When it comes to treating high blood pressure through your diet, there are some things you should add, as well as some that you should avoid. Most of us know that we should limit our salt intake and maintain a healthy diet overall, but we don’t often hear about the variety of herbs, spices, vitamins and minerals that can also make a significant difference.
Herbs and spices that have been used to treat high blood pressure for many generations include dandelion, motherwort, chamomile, saffron, fennel, ginger, yarrow, cat’s claw, linden, parsley, kudzu, hawthorn, valerian, marjoram, sage, nutmeg, thyme, tarragon, curry, cloves, basil, fennel, dill, oregano, cayenne, cinnamon and chili powder.
Some of these are available as herbal supplements or teas, while others you will probably recognize from your own spice rack and can be easily incorporated into meal preparation. Fresh herbs and spices are the best option when using these items for medicinal purposes; however, dried spices and herbs are often more convenient when on the road and also offer healthful benefits. It is always best to purchase organic options, which are often sold in bulk in the natural foods section of most grocery stores. This is because conventionally processed spices and herbs found in the baking aisle are processed in a manner that robs them of the majority of their healthful benefits.
There are also a number of vitamins and minerals that you may want to pay attention to when planning your meals. Calcium, vitamin C, lutein, folic acid, Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), potassium and magnesium are all minerals and vitamins that you should have in your diet for overall health; however, you may want to talk to your doctor about supplementing your diet with these nutrients. Potassium and magnesium levels, in particular, should be monitored in high blood pressure patients, especially those who take prescription medications that have diuretic qualities.
Before you decide to supplement your diet with herbal supplements or vitamins, keep in mind that some of these products do not interact well with prescription drugs; therefore, it is important to discuss supplementation with your doctor before running out to the vitamin store.