Turmeric is most commonly used for spicing up your food, but has also been a popular choice in alternative medicines. Long known to treat inflammation, turmeric has been shown to provide many health benefits.
Recent studies show that the compounds within this flavorful and bright spice fight more than inflammation and can even help with high blood pressure.
Blood Pressure and Hypertension
A normal blood pressure reading is 120/80, which describes your diastolic and systolic pressures. Systolic pressure is the maximum pressure at which your heart pumps blood into the arteries, and diastolic is the minimum pressure needed to refill your heart.
High blood pressure is classified as a reading over 140, but concern is given for any readings over 120.
High blood pressure, or hypertension, is more common in the United States than people realize. Untreated hypertension is a leading cause of heart disease and increases your risk for heart attack and stroke.
There are two types of hypertension to be aware of. Primary hypertension is when there is no identifiable cause while secondary is when there is an underlying condition contributing to the high-pressure readings.
Hypertension can be avoided by living a healthy lifestyle. Of course, some individuals have risk factors that will increase the chance of developing high blood pressure.
Should any of the risk factors below apply to you, then it is advised to monitor your blood pressure closely.
♦ Age: The risk for hypertension increases as you get older
♦ Family history: When high blood pressure is present among family members, your risk significantly increases.
♦ Lack of physical activity: Inactive people tend to have higher blood pressure rates
♦ Obesity: Having additional weight requires more oxygen supply, which strains your heart
♦ Smoking: Tobacco causes temporary blood pressure spikes as well as long-term damage to arteries
♦ Alcohol: Excessive or heavy drinking can damage your heart and blood vessels
Lifestyle changes are typically the best way to prevent hypertension and promote normal blood pressure levels. Quitting smoking and cutting back on alcohol consumption will lead to immediate improvements in blood pressure ratings.
In addition to this, getting regular exercise and following a balanced and nutritious diet will also regulate blood pressure.
Turmeric for Hypertension
There are numerous studies that support the health benefits of turmeric, specifically when it comes to inflammatory-related diseases. As it happens, hypertension has links to inflammation, so it makes sense that turmeric could be a beneficial ally in keeping blood pressure levels normal.
As research continues, the reasons to try turmeric for the treatment of hypertension continue to be discovered.
The main compound in turmeric, curcumin, is both an antioxidant and possesses anti-inflammatory properties. When it comes to hypertension, turmeric helps to improve the function of blood vessels, which reduces blood pressure levels.
By reducing the levels of the enzyme angiotensin, relaxation of blood vessels occurs, and blood flow is easier.
As for those already diagnosed with hypertension, turmeric helps to protect cells from oxidative damage and inflammation that is often triggered by high blood pressure.
Turmeric also can protect against changes to platelet activity. Because platelets are responsible for blood clotting which can interfere with blood flow, turmeric helps to ensure their activity is regulated.
The renin-angiotensin hormone system is responsible for regulating blood pressure. Curcumin (or turmeric) has been shown to regulate the levels of angiotensin, preventing your blood vessels from constricting.
The more relaxed blood vessels are, the easier blood can flow. Curcumin can also ameliorate any damage that has occurred as a result of high blood pressure. Studies have found that these anti-hypertensive properties in turmeric reduce high blood pressure to the same level of effectiveness as leading anti-hypertensive medications.
Boosts Heart Health
As described, turmeric provides protective benefits to your blood vessels and though them the rest your cardiovascular system. Along with relaxing blood vessels to promote easier blood flow, turmeric also lowers cholesterol, which helps prevent plaque buildups and atherosclerosis.
High cholesterol is a major risk factor in heart disease, and turmeric can play both preventative and healing roles. Turmeric can also ameliorate endothelial dysfunction, which is another contributing factor to hypertension and eventual heart disease.
Turmeric serves to mitigate many of the causes of hypertension, thereby protecting you. Metabolic syndrome is one such condition that presents with hypertension, abdominal obesity, and high blood sugar.
Turmeric can help to lower blood sugar and blood lipid levels, and can help prevent inflammation that promotes fat storage and obesity. In doing so, turmeric, prevents the disease from causing further damage to blood vessels and your heart.
In addition to boosting your heart health and promoting healthy and normal blood pressure, turmeric can help boost your health in other ways. Impaired thyroid function can contribute to the development of hypertension and the antioxidant properties of curcumin can help to prevent this.
By helping to regulate thyroid function, turmeric therapy can help ensure blood pressure is not impacted.
In addition to protecting your thyroid to prevent hypertension, turmeric also protects your kidneys from inflammation. Inflammation is a major cause of kidney damage and defective kidney function results in excess toxins in the blood, leading to hypertension.
By protecting your kidneys from inflammation and oxidative damage, turmeric can ensure your detox system is fully functioning and that blood pressure is maintained.
The Bottom Line
Hypertension can be dangerous if left untreated, so it is always wise to get it checked regularly, especially if you have any risk factors. Despite being a serious condition, there are several natural and effective treatment options for hypertension, including the use of turmeric.
Adding a little spice to your meal or starting a turmeric supplement can help regulate blood pressure levels, so you can keep living your regular life.