Velocity Care discusses nutraceuticals for heart health
High blood pressure affects a great number of Americans. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 70 million American adults (one in three people) suffer from high blood pressure. This affliction can cause damage to arteries which, if left untreated, can lead to an aneurysm, heart attack, kidney failure, stroke or eye damage.
Prescription blood pressure medication is an important tool in the arsenal of anyone combating high blood pressure. Another option that is steadily gaining popularity is nutraceuticals.
What is a nutraceutical?
“Nutraceutical” is a term that combines the words “nutrient” and “pharmaceutical” and refers to a broad range of natural products derived from food sources. Dietary supplements, vitamins, minerals, herbal products and fortified foods can all be considered nutraceuticals.
Quite a few studies explore the effects of nutraceuticals in reducing blood pressure and many have had very successful results. Experts recommend that any natural health products be taken in addition to any medications prescribed by a doctor, and only if the doctor says that it is safe to do so.
Which nutraceutical might help lower my blood pressure?
There are many natural health products that effectively help lower blood pressure.
- Vitamins D and E are often used to bolster heart health.
- Studies have shown that magnesium, potassium and iron have blood pressure-lowering properties.
- Physicians often recommend coenzyme Q10 (also known as CoQ10) for people wishing to increase their heart health.
- Studies have shown that garlic – whether raw, cooked or in supplement form – has very good effects on blood pressure and the heart in general.
Again, it is important to involve your doctor or pharmacist when choosing which supplements to take. They will be able to guide you toward what is best for you with respect to your specific health care needs.
Are nutraceuticals safe?
Because these products are derived from natural food sources, they are generally considered safe to use. You should always speak with a doctor or pharmacist before taking any new medications, however, to ensure that there are no interactions with any other medications that you may be taking.
It is also important to keep in mind that there are currently no official policies on the regulation of these natural products on the international market. This could result in inconsistent quality and efficacy of the product.
What else can I do to keep my heart healthy and my blood pressure in range?
There are many lifestyle changes that you can make to help keep your heart healthy and lower your blood pressure.
- Exercise: Even a small amount of exercise can make a big impact. Walk for 10 minutes after dinner every evening, park the car farther away from the main entrance and even stand up and walk in place during commercial breaks. Exercise doesn’t need to be high-intensity or strenuous to be beneficial. Just get up as often as you can and keep moving!
- Choose healthy foods: Add more fruits and vegetables to your diet. These superfoods are packed with tons of vitamins and minerals that your body needs to stay healthy. Decrease the amount of fats (especially saturated fats) in your diet and try to eliminate as much sugar and sodium as possible. Drink lots of water and fewer sodas and juices. Also, consume alcohol only in moderation. Remember: Your body is like a car; the better the fuel you put into it, the better it will run for you!
- Quit smoking: Not only will you see a reduction in your blood pressure, but your lungs will thank you, too.
- Reduce stress: Stress can be a big factor in high blood pressure. Try to eliminate as much stress from your life as you can. If you are unable to remove the causes of your stress, try taking a few minutes out of each day to meditate, practice yoga, do breathing exercises or do something that you love to do. These few minutes will help to calm you and will better enable you to cope with what the day brings.
- Monitor your blood pressure at home and see your doctor regularly.
If you suspect that you have high blood pressure, do not attempt to treat it on your own. Your first course of action should be to make an appointment to see your doctor or to visit a local urgent care clinic like Velocity Care Urgent Treatment Center.
At Velocity Care, we are here to help you. Visit www.velocitycare.com/locations to find a clinic near you for a heart health checkup or to speak with one of our doctors about what treatment options are available for your high blood pressure.
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