Adults aged 55 and older face a lifetime risk of developing elevated blood pressure greater than 90%, accounting for more than 40 million doctor visits each year and taxing an already overburdened healthcare system. Uncontrolled blood pressure slowly degrades the vascular system throughout the body and takes a particular toll on the kidneys, eyes and delicate arteries around the heart and in the brain.
Small increases in blood pressure place an individual at dramatically increased risk from heart attack, stroke, kidney failure and blindness. Researchers focusing on the antioxidant capacity of grape seed, resveratrol and pomegranate found that regular consumption of these foods can effectively reduce blood pressure without the need for dangerous prescription drugs.
Natural Fruit Polyphenols Lower Cellular Stress and Blood Pressure
Oxidative stress is a significant factor leading to accelerated damage from hypertension. Excess stress prompts changes to the hormone angiotensin that is known to impact blood pressure through an intricate mechanism of vessel and arterial constriction. Natural agents that can lower dangerous levels of cellular oxidative stress are considered paramount to lowering blood pressure in susceptible individuals.
ACE (angiotensin-converting enzyme)-inhibitors are among the most popular prescription medications prescribed to negate the effect of the angiotensin hormone, and create a life of misery for many due to the myriad of side effects inherent with this class of drug. Recent research shows that artificially lowering blood pressure with drugs has virtually no effect on cardiovascular disease risk, compared to lowering readings with natural fruit polyphenols, diet and physical activity.
Study Shows That Grape Seed Extract and Resveratrol Can Effectively Lower Blood Pressure
Writing in the journal Metabolism, nutritional scientists compared the effect of grape seed extract and resveratrol on subjects with metabolic syndrome. Three groups were divided to receive either grape seed extract (GSE) at a dose of 150 mg per day, GSE at 300 mg per day or a placebo. After 4 weeks, both GSE supplemented groups experienced systolic blood pressure drops of 5 to 7 percent. This change was considered significant as no other dietary or lifestyle interventions were followed. Researchers believe that GSE and grape-derived compounds including resveratrol can be used to prevent and treat hypertension based on the potent antioxidant load delivered by the fruit extracts.
Pomegranates effectively lower blower blood pressure in a manner similar to GSE and resveratrol as the juice and extracts contain powerful polyphenols that counteract oxidative stress. This magical fruit also is found to lower circulating levels of the angiotensin hormone that can help blood vessels to relax. The result of a study published in the journal Atherosclerosis demonstrated that consumption of pomegranate juice (50 ml per day for 2 weeks) lowered ACE activity by 36%, leading to a 5% drop in systolic blood pressure.
It should come as no surprise to those following a natural health lifestyle that the key to controlling blood pressure and reducing the risk factors that promote cardiovascular disease are not found in a prescription bottle. Fruits such as the pomegranate and formulated natural extracts from red grape skins and seeds deliver powerful health benefits without any of the associated side effects of synthesized pharmaceuticals.