Best supplements for high blood pressure: Three minerals to help lower your reading
High blood pressure can cause a person’s arteries to harden and thicken, increasing the chance of more serious health problems happening such as heart attack and stroke. The condition can often be prevented or reduced by eating a healthy diet, making sure you cut down on the amount of salt in food and eating plenty of fruit and vegetables. Experts also say keeping your levels of certain vitamins and minerals topped up can help reduce high blood pressure. Holland & Barrett recommends three – potassium, magnesium and omega-3.
Experts say keeping your levels of certain vitamins and minerals topped up can reduce high blood pressure
Potassium is essential for a number of important functions in the body including maintaining a healthy nervous system and regulating blood pressure.
The high street health store explains: “The mineral works as an electrolyte, conducting nerve signals throughout the body to generate muscle contractions, including those in the heart and gut.
“Research shows that a diet rich in potassium may help protect against osteoporosis by significantly lowering the amount of calcium lost via the kidneys, while the results of over 30 studies found that potassium may be beneficial for the prevention and control of high blood pressure and stroke.”
A healthy diet should provide you with all the potassium you need. Potassium rich foods include bananas, broccoli, pulses, nuts and seeds, fish, chicken and avocado.
Potassium is also available in supplement form, but the Department of Health advises you don’t take too much because this could be harmful.
Taking 3,700mg or less of potassium supplements a day is unlikely to have obvious harmful effects.
As well as helping keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy, magnesium has proven to play an important role in reducing blood pressure.
It says: “It’s thought that magnesium helps the body release prostacyclin, a hormone-like compound that reduces tension in blood vessel walls.”
US researchers in 2016 analysed the results of 34 clinical trials involving 2,000 people and found a link between magnesium and high blood pressure.
Participants who took magnesium were found to have both lower blood pressure and improved blood flow.
Another study by the University of Hertfordshire in 2012 found not only could magnesium reduce blood pressure, this effect increased in line with increased dosage.
Magnesium can be found in green leafy vegetables such as spinach, nuts, brown rice, fish, meat and dairy foods.
If you take supplements the Department of Health advises you have 400mg or less day and that taking too many could be harmful.
Omega-3 fatty acids are commonly found in oily fish and have been shown to promote healthy blood pressure.
The high street health store says just 3g of omega-3 fatty acids every day could be enough to protect against hypertension.
“You may not know if you high blood pressure, as it’s a hidden issue.
“In England alone, it’s estimated there are over five million people unaware that they have it. That’s one in four adults unknowingly at risk of heart problems, kidney disease, stroke and dementia.
“The reason we’re always being advised to eat oily fish is for their omega 3 fatty acids.
“The types found in salmon, tuna and co. are known as EPA and DHA, and a daily dose of 3g has been shown to promote normal blood pressure.
“If you’re not a fish fan, consider fish oil supplements. But for veggies unfortunately no substitute has been proven to have the same effect on blood pressure.”
According to the European Food Safety Authority, omega-3 fatty acid supplements can be safely consumed at doses up to 5,000 mg daily.
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