Garlic and Blood Pressure

Did you know that over 5 million Canadians are living with high blood pressure but an estimated 40% of them are not even aware of their condition?

High blood pressure, also referred to as ‘hypertension’, occurs when the force of the blood against the walls of the blood vessels is too high. High blood pressure occurs when the blood is pumped with great difficulty against the arteries by a person’s heart which over time begins to damage the lining of the blood vessels. Chronic high blood pressure can cause damage to vital organs like the heart, brain and kidneys when the condition is not managed.

There are many natural ways to prevent and control high blood pressure including a change in lifestyle choices such as physical activity and exercise, reduced salt intake, eating a healthy well balanced diet, minimizing and/ or eliminating alcohol and smoking and maintaining a healthy body weight.

One natural supplement that you can look into for reducing your high blood pressure is garlic. Studies show that garlic can lower elevated blood pressure levels by as much as 10% by reducing systolic and diastolic pressure. (Your ‘systolic’ reading is the top number and your ‘diastolic’ is the bottom number when you receive a blood pressure reading – e.g. 120/80.) Aside from garlic, other natural treatments for high blood pressure are Coenzyme Q10, fish oils, folic acid and hawthorn.

Although it sounds like garlic could be an easy answer to high blood pressure, one must also be aware that garlic is also a blood thinner and that it should not be combined with prescription blood thinners or other natural blood thinners like vitamin E. Also, you should definitely not supplement with garlic for 4 to 5 weeks after surgery due to its blood thinning properties.

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