One of the best ways to prevent heart attacks and strokes is to maintain a lower blood pressure. If your doctor says your numbers are creeping up, one or more of these clever new strategies could correct the problem—fast!
Relax arteries with hot peppers.
Biting into a hot pepper—like a jalapeño, habanero, serrano or fresno—can open your arteries! So say Asian researchers who discovered that eating 2 tsp. of spicy peppers daily switches on genes that keep blood vessels relaxed and open, so pressure surges don’t occur!
Reduce inflammation with aloe.
Simply drinking a daily 2-oz. glass of aloe vera juice (sold in health-food stores) can lower blood pressure for nine out of 10 people within two weeks, British researchers report. Aloe is packed with compounds that control inflammation, a major high blood pressure trigger, explains Mark Stengler, N.D., author of The Natural Physician’s Healing Therapies. Tip: Mix aloe with a little orange or grape juice to jazz up the flavor.
Flush out trapped fluids with onions.
Eating 1/3 cup of onions daily (any kind, raw or cooked) can cut blood pressure as much as 21 percent in five weeks, a recent Spanish study reveals. Onions are rich in quercetin, a natural diuretic that lowers pressure by speeding excess fluids and salt out of your body.
Steady your pressure with milk.
Milk’s calcium and whey work as a team to relax your nervous system, preventing pressure spikes during high-stress times. And University of Tennessee research shows it only takes two 8-oz. glasses daily (whole, low-fat or nonfat) to lower your pressure six points in eight weeks!
Cure stubborn problems with chlorella.
This algae supplement can cut even stubbornly high blood pressure as much as 25 percent within three months, a recent Japanese study suggests. The credit goes to chlorella’s unique mix of artery-relaxing carotenoids and essential fats, says Michael Rosenbaum, M.D., a holistic physician in San Rafael, California. Look for it in health-food stores, or check out this one we like: NOW Chlorella Supplement(120 Tablets, $13 at Amazon.com.). Concentrations vary, so follow the package directions for dosage. Important: Always check with your doctor before starting a new supplement.