High blood pressure naturally fluctuates throughout the day and night. It’s when a person’s blood pressure is consistently high, even when they are resting, that can spell trouble. This means a person’s heart has to work harder to pump blood around their body, which, if left untreated, can lead to heart complications. Fortunately, simply dietary changes can lower a person’s reading.
Antioxidants are molecules that help fight oxidation
Cardamon, a popular spice used in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine, has been shown to lower high blood pressure.
In one study, researchers gave three grams of cardamom powder a day to 20 adults who were newly diagnosed with high blood pressure.
After 12 weeks, blood pressure levels had significantly decreased to the normal range.
Investigating the blood-pressure lowering properties found in cardamom, researchers suggest the answer may lie in the high levels of antioxidants found in the spice.
Antioxidants are molecules that help fight oxidation.
Oxidation is a normal chemical process that takes place in the body everyday. When this process is disrupted, however, this has been shown to play a role in high blood pressure.
Antioxidants help to restore the process.
Notably, the study found that participants’ antioxidant status had increased by 90 percent by the end of the study.
Researchers also posit that the spice may lower blood pressure due to its diuretic effect, meaning it can encourage urination to flush out water that builds up in a person’s body, for example around their heart.
Bolstering this explanation, cardamom extract has been shown to increase urination and decrease blood pressure in rats.
How to check high blood pressure
The only way of knowing whether a person has high blood pressure is to have a blood pressure test.
According to the NHS, all adults over 40 are advised to have their blood pressure checked at least every five years.
“Getting this done is easy and could save your life,” noted the health body.
A person can get their blood pressure tested at a number of places, including:
- At their GP surgery
- At some pharmacies
- As part of their NHS Health Check
- In some workplaces
A person can also check their blood pressure at home with a blood pressure monitor.
“Like 24-hour or ambulatory monitoring, this can give a better reflection of your blood pressure,” added the NHS.
Sprinkling this on meals may also lower a person’s reading.
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