hose.
Some of that force pushes “outwards” on your blood vessels when your heart pumps. That’s your blood pressure.
Your blood pressure consists of two numbers. That’s because we measure blood pressure twice – when you’re heart’s working hardest and between beats. These numbers are called systolic (working) and diastolic (between beats). That’s why you often see blood pressure
expressed as “120/80.”
120/80 is considered normal blood pressure. If your blood pressure is 140/90 or above, it’s considered high.
That’s really pretty simple, isn’t it?
Lots of things can raise your blood pressure… smoking, being overweight, a diet high in unhealthy fats, too little exercise, and even some medications. And when your blood pressure stays up over time, it can cause real problems.
- Your heart can enlarge or weaken… leaving it unable to circulate blood effectively. This robs your body of the oxygen and nutrients it needs to function.
- Blood vessels may weaken and balloon outward. The balloons can burst suddenly, causing blood to flow into organs and tissues. When this happens in the brain, you may lose control of some body functions… even permanently.
- Arteries going to the kidneys – which filter impurities from your blood – may narrow. Eventually your kidneys may stop working altogether.
- Blood vessels in your eyes may leak or burst, even leading to blindness.
It can take years for the damage to reach this point. But unless you’re checking your blood pressure regularly, you may never see it coming. Until it’s too late.
But why take chances? Especially when many people can support healthy blood pressure naturally, with just a few simple steps.
The number one way to get a handle on high blood pressure is to maintain a healthy weight. According to a government survey, only 15% of the people with high blood pressure are at a healthy weight.1
Exercise is another big factor. The same survey found people who exercised at least 3 times per week were 36% less likely to have high blood pressure. And avoiding stress cut risk by 15%.
Anyone with high blood pressure should talk to their doctor. But several herbs and other nutrients can be helpful in promoting healthy blood pressure levels.
- A major review of studies from 1955 – 2007 found clear evidence that garlic is effective.2
- Alpha-lipoic acid promotes heart health in general… including by supporting healthy blood pressure levels.3
- Low levels of vitamin C and the mineral selenium have been linked to high blood pressure.4
If you haven’t checked your blood pressure recently, do so. Healthy adults should check their blood pressure at least once a year. More often if it’s at all above normal. With a few simple adjustments, you could very well maintain healthy levels for the rest of your life.
If your blood pressure is already high, take action now. It could save you years of grief down the road.
Yours in continued good health,
Best Life Herbals Wellness Team
1 Carroll, W, “Hypertension in America: Estimates for the U.S. Civilian Noninstitutionalized Population, Age18 and Older, 2008,” Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. March 2011: 1-2.
2 Ried, K., et al, “Effect of garlic on blood pressure: a systematic review and meta-analysis,” BMC Cardiovasc Disord. Jun 16, 2008; 8: 13.
3 Ghibu, S., et al, “Antioxidant properties of an endogenous thiol: Alpha-lipoic acid, useful in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases,” J Cardiovasc Pharmacol. Nov 2009; 54(5): 391-398.
4 Salonen, J.T., et al, “Blood pressure, dietary fats, and antioxidants,” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 1988; 48: 1226-1232.