High blood pressure: Lifestyle changes to reduce reading
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Because high blood pressure is a silent condition, it is often picked up during routine check-ups. Nearly five million people in the UK are unaware they’re affected by the condition, putting them in peril of stroke or heart attack. Fortunately, healthy eating can both treat and prevent the condition. One herb contains compounds that have been shown to significantly lower blood pressure in hypertensive animals.
According to the journal Plant Foods for Human Nutrition, the anti-oxidative properties of thyme can help lower blood pressure.
Animal studies have shown that consuming extracts derived from thyme could reduce both systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure in rodents.
Systolic blood pressure is an indication of the pressure blood exerts against the arterial walls when the heart beats.
It is widely considered the most important of the two readings because it offers a clearer indication of one’s risk of heart disease.
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Diastolic pressure, on the other hand, refers to the pressure in the arteries when the heart rests between beats.
In the journal of Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity, researchers explained that polyphenol-rich foods had an inverse effect on conditions like hypertension.
This informed their decision to conduct an investigation on the anti-hypertensive effects of thyme.
The researchers wrote: “Reactive oxygen species play an important role in the development of hypertension.
“We found that wild thyme induced a significant decrease of blood pressure and vascular resistance in hypertensive rats.
“The [..] results promote wild thyme as a useful supplement for cardiovascular interventions.”
Similar findings published in the journal Acta Poloniae Pharmaceutica, confirm the antihypertensive effects of thyme.
Here the researchers noted both a significant decrease in systolic and diastolic blood pressure, as well as LDL cholesterol levels.
They also noted that HDL cholesterol levels increased significantly, which is helpful to help rid the body of harmful LDL molecules.
What’s more, the team observed that the extract was able to significantly lower the heart rate in rats with high blood pressure.
They explained: “It is conceivable that (thyme) contains certain active compounds that are possibly responsible for the observed antihypertensive activity.
“Moreover, these findings further authenticate the traditional use of this plant in folklore medicine.”
It’s been speculated that rosmarinic acid – one of the key compounds in thyme – may help reduce systolic blood pressure by inhibiting enzymes.
Thyme also contains high concentrations of vitamins A, C, E and K, as well as minerals such as calcium, potassium, iron and phosphorus.
Thanks to its vitamin C concentrations, thyme tea may have immune-boosting effects which may help to ward off colds.
It is worth noting, however, that there is limited research on the effects of thyme on humans, so further studies are needed to consolidate the herb’s relevance as a blood pressure treatment.
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