Natural nutrients protect against high blood pressure

In a review of 84 blood pressure studies, doctors said that even though there are many pharmaceutical options for reducing BP, it is also very important to exercise more, reduce salt and calories, eat more fruits, vegetables and fiber, and decrease fats. Among the findings:

Calcium: Those who took a calcium supplement had a mild decrease in BP. Doctors said calcium helped blood vessels relax.

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10): In a review of several CoQ10 studies, systolic BP was 16 mmHg lower on average for CoQ10 users compared to placebo.

Flavonoids: Diets high in cocoa appeared to lower systolic BP by 3 to 5 mmHg.

Folate: Those whose diets are low in folate are more likely to have elevated BP, and women who took folic acid supplements were less likely to have high BP.

Garlic: Several studies showed garlic extract lowered BP 10 to 16 mmHg.

Potassium: Diets low in potassium can cause a rise in blood pressure.

Vitamin D: People with high BP were more likely to have low levels of vitamin D compared to those with normal BP, and systolic BP decreased 2.4 mmHg after taking a vitamin D supplement.

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